Rare radio broadcasts by Birdman Dr Salim Ali released in book form

The radio broadcasts of legendary ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali have been compiled in book form and released on his 125th birth anniversary on November 16. The book titled, ‘Words for Birds’ is edited by renowned author Tara Gandhi.

The book comprises the text of 35 radio broadcasts by Dr. Salim Ali on All India Radio (AIR) from the start of his career in British India to the late 1980s. The broadcasts lay forgotten in AIR archives for decades and probably unheard of by most people in the millennial generation.

The book was unveiled as part of the 125th birth anniversary celebration of the great ornithologist conferred with the Padma Vibhushan (1976) at the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). The radio broadcasts recorded during 1941-1985 not only reveal the exceptional skills of Dr. Salim Ali’s exceptional expertise on ornithology in India but also his being a passionate communicator on Indian birds.

“I had worked with Dr. Salim Ali for a long time. I have even worked on his other papers and documents and I came across these broadcasts that were well preserved by BNHS,” Tara Gandhi told IANS. She was guided by Dr. Ali for her degree of M.Sc. in ornithology. She later worked for biodiversity conservation in India and conducted many surveys to document birds and other wildlife. The book has been published by Black Kite and Hachette.

Dr. Salim Ali (1896 – 1987) was popularly known as the ‘Birdman of India’. He was the first Indian to conduct a systematic bird survey across undivided India and penned several books which popularized ornithology in the subcontinent.

The storytelling through the radio broadcasts by Dr. Salim Ali covers a wide range of issues related to the avian diversity of India including their habits, habitats, and their crucial role in nature; how they benefit agriculture, and risks they face in modern times.

Pick of the Week

  1. Branded in History: Fresh Marketing Lessons from Vintage Brands by Ramya Ramamurthy   

A fascinating story of how colonial Indian brands were marketed from 1847 to 1947 when the concept of branding itself was in infancy. The book explores marketing strategies from consumer goods to consumables, household utilities to toiletries, and heavy industry to medical supply from an era gone by and tells the story of the successes and failures of the earliest brands in the sub-continent. The popular brands explored in the book include Lux soaps, Woodward’s Gripe Water, Atlas Cycle, Dalda, etc., which have immortalized themselves by capitalizing on the emerging trends for more than a hundred years in the Indian market.

  1. Nehru: The Debates that defined India by Tripudaman Singh, Adeel Hussain

The book focuses on Jawaharlal Nehru as a key debater of contemporary Indian discourse of his time, voicing ideological disagreement, forging political alliances, molding political opinion, offering a vision of the future, and staking out the political field. The book illuminates encounters of Nehru with his contemporary history makers such as Sardar Patel, Muhammad Iqbal, Jinnah, and Syama Prasad Mookerjee, to elaborate the critical understanding of his ‘Idea of India’.

Invisible Empire: The natural history of Viruses by Pranay Lal

The book brings together the science, history, and great skills of storytelling to paint a fascinating picture of viruses as a major factor not just in human civilization but also in the human body. As the readers themselves are passing through an era of a global pandemic, the book attempts to understand viruses through rare photographs, paintings, illustrations, and anecdotes to help them  attempt to understand the role of viruses in the lives of human beings. The complex and diverse world of viruses merits being labeled an empire unto itself.

Courtesy – IANS

 

Images courtesy of (Photo courtesy Ramchandra Guha/Twitter) and .

Share this post