In Arabic the word ‘ishq’ means love and means the same thing in the South Asian languages Urdu and Hindi.
It’s also the name of a popular Indian radio station. ISHQ 104.8 is India’s ‘first romantic radio station’.
ISHQ decided recently that the celebration of love should not be confined to heterosexual couples.
So ISHQ management approached high profile LBGTI activists Harish Iyer to host the country’s first LGBTI radio show. Not long after their meeting, Gaydio was born and will the stories of India’s LGBTI community.
‘The show wasn’t my idea. And that’s the reason it is also amazing, because it is always heartening to see that a commercial entity wishes to put its money and efforts on propagating equality,’ Iyer told Gay Star News.
‘It is remarkable that they thought that love should not just be heterosexual love and decided to produce this show.’
Iyer came to the world’s attention in 2015 after his very cool mom posted a classified in a local paper looking for a husband for her son. Since then Iyer – and his mom – have been prominent activists for LGBTI issues in India.
Iyer is adamant his ‘activist identity supersedes all other identities’. But he does want to use Gaydio as a tool to eliminate homophobia.
‘I hope that the show opens more minds and does its bit in reducing, if not eliminating, the homophobia that mostly stems out of ignorance,’ he said.
‘We need to be there in every medium possible. Advocacy should be not limited to one mode of communication.
‘Radio is a more personal medium. Lesser the senses involved, lesser are the judgements.’
Only a few shows in, Gaydio has already covered some juicy topics including; a gay couple belonging to two different religions – Sikh and Muslim and a man’s coming out story.
‘The idea is to let the listener understand in a non-preachy way that love is universal and #LoveIsLove irrespective of who you love. Stories that are different, but are the same,’ Iyer said.
‘We also try to get a celebrity voice on every show because the cause could benefit from their reach. ‘
ISHQ’s national head of operations, Shivangini Jajoria, explained why the station wanted to start Gaydio.
‘As a station we always want to provide exceptional content to our listeners, with Gaydio we want to reinstitute the fact that love is not conditional to sexuality,’ she told exchange4media.com.
‘We as a station finally want to hear the unheard voices of the nation.’
The show airs every Sunday at midday to some cities in India, but podcasts of the show will soon be available.