Memories of Mysuru Akashvani Station Founder Dr. M.V. Gopalaswamy on air

Memories of Mysuru Akashvani Station Founder Dr. M.V. Gopalaswamy on air

May 28, 2024
  • Three generations host Nenapina Doni event in city
  • Plans afoot to install bust of MVG at AIR entrance 

Mysore/Mysuru: The Janaka (father) of Akashvani, Dr. M.V. Gopalaswamy (MVG), came alive again on Saturday, 25th May 2024, when his survivors from three generations hosted ‘Nenapina Doni’ (boat of memories), an event to celebrate his achievements and cherish his memories at Akashvani premises in Yadavagiri.

MVG launched a private radio station in Mysuru on 28th September 1936 called Akashvani. In 1957, Akashvani was chosen to be the on-air name of national radio service All India Radio (AIR) and at present Akashvani is used officially instead of AIR.  

Bharathi Ghanashyam, noted writer and daughter of MVG’s eldest son Air Commodore M.G. Ramachandra, V.M., A.V.S.M, while speaking to the gathering, remembered that her repeated reference to her grandfather’s achievements, be it with vegetable sellers or tailors or laundrymen, annoyed a friend so much that she commented exasperatedly that MVG was a virus.

Dr. M.V. Gopalaswamy

Bharathi said, “Initially I was angry with my friend. Later I realised that MVG’s initiative, to establish Akashvani Station, was indeed a virus, albeit a beneficial one, that spread rapidly across India to educate, inform and entertain people.”

Bharathi’s daughter and MVG’s great granddaughter Pavithra Ghanashyam, who was coincidentally a radio jockey and is still working in the radio sector, said her mother spoke about MVG like one utters prayers and their visits to Mysuru were like visits to a temple.

S.S. Umesh, Assistant Director and Head of Mysuru Akashvani Station, recalled that MVG was suggested the name Akashvani by writer Na. Kasturi’s mother. Kasturi was a teacher and lecturer in Maharaja’s institutions in Mysuru and was the first Assistant Director of Akashvani, which was the third radio station in India. Even though he hailed from Kerala with a formal education in Malayalam, Na. Kasturi is a renowned literary giant in Kannada.

Umesh also noted that innovation is in the DNA of Mysuru soil and most of the ideas from here have gone global and even Mysuru Akashvani has conducted various experiments in the audio media and 80 percent of them have been successful.

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“There is a plan to install a bust of MVG at the entrance of Mysuru Akashvani and MVG’s descendants can chip in for the task,” he added.

Prof. C. Naganna, a writer, avid radio person and retired English Professor said, “MVG’s Akashvani brought in changes in the daily routine of thousands of people, as it became a part of their lives.”

Srinivasan, the Assistant Engineer of the radio station said, “MVG has contributed a lot to the society not just by starting a radio station and as a Psychology Professor, but also as the first academician in India, to start multiple choice (MC) or objective type questions. Now, these MC questions are useful in computer valuation for various purposes.”

MVG also worked to establish the second Psychology Department in India in the University of Mysore, the first being Calcutta University in 1916, he added.

‘Nenapina Doni’ event began with an audio interview of MVG’s wife Kamala, by former Director of Mysuru Akashvani Jyothsna K. Kamath, about ‘Shishuvihara’ (pre-school). 

In 1928, when ‘Gopalaswamy Shishuvihara’ was started, it was the first such initiative in South India. Writer G.P. Rajarathnam’s famous Shishu Geethegalu (children’s poems) were written for the students of the Shishuvihara.

The event was invoked with Naadageethe of Mysuru ‘Kayo Sri Gowri’ by Chaitrika. It was interspersed with songs like ‘Bharathada Banuli’ by her, songs from the archives and          interactions.

MVG was born in Tamil Nadu in 1899 and died on June 29, 1957, while serving at Nimhans, Bengaluru. 

MVG’s youngest son M.G. Rajinikanth, only daughter Usha Sharma and daughter-in-law Bhama Vijayashankar were also present at the event.


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