12 November: Public Service Broadcasting Day

The Public Service Broadcasting Day was observed across India on November 12, 2018. The day is observed every year to commemorate the first and last visit of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi to the studio of All India Radio, Delhi in 1947.

Mahatma Gandhi had on November 12, 1947, visited the studio of All India Radio to address the displaced people from Pakistan who were temporarily settled in Kurukshetra, Haryana after the partition of the Indian subcontinent.

About the Day

On November 12, 2018, 70 years ago Mahatma Gandhi visited the AIR office for his first and last live broadcast.

Gandhi had decided to convey his message through radio, as he couldn’t visit the refugees of Partition stationed at Kurukshetra in Haryana.

“I see ‘shakti’, the miraculous power of God,” Gandhiji had reportedly said about the medium of radio as he entered the studio.

Gandhi began his speech around 3:30 pm. He began by saying, “My brothers and sisters who are suffering, I do not know if only you or some other people are also listening to it….”

The words, which were spoken by Gandhi on that day, became a treasure and a snippet of the speech is played on November 12 every year.

Mahatma Gandhi was neither the Prime Minister nor the President, he didn’t hold any post. Like a common citizen, he spoke from the AIR studio.

He used to run several newspapers and understood the power of media and hence, was completely against commercial ads and believed that only those non-commercial ads should be accepted that serve some public purpose. For him, the aim of media was service.

The day was declared as the Jan Prasaran Diwas (Public Service Broadcasting Day) in 2000, after it was conceptualized by Suhas Borker, Convenor, Jan Prasar.

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