Radio Play : Popular entertainment and social awareness media
- Part 2 -

Dilip Mayengbam *

 Folk Music Concert in connection with Golden Jubilee year of AIR Station Imphal :: 19th January 2013
Folk Music Concert in connection with Golden Jubilee year of AIR Station Imphal on 19th January 2013 :: Pix - Bullu Raj

This paper was presented in the one day theatre seminar Organised by : The Royal Theatrical Club (R.T.C), Imphal and sponsored by Directorate of Art & Culture Government of Manipur held on 25th October -2020 at Elangbam Leikai Chingjel Naral Panganba Community Hall.

To commemorate the Centenary Celebration of the Manipur's last war of independence, Imphal station broadcast eight plays in 1991 beginning from January and ending on 13th August under the caption Manipurgi Aroiba Ningtam Lal (Manipur's Last War of Independence), scripts of which were written by Thoudam Nodia, Khaidem Bihari, Takhellambam Ranachandra, MK Binodini and Arambam Samarendra.

Noted scholar Ningthoukhongjam Khelchandra was also present in the conceptual planning stage. It was a hit. Noted playwright Khundrakpam Brajachand's play Mathangi Yenningthada was also a very nice social play. Keisam Priyokumar's award winning short story Nongdi Tarakkhidre (Rain didn't come) which deals with the ethnic clash and its pathetic fallout was also a hit.

This play was also made into a feature film by Ningthouja Lancha. Dr Zibhago a Nobel Prize winning novel of Boris Pasternak was adapted into a radio serial by Aramabam Ongbi Memchoubi and it was very well received by the listening public.

Khetri Bira's novel - Phirep was also produced as a 13 part radio serial. Reputed Theatre houses The Chorus Repertory Theatre of Shri Ratan Thiyam and Kalakshetra of Shri Heisnam Kanhailal were also invited to present radio plays.

Moirangthem Inao's play Nongallabasu Thaballei Leinam was also a hit with full of comedy. Radio serial actually started in 1969 with GC Tongbra's Taibangjambagi Imung it continued for more than 100 episodes i.e. around two years. It was a hit, very popular comedy serial.

The next longest serial was the science serial Taibang Yaol which started in 1991 and continued upto 1994. It was a dramatized serial play based on Human Evolution targeted for students but general public listened it more interestingly. It was a very popular serial broadcast every Sunday with more than 180 episodes.

Nongmaithem Ibopishak successfully produced noted poet Mahakavi Anganghal's novel - Jehera as a radio serial, Prof. Nnongmaithem Tombi adapted it for radio. Ningthoujam Lokendrajeet produced two major radio serials with more than 20 episodes each- Khamba Thoibee of Hijam Anganghal, adaptation - Sarangthem Bormani and Chahi Taret Khuntakpa by Dr Rajen Toijamba.

Former is the legendary love story of Khamba and Thoibee, the latter is the seven years devastation of Manipur by the Burmese, a very important historical event.

Adhikarimayum Gitchandra also produced UR Ananthamurthy's novel Sanskar as a 13 part serial with radio adaptation by Yumlembam Ibomcha. Gitchandra won 2nd prize in Akashvani Awards-2013 for the play Langlentombi by Chanam Kunjo, another 2nd prize in 2015 for the play Eigi Cycle Nungsibi by Jiban Heisnamba and a merit certificate in 2016 for the play Hiroshimagi Wainu Pareng by Dr Khangembam Shamungou. It's the case history of a little girl who had suffered radiation effect of the atom bomb and died in the hospital.

All the radio plays are not just only for entertainment, they always try give a message of social awareness for having a peaceful and happy life.

The first Akashvani Award winner was Nongmaithem Pahari for his musical documentary Ghatgati Hai in 1976, script by Mahendra Sharma. It won a Special prize.Last but not the least a very famous comedy play under the title- IPOM was introduced during 1969-70 by inviting the noted comedians of Sumang Leela who were Takhellambam Chaoba, Mayang Imphal Tombi and Oinam Babu.

