Partial India Radio

On February 3, 1996, years of discussion between two DX'ers, about dx'ing, pirate radio, and what it would be like to actually participate in it, culminated in a broadcast which then began a journey through at least one part of the airwaves (but not all parts of the airwaves). That journey became known as Partial India Radio. Taking inspiration from stations such as All India Radio, Radio Azteca, K-2000, WLIS, Radio Free Euphoria, and The Voice of Communism (and later from Pirate Radio Boston, WREC, WHYP, Channel Z, and many others), Sanjay and Harold Krishna offered parody-based broadcasts, much of which lampooned the more quirky elements of Indian society and government.

However, Partial India Radio's major focus, especially in its earlier days, was the shortwave and pirate dx'ing hobby and radio community. Included among the more notable examples, are an interview with the barnyard creatures from Radio Botswana's interval signal, a Madonna sex tape found in the New Delhi Hilton, "Reshackled" (a parody of Unshackled), a drama about Jerry Berg's QSL collection being held hostage, an interview with Charlie Loudenboomer, more recently, Hindu's and Hindont's. Most shows have featured some rock music or Indian music, usually with the songs being somehow related to the topic at hand.

Probably the most recognizable feature though, is the banter between and the personalities of, Sanjay and Harold Krishna, each of whom has more then a partial bit of Beavis & Butthead in him! Harold generally acts as a sort of MC, with his American voice contrasted against Sanjay's high-pitched Indian accent. He is simultaneously, amused and vexed by Sanjay, and is usually sort of a straight man, but with an occasionally sarcastic or resigned remark of his own. Sanjay is alternately excitable, a font of Indian nationalism, confused, alarmed, clever, and often just hilarious. He revels in throwing a conversation into chaos with outrageous commentary. The banter between the two, is not unlike the late Rowan & Martin, although when asked where the idea for these characters came from, Harold said "The original inspiration was from a National Lampoon Radio Hour skit with an American college student named Craig Baker, who was always interviewed by an unnamed Indian man. They talked over sitar music, so I guess thats where the idea germinated. I suggested calling the station "Some India Radio," but Sanjay, bless his chutney-inspired heart, said in his Sanjay voice, "Why don'?t we call it Partial India Radio?" so then we had our characters and station name. We had discussed a bunch of programming ideas already."

While Sanjay and Harold are the constant hosts, they have been accompanied by semi-regular characters and guests. The Pushy Punjab contributes wisdom and a great accent, and appeared in several of the earlier programs. Recent programs have featured Mrs. Krishna giving the station identification as "This is the general underseas service of Partial India Radio."? A number of pirate radio luminaries have appeared on this station over the years, including Uncle Schleckstein, James Brownyard, Pirate Juliet, Charlie Loudenboomer, and Dr. Zaus from Planet of The Apes.

After initially only issuing (What else?) partial-data QSLs, the station has since become more QSL-centric, has issued full-data electronic QSLs, and has made frequent references to and jokes about the QSL'ing part of the hobby during most broadcasts. QSLs including Vladimir Lenin at the Winterfest (but with the name of a certain dx'er), Ghandi, Data from Star Trek, along with numerous photographic depictions of India, have all graced QSLs issued by this station. This station once used the Stoneham P.O.B., but now uses the following email address:

Partial India Radio tends to operate somewhat sporadically (by pirate radio standards anyway), with occasional gaps of up to three years between new programs, but more often, one to two new programs per year are aired. It has been heard from coast-to-coast, and as far away as Scotland, Germany, and South Africa. Sanjay and Harold surely are certain that they have listeners in parts (but not all) of India, but they just don't request QSLs or write in! We?ll see what the future will bring for this station, at least in the near part.