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India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: भारत गणराज्य transliterating: Bharat Ganrajya),is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the south-west, and the Bay of Bengal on the south-east, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north-east; and Burma and Bangladesh to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives; in addition, India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

Links To Peel

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal, one of Peel's travel wish lists, which he visited in March 2002

Indian music became fashionable in the 1960s after George Harrison of the Beatles developed an interest in it, using a sitar on some tracks and studying with Ravi Shankar. Other artists Peel played, like Shakti, Quintessence and the Incredible String Band followed suit and incorporated Indian instruments into their music, and for a time in the late '60s, even commercial pop records feautured sitars. In addition to this, there was a widespread interest in Indian religion and spirituality among hippies, and gurus such as the Beatles' Maharishi Mahesh Yogi became public figures.

Peel was wary of the gurus and their followers, but became a fan of Indian classical music and sometimes played it, especially artists such as Ravi Shankar, in the late 60's, on his Perfumed Garden show on Radio London, and on Top Gear and Night Ride on BBC Radio One. Mostly he played extracts, as classical Indian pieces are quite long, but in 1969 and 1970 he featured Vilayat Khan and Imrat Khan playing full-length ragas - not always to the delight of casual listeners, as Top Gear producer John Walters recalled. Later, long after the fashion for Indian music had passed, Peel played more popular forms of music that originated from India including Bhangra.

Peel had an ambition to visit India especially the Taj Mahal, as one of his travel wish lists [1] and achieved this ambition when he visited the country in March 2002 with his wife Sheila on the occasion of the wedding of a friend [2]. During their time in India, they visited Delhi, Rajasthan and Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located. 

On his show from 09 April 2002, Peel mentioned that the holiday trip to India with his wife was the first in many years:

'The first holiday that the Pig and I have had, the first proper holiday, although you could argue that our entire lives are a holiday, in many years.'

Also on his show from 17 April 2002, Peel mentioned during his time travelling in Rajasthan, he and his wife would sing 'Turning Japanese' by the Vapors, although at that time he couldn't remember who it was by. Peel bought an LP from Musafir called the Gypsies of Rajasthan, before his flight to India and twice played tracks from it on his show.[3][4]


The following artists from India recorded sessions for the John Peel Show:

Festive Fifty 

No Indian national had any Festive Fifty entries, but the following Indian descent artists had Festive Fifty entries for the John Peel Show:


(Tracks played by Peel from various artist (v/a) compilations featuring music from India. Please add more information if known.)

(LP - Doob Doob O'Rama - Filmsongs From Bollywood) Q.D.K. Media

See Also

External Links

  1. Two of the four members, brothers Tjinder and Avtar Singh were of Indian descent.
  2. Bass player Sushil Dade was of Indian descent.
  3. Three of the five members: Anjali Bhatia, sister Rajni Bhatia and Anjula Bhasker were all of Indian descent.
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