It was a superhit programme and people anxiously waited for it. The title IPOM was given by Khumanthem Praksh, signature tune was composed by Chandam Gopal and produced by Nongmaithem Sudhir. It continued for a long time. They performed on stage also under the same trade name.

Conclusion: As the performance space of theatre artists are becoming squeezed day by day, radio play and Manipuri digital films are the only option where they can perform. Besides money, they want their performance space.

All India Radio, Imphal is giving them ample scope to perform. The State Council of Educational Research and Training is also producing dramatized educational programmes for broadcast in radio. Now, the Department of Education (Schools) is also joining such productions. Fee for writing script and performance is also reasonably good.

But still there is a need for good script writers. Theatre groups and Literary organizations can organize workshops in collaboration with the Sahitya Akademi for script writing to bring out some young writers as the future writers of plays.

According to a report released by UNESCO on the World Radio Day-2013, 75 % of the households in the developing countries listen to radio. There are around 44,000 radio stations world wide. Persons of the age group 25-54 listen 80% of the time of radio broadcast medium wave or FM. Improvement in farming is seen among 50% of the farmers.

There are more than 5000 community radio stations in Thailand. Indonesia and Phillippines also have similar radio listening pattern. Radio news is considered as the most reliable one. This means that radio is still popular among the people.

Some of the radio plays of AIR, Imphal uploaded on Youtube is found to be listened by more than one lakh people. Nongphadok Lakpada (10 months) : 1.3 lakh, Nongallabasu Thaballei Leinam (1 year): 1.1lakh, Mathangi Yenningthada (1 year): 2.1 lakh, Mou Ahum Lanpham Ahum (4 months): 1.2 lakhs. It shows that still people love to listen radio plays.

Present fee for artists under the fee structure of 2013 is as follows in rupees:
Top grade- 5000; A-grade-3400; B-high grade- 2000; B-grade- 1300.

For authors: 5600 for 60'; 4000 for 30'; 3000 for 15';
Translation- 4500 for 60'; 3300 for 30'; 1700 for 15';
Adaptation from novel/short story- 75% of the original fee;
royalty for original author whose work is adapted- 50% of the original fee.
For National Programme of Play: author's fee is- 16,000 for 60'; 11,000 for 30'.
For serial play-4000 per episode, for 13 episodes = 52,000.
For producers (on hiring): 7000 for 60'; 4500 for 30'; 2000 for 15'; serials-2000x13= 26,000.


1. Tim Crook, Radio Drama: Theory and Practice, Routledge, London, 1999,
2. Surya Sarkar, Kolkata Betar Natak , Special issue of AIR, Kolkata, 2002.,
3. Manas Pratim Das, Radio Play: Kolkata Story, Global Media Journal-Indian Edition, December 2013, vol-4, No. 2,
4. Dilip Mayengbam, Souvenir: 40 Years of Public Service Braodcasting 1963-2003 , AIR, Imphal, 2003.,
5. Personal conversation with Yengkhom Jugeswori Devi, Fist Announcer of AIR, Imphal.


