Sunday, October 22, 2006

Az Karachi asth, Radioyay Azad; Relaunching Azad Karachi Radio

About a year ago, I had started podcasting. I, we, rather, started two podcasts. One was in English and was, well, podcast, via the RSS feed for this blog while the other was in Urdu and podcast as "Azad Karachi Radio".

To which a lot of people go..."Say what?!" Are you talking about the political independence of Karachi, a la Singapore?

Well, let's explain.

Both of the members of the team working on the podcast count the city of Karachi as our emotional, intellectual and social wellspring. And thus the idea is to have an Azad--the word, say, Gandhi would have used, for "free"--voice that has a Karachi accent and speaks with the spirit of that brave city.

Thus the title of this post: Az Karachi asth, Radioyay Azad.

That phrase is my uneducated way of saying "From the heart of Karachi, this is Azad Radio". PaRhay lik-hay koe Farsi kya hai, پڑھے لِکھے کو فارسے کیا ہے؟ , as the old line of poetry went; educated people should be able to grasp complicated ideas in literary language--which, before Europe became ascendant, was Farsi, from Istanbul to Rangoon, if not further.

Another reason--and this might be a very personal eccenticity of mine--the phrase from Persian pops into my head is that, growing up abroad, my father used to listen BBC Urdu (as well as English and Hindi) regularly. And if you didn't turn the radio off fast enough at the end of most Urdu broadcasts, the next thing you heard on that wavelength was "Az London asth, Radioyay BBC" (From London, this is BBC Radio). So in my head, Urdu, Radio and the traditional roots of Urdu come together in that one sentence. And it took me decades to actually learn what the words exactly meant.

So, to paraphrase the call sign of BBC's Persian Service, az Karachi asth, radioyay azad. Cemendtaur and I are reviving Azad Karachi Radio with Program 4, a year after the last one went online.

This program restarts the discussion with Cemendtaur joining the team live and in studio. This program congratulates celebrants on Ramzan, Eid and Diwali, with some thoughts on the spirit of the season; discusses the first anniversary of the earthquake in South Asia and the role of the blogosphere in helping remember those in need; and throws out some political thoughts on matters of social concern, also discussing the
recent exchange between a seminarian (madarasa student) and Gen. Pervez Musharraf that made the rounds on the Internet.

The audio file for directly downloading and listening to the fourth program is here. You can now also stream the podcast using the Odeo (odeo/5e510de8d8638707) player from any Azad Karachi Radio blog page.
Just take a look at the top righthand corner of the page!

The new edition of the podcast is at:

And the main Blog is at:

The podcast is aslo available on Yahoo! Podcasts at:

and on Odeo at:

Though the directories might need a little time to register the new edition--they hadn't at the time of writing this.

You can subscribe to either the text version of this blog or the Podcast using the following the following URL/link for our RSS feed:

and copy-pasting that address where the software you use to subscribe to PodCasts (for example iTunes from Apple, iPodder, etc.) asks you to put addresses of Podcasts you are subscribing to manually.

If you are in Pakistan or elsewhere where you have difficulty accessing the Blogspot domain due to censorship, etc., please use:

Formally speaking, Azad Karachi Radio is a service of Azad South Asia, a collaborative media effort initiated by yours truly and Cemendtaur, out of Silicon Valley. You can reach the team at or leave comments on either this blog or at Azad Karachi Radio.

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Anonymous said...

hey, I just found this by chance eventhough I visit your blog often.

iFaqeer said...

Well, what do you think?

Anonymous said...

I think it was very good, eventhough, I found some of the discussion a bit simplistic in the sense that we question the practice but do not try and understand the root cause of it. e.g. in the urdu program where there was a discussion on whether Ramzan should be written as Ramadhan or Ramzan. It was acknowledged that many Muslims wrote Ramadhan because of influence from Arabic quarters. However, I think essential question we need to be asking is why is the Arabic culture so easily able to misplace our own tradition and culture? I think we need to be exploring that issue and addressing that issue in greater detail.

I really liked your discussion on WNBC (i am hoping i have got the name right) and I think you were right to point out that we have a progressive tradition in Islam and most Muslims are moderate. However, that moderate element is complete ignored and it is only the fanatics which are recognised and given any coverage. I also agree that if West was so great in providing support to the voice of sanity in Muslim world then why haven't people like Edhi and Asma Jahanghir been recognised.

Anonymous said...

Finally got a chance to go over and listen to the post. I think you should continue this.

Atta Rehman said...

You have some interesting thoughts! Perhaps we should contemplate about attempting this myself.

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