Story about Usha Mehta and the Secret Congress Radio

  • The film “Ae Watan Mere Watan” was just released on an OTT platform and dives into the story of Usha Mehta and Congress Radio during the 1942 Quit India Movement.

Who was Usha Mehta (1920–2000)?

  • Usha Mehta was born March 25, 1920, in Mumbai, India.
  • Usha Mehta, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals of peaceful resistance and civil disobedience, became an active participant in the Indian independence movement at an early age.
  • Usha Mehta’s participation in the radio broadcasting network known as “Secret Congress Radio” was one of her most significant contributions to the independence struggle.
  • She received the Padma Vibhushan, one of India’s highest civilian decorations, in 1998. 

The Secret ‘Congress Radio’

  • The historic Quit India Resolution was passed during a meeting of the All India Congress Committee in Bombay on August 8, 1942.
  • To challenge the British-controlled AIR, an underground radio station known as Freedom Radio, Ghost Radio, or Congress Radio was established.
  • Usha Mehta, a 22-year-old master’s student at Wilson College, became the voice of Congress Radio.
  • The radio was a costly project, but finances were raised through a variety of channels, including contributions from Mehta’s colleague, Babubhai Khakhar.
  • Nariman Abarbad Printer, a radio technical expert, built the Congress radio transmission equipment.
  • Their first transmission was on August 14, 1942.
  • In her voice, she said, “This is the Congress Radio calling on 42.34 from somewhere in India.”
  • Initially, they transmitted twice a day in Hindi and English. However, they decreased it to once every evening between 30 and 8.30 p.m.
  • On November 12, 1942, authorities invaded the radio station while Vande Mataram was being played, arresting Mehta and others. 

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