* Dilip Mayengbam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on November 12 2020.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Ningol Chakouba @ Thanga #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur State Journalist Award #2: Gallery
  • Ngaranchan, Asiisii: eMing
  • Manipur War Heroes deported to Kalapani
  • One match & two Man of the Match
  • Capacity building program for Juvenile Justice
  • Filmmaker Haobam Paban Kumar #2
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Significance of Ningol Chakkouba festival
  • Stigma, Pandemic & Mental Health Issues
  • Executive Meeting, National Sports University
  • Licypriya wins TN Khoshoo Memorial Award
  • ADB Univ pays tribute to Tarun Gogoi
  • Amit Shah's impending visit to Manipur
  • Muhammad Abdur Rahman: His life & works
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • 9th Loktak Arson Commemoration Day
  • Brown manuring for effective weed mgmt
  • Possible education trajectory after COVID-19
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Memo to Union Education Minister on MU
  • Mantra of test, trace, treat
  • Something is still fishy
  • Mera Houchongba @ Konung #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • National Unity Day 2020 : Gallery
  • Marriage is no child's play
  • Lady of the House :: Poem
  • A musing on BJP's social upliftment cell
  • Solution must not be undone by dissolution
  • Meitei Inclusivity & Arrival of Thadou Kukis #2
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • SRISTI-GYTI : Young Tech Innovation Awards
  • SITARE-GYTI : Projects in biotechnology
  • Irang : A bridge not too far
  • Become an NTSE scholar
  • Toll Free Helpline for Children Counselling
  • Condemns move to impose Sanskrit
  • Unwanted season again for no good reason
  • By-election @ Wangoi AC #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Retired IPS officer recounts violent period
  • Rural Dreams :: Poem
  • Understanding issues of foreign prisoners
  • AFSPA - Armed forces special power Act
  • Reiterate demand to rollback PDA decision
  • Date with Amit Shah on Nov 29
  • The making of a New India
  • Filmmaker Haobam Paban Kumar #1
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #5: Gallery
  • Land Commission essential before 6th Sched..
  • A little nobody trying to save everybody
  • Why some people get more acne in winter
  • 95 more positive cases found at Wangoi AC
  • Center losing track on Naga Peace Process
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur State Journalist Award #1: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba: Thailand Ningol letter
  • NE Indigenous Women Peace Congregation
  • CSI State Student Convention, Assam
  • What I saw from my window ?
  • Growing number of infected & deaths
  • Are we ignoring our courageous mothers
  • Ningols on way to mapam lamdam : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Kuki Nationalism & Political Aspiration : Report
  • COVID 19 patient delivers a healthy baby
  • Amur Falcon - A thanksgiving! :: Poem
  • Gender sensitization with law may prove good..
  • House of Poumai in Senapati : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Licypriya to address at Mock COP26 UK
  • Social Media and Negativism !
  • Career option in jewellery designing
  • Condemn arrest of student leader in Manipur
  • Morning walk wisdom
  • 'Roll back tax levied on petroleum'
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #7
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Ningol Chakkouba : A beautiful tradition
  • Ramification Of Manipur's Merger With India
  • Traditional medicinal herb 'Nong-mang-kha'
  • Education and employment
  • The Ani Thokpi culture of the people
  • Potsangbam Tomal Singh (1903 - 1999)
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • 'Stop the practice of locking of offices'
  • Delights of Diwali :: Poem
  • World Diabetes Day 2020
  • Bond is dead, long live James
  • Make this festive season more memorable
  • By-election @ Wangoi AC #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Let difficulties know that you are too difficult..
  • Buy local this Diwali
  • Assam-Mizoram inter State border dispute
  • Beauty tips for the perfect Diwali look
  • Rolling out the red carpet for COVID-19
  • Fulfill the promises Mr. CM
  • CM to be taken into confidence ?
  • Chiuluan village, Tamenglong #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Swearing-in of MLAs [Nov 12] : Gallery
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Cut off and castigated
  • Apathy makes MPSC immune to accountability
  • 'Roll back increase taxation on petrol'
  • Saving democracy
  • Radio Play: social awareness media #2
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Veg-in-a-Basket for Ningol Chakouba
