Themes and message

Reality versus fantasy

The short story “The Free Radio” by Salman Rushdie explores the theme of reality versus fantasy in different ways. 

First, the theme is illustrated by Ramani, who becomes so immersed in the fantasy of receiving a radio from the government that he acts as though it is real:

Ram always had the rare quality of total belief in his dreams, and there were times when his faith in the imaginary radio almost took us in, so that we half-believed it was really on its way, or even that it was already there, cupped invisibly against his ear as he rode his rickshaw around the streets of the town. (p. 22, ll. 19-24)

Here, Ramani imagines carrying a radio and broadcasting news from it. In the end, Ramani’s fantasy is shattered when he brutally finds out that the government is not goi...

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