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History of 8th June – AIR & AI

History of 8th June – AIR & AI

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8th June History

Today’s episode of the series includes the history of 8th May. This article includes the transformation of the Indian State Broadcasting Station into All India Radio in 1936, and the historic flight of the “Malabar Princess” in 1948, which marked Air India’s inaugural step into international travel, revolutionizing global connectivity.

Before I share the history of 8th June, let me share some positive news from the recent train accident of Coromandel Express. After 2 days of intense search for survivors, the officials finally decided to switch their focus to restoration of the track. However, around 5:30 pm, a glimmer of hope emerged when a faint voice caught the attention of a small group of police personnel. The voice was of Dulal Mazumdar who survived without water or food for the last two days buried under the debris.

With this positive news, I now bring you to the year 1936 with my first story from the history of 8th June.

All India Radio (AIR) 

Did you know All India Radio was earlier called Indian State Broadcasting Station? Well, I did not until I flipped through the pages of History of 8th June. This change occurred in the year 1936 on this day.

To fully appreciate the magnitude of this milestone, it is crucial to delve into the background and history leading up to the renaming of the Indian State Broadcasting Station to All India Radio. The seeds of broadcasting were sown in India during the early 1920s when private amateur radio enthusiasts began experimenting with wireless communication. These pioneering efforts laid the foundation for what would eventually become a nationwide broadcasting network.

In 1927, the British colonial administration established the Indian Broadcasting Company (IBC) in Bombay (now Mumbai) with the objective of promoting radio broadcasting in India. Initially, the IBC primarily catered to the elite, with programs centered around classical music concerts, speeches, and readings. However, with the increasing popularity of radio and the recognition of its potential as a mass medium, the demand for a more inclusive and comprehensive broadcasting service grew.

Recognizing this need, the Government of India took over the operations of the IBC in 1930, transforming it into the Indian State Broadcasting Service (ISBS). Under government control, the ISBS expanded its reach and started broadcasting news, educational content, and cultural programs in multiple languages. Despite these advancements, the name “Indian State Broadcasting Service” did not adequately reflect the evolving nature and ambition of the organization.

It was against this backdrop that on 8th June 1936, the Indian State Broadcasting Station was officially rechristened All India Radio (AIR). The new name encapsulated the spirit of a unified national broadcasting service that aimed to cater to the diverse linguistic and cultural landscape of India. The transformation also signified the increasing role of radio as a medium for disseminating information, fostering cultural exchange, and promoting national integration.

With the renaming came a wave of changes and improvements within All India Radio. The organization adopted a more professional approach to broadcasting, focusing on quality programming, news coverage, and technical advancements. AIR expanded its network of stations across the country, ensuring wider coverage and accessibility to people from all walks of life. Over the years, the radio became an integral part of the lives of millions of Indians, providing them with news, entertainment, and a platform to voice their opinions.

Today, All India Radio stands as one of the world’s largest radio networks, providing programming in multiple languages and covering diverse topics ranging from news and current affairs to music, culture, and entertainment. It has successfully embraced digital platforms, making its content available online and reaching a global audience.

From radio now we move on to the second story from the history of 8th June.

Malabar Princess flies to London

History of 8th June 1948. It was on this day that a historic event unfolded in the annals of aviation history as Air India took its first step into the realm of international travel. The flight, known as the “Malabar Princess,” marked the beginning of a weekly air service between Bombay (now Mumbai), India, and London, United Kingdom, with stopovers in Cairo, Egypt, and Geneva, Switzerland. With this remarkable journey, Air India paved the way for a new era of global connectivity, bringing people closer across continents.

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The Malabar Princess flight was a significant milestone not only for Air India but also for India as a nation, as it represented the country’s emergence as a key player in the international aviation industry. The aircraft chosen for this historic voyage was a Lockheed L-749 Constellation, an advanced and highly regarded aircraft of its time. The flight was captained by the renowned pilot Captain K.R. Guzdar, who had an impeccable reputation for his expertise and experience.

Accompanying Captain Guzdar were a skilled crew of 11 members, comprising co-pilot Captain V.R. Gupta, radio officer A.P. Deshpande, flight engineer M.A. Khan, and other cabin crew members. Each member of the crew played a vital role in ensuring the safe and comfortable journey of the passengers.

The Malabar Princess flight departed from Bombay’s Santa Cruz Airport (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport) amidst great anticipation and fanfare. The flight path took the aircraft across the Arabian Sea, flying over diverse landscapes and cultures on its way to London. The first stopover was at Heliopolis Airport in Cairo, where passengers had the opportunity to briefly disembark, stretch their legs, and soak in the exotic Egyptian ambiance.

After the Cairo stopover, the flight continued its journey to Geneva, Switzerland, where passengers experienced the charm of the Swiss Alps and the city’s cultural heritage. Finally, the Malabar Princess touched down at London’s Heathrow Airport, marking the successful completion of Air India’s first international flight.

That’s all for the day.

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