  • Academic Council Meeting, NSU, Imphal
  • Lung Cancer: Most common cancer worldwide
  • Disaster risk reduction as career
  • National Education Day at RGU, Doimukh
  • Shopping for Covid ?
  • Left or Right: complex politics of India
  • COVID patient cast vote @Wangoi : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Swearing-in of M Rameshwar : Gallery
  • Consequence- massive flouting of protocols
  • Ramification Of Manipur's Merger With India
  • English Bye :: Poem
  • Conflict situation & investment atmosphere
  • Four out of five in by elections
  • Significance of the By-election result
  • By-election @ Wangoi AC #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Being vegetarian- hope for a brighter future
  • Observance of National Legal Services Day
  • General Manager NF Railway meet CM N Biren
  • One Rank One Pension (OROP)
  • Demand withdrawal of unjustified fees
  • Politically crucial by polls for some
  • Something needs to be added at RP act
  • Meitei Inclusivity & Arrival of Thadou Kukis #1
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Children celebrates b'day by distributing PPE
  • Can E-government curb corruption ?
  • Extempore Speech Competition at Bengoon
  • Sinking boat :: Poem
  • Multiple Positions wanted at SAS Manipur
  • By poll over, now focus on the virus
  • Covid Block at Raj Medicity : Gallery
  • Ningthoujam Raghumani in 2% Indian Scientist
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #6
  • Autumn rain :: Poem
  • Devil inside my head
  • Dedicated Covid Block at Raj Medicity
  • Radio Play: social awareness media #1
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • IBSD Director, listed among top 2% scientist
  • Gyanendro Ningombam : Hockey India Prez
  • Fix it or be as it is
  • Manipur comes first any day
  • Out Surchandra, in Rameshwar
  • Shifting of Rani Gaidinliu Museum
  • Mera Houchongba @ Konung #2 : Gallery
  • Poster Distribution on COVID-19 : Gallery
  • Champu-Khangpok pledge to protect Loktak
  • What a life ? :: Poem
  • Can India achieve a $ 5 trillion economy
  • Preparing for post Covid era
  • Free and fair by-election: a blatant lie
  • Longa Koireng in Autumn : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Training on mushroom @ Moirang : Gallery
  • Meitei Pangal's 4% Reservation in Hr Edu
  • ADBU Prof listed among Top Scientists
  • Beauty benefits of amla
  • NH7 Weekender announces lineup
  • DESAM, AIMS, ANSAM on target
  • Ramification: Manipur's Merger With India
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Untimely demise of Ksh Borish : Gallery
  • Admission- MSc Food Tech at CFTRI Mysuru
  • Is the inevitable on its way ?
  • Blood Donation Camp at Loktak Project
  • Mind, Body, Soul- Let there be imbalance!
  • Condemn Police delay to arrest in rape case
  • Climbing cases and deaths
  • Covid conspiracies- pandemic or opportunity?
  • Play the Pena !
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Economic backwardness of hills of Manipur
  • RIST Talk -46 : Nobel Prize in Physics, 2020
  • Demise of Ksh Borish, student at IISER, Pune
  • Importance of early detection in breast cancer
  • My fake aficionado :: Poem
  • Highway of bailey bridges !
  • Disconnected dreams
  • Origin of Manipuri Vowel Diacritic '-aatap'
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • November Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Winter Vegetable Seeds Distribution : Gallery
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #5
  • Alibaba and 35 patriots
  • NDPP extends appreciation to electorate
  • Raising the call for a Greater Lim
  • Mera Houchongba @ Konung #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • MoU between IBSD Manipur & ICT Mumbai
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Program at Pune
  • Depression blues :: Poem
  • Understanding the undercurrents together
  • By-Election campaign & COVID-19 pandemic
  • General strike at Minuthong #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 awareness bike rally :: Gallery
  • Rs 1.42 lakh : assistance to 5 journalists
  • Solar power plants using rivers in Manipur
  • Sagolshem Indrakumar : Manipuri writer died
  • General strike at Minuthong #1: Gallery
  • Foot bridges in Imphal City #1 : Gallery
  • Bhagyachandra Anniv @Nabadwip : Gallery
  • NH 2 cut off at Khongnem (Mao) : Gallery
  • Tarao Laimanai in Chandel #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn the Manipuri script
  • Emergency Meeting on COVID-19 : Gallery
  • Yubi Lakpi Manipur indigenous game: Gallery
  • Langban Lam-Haiba at Andro #1: Gallery
  • Imphal valley from Tuikhang Aimol : Gallery
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2021
  • COVID Care Centre @UNACCO #2: Gallery
  • Brahmacharimayum Roji: Actress #2 : eRang
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic