Published: 05th September 2020
Know your history right for a better present: Why the Rebel Radio is sending out their podcasts only via WhatsApp
Rebel Radio has released its 113th audio presentation and plan to carry it on via Whatsapp alone for the next year
India's history is being distorted. Whatsapp forwards are destroying people's sensibilities with fake news.
Amid allegations like these, a group of 10 like-minded youth from West Bengal have formed a collective called Rebel Radio. No, they are not organising a rebellion, they claim that their aim is to talk about history as it was and bring lesser known tales from the past to the forefront through audio presentations in Bengali which follow the format of a podcast but come in the form of Whatsapp forwards. "We talk about the freedom struggle but tell stories of lesser known heroes of the fight for Independence. One of us writes the script and we discuss it over WhatsApp. Then everyone records their bit. And then it goes to the editors of our group who add background score, music and join the audio," said Sourav Prakritibadi, an alumni of Presidency University in Kolkata and social activist.
Rebel Radio is on their 113th episode and growing. But they don't want to go global right away. "We had put up some of our content on YouTube at first but then it did not work for us. We have a brief text that accompanies the recording. It gives you context and this format is best suited for WhatsApp. Also this gives us a more focused audience and we are not stressing over how well we are doing. We spread it across the country to the people we know and they further forward it. This is the beauty of WhatsApp. If some are using it to propagated lies that look like truth, then why not spread the truth. It has to work," said Sourav. "Only if you know your history right, will you be able to make the decision for today and for your future. It is very important to know the correct history, which has become a bit difficult at this time and age where Maharana Pratap is losing battles to Akbar just for the sake of nationalism," he added.
The Rebel Radio has done episodes on authors and lesser known freedom fighters which has led them to discover more such stories. "I did not even know where some of these freedom fighters were from. Our professors and teachers from school had helped a lot but while researching we have found out many interesting facts. I did not even know there is an author who has written about a local freedom fighter in our block. We connected with him after he listened to our presentations and he liked it," added Sourav.
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While there are no such plans to shift to YouTube or a public platform anytime soon, some of their audio is on YouTube. You can go check it out if you understand Bengali.