One of the UAE’s most popular Hindi-language radio stations is using the power of music to break down the barriers between Indian expats and those from neighbouring Pakistan.
In the run-up to Independence Day celebrations for both countries, Radio Mirchi UAE is highlighting the shared pop-culture treasures that cross borders, during a week-long series of broadcasts across all of its regular shows.
On August 15, Indians worldwide will celebrate 68 years of independence from British rule – a day after their neighbours in Pakistan mark the same milestone.
Radio Mirchi yesterday began featuring the theme of friendship between the countries across all of its daily shows, highlighting their shared loves in music, cinema and sport. The campaign runs until Saturday.
It is hoped the programmes will help to build bonds between neighbours who have historically misunderstood one another – but live largely in harmony in the UAE.
Music has long been seen as an “olive branch” between the countries. For example, Indian superstar Sonu Nigam enjoys widespread popularity in Pakistan, while Pakistani performer Atif Aslam has many fans in India. The same example can be seen in numerous other famous musicians and actors.
And it’s clear to all that the sport of cricket is a shared love and passion to millions on both sides of the border.
The UAE ambassadors of both countries will also be invited onto the air at Radio Mirchi UAE, which is owned by Abu Dhabi Media, publisher of The National.
Listeners are also being invited to join in the spirit of goodwill on social media with the hashtag #LoveYourPadosi.
“We believe friendship goes beyond borders,” says Sandeep Sud, head of stations at Radio Mirchi UAE. “Love Your Padosi is a celebration of such stories between the people of India and Pakistan that we so often see in the UAE and hear across the world.
“On Radio Mirchi, we’ve got together an exciting line-up of shows covering the best of music, food, movies, stars and people from both the nations. You can also use #LoveYourPadosi to share your views and stories. Mirchi will pick up the best of them and cover it on-air.”