Modern Indian History-Events and Personalities

Story of Usha Mehta and the Secret Congress Radio


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Congress Radio, Usha Mehta and other personalities mentioned

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

Who was Usha Mehta (1920-2000)?

  • Usha Mehta was born on March 25, 1920, in Mumbai, India.
  • Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience, Usha Mehta became actively involved in the Indian independence movement from a young age.
  • One of Usha Mehta’s most notable contributions to the freedom struggle was her involvement in the radio broadcasting network known as the “Secret Congress Radio.”
  • She was conferred the Padma Vibhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honours in 1998.

The Secret ‘Congress Radio’

  • On August 8, 1942, the historic Quit India Resolution was passed during the All India Congress Committee meeting in Bombay.
  • In this response, the idea of an underground radio station, known by various names such as the Freedom Radio, the Ghost Radio, or the Congress Radio, was conceived to counter the British-controlled AIR.
  • Usha Mehta, a 22 YO master’s student at Wilson College, became the voice of the Congress Radio.
  • The radio was an expensive endeavour, but funds were procured through various means, including contributions from Mehta’s colleague, Babubhai Khakhar.
  • Radio engineering expert Nariman Abarbad Printer constructed the Congress Radio transmission set.
  • Their first broadcast was on 14 August 1942.
  • Welcome line in her voice: This is the Congress Radio calling on 42.34 from somewhere in India.”
  • In the beginning, they were broadcasting twice a day, in Hindi and English. But they reduced it to just once in the evening between 30 and 8.30 pm.
  • On 12th November 1942, the police raided the radio while Vande Mataram was being played and arrested Mehta and others.


2011: With reference to Indian freedom struggle, Usha Mehta is well-known for-

  1. Running the secret Congress Radio in the wake of Quit India Movement
  2. Participating in the Second Round Table Conference
  3. Leading a contingent of Indian National Army
  4. Assisting in the formation of Interim Government under Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru


2021: With reference to 8th August, 1942 in Indian history, which one of the following statements is correct?

  1. The Quit India Resolution was adopted by the AICC.
  2. The Viceroy’s Executive Council was expanded to include more Indians.
  3. The Congress ministries resigned in seven provinces.
  4. Cripps proposed an Indian Union with full Dominion Status once the Second World War was over

Practice MCQ:

In context to the Secret ‘Congress Radio’ in modern Indian history, consider the following statements:

  1. It was established to supplement the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1930s.
  2. Usha Mehta was the voice of Congress Radio.
  3. It was broadcasted twice a day, in Hindi and English

How many of the given statements is/are correct?

  1. One
  2. Two
  3. Three
  4. None

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch