Jhumri Telaiya Knowledge Guide


Association with Vividh Bharati

Originally a little-known town, Jhumri Telaiya became famous in India in the 1950s owing to its connection with the radio channels Radio Ceylon and Vividh Bharati (a nationally broadcast radio service of the All India Radio). At a time when numerous television channels and FM radio stations were yet to come to India, the radio shows were a national phenomenon. The largest number of requests for film songs addressed to the channel came from Jhumri Telaiya.The trend started in the early 1950s, when a mica businessman named Rameshwar Prasad Barnawal started mailing 20-25 song requests (farmaish) to Radio Ceylon daily. Regularly hearing Barnwal's name on the radio inspired the paan-shop owner Ganga Prasad Magadhiya and Electronics Shop Owner of Nandlal Sinha to similarly mail a large number of song requests. The growing fame of these three Jhumri Telaiya residents led to the emergence of a song-request fad among the people of the town. Young listeners from the town would compete among themselves to send out the most song requests in a day or month. The radio listeners thus became familiar with the town of Jhumri Telaiya. In the 1980s, a radio listeners' club was formed in the town. Subsequently, other towns also started competing with Jhumari Telaiya by sending out a large number of song requests. The fad declined as television gained popularity, and postal costs increased.Because of a large number of song requests and the town's unusual name, many listeners of Vividh Bharti used to doubt its existence. Thus the "Jhumri Talaiya" came to be associated with any less-known or insignificant place. This reference is found in several Hindi movies and songs. For example, the movie Mounto (1975) features a song titled Mein Toh Jhumri Taliyah Seh Aeyehi Hun ("I've come from Jhumri Talaiya").