Continued from issue 48
The proud journey of television started from the very first day of its initiation. Officials of television always tried to keep looking forward with the pride it started with. In fact, television was the first government institution that had all its official work done in Bangla. The then governor of East Pakistan, Monayem Khan, asked artists to write Rabindra Sangeet drama shows. Since then television had been airing Rabindra Sangeet, musical drama and dance drama shows.
When personnel from NEC of Japan came for installation of broadcasting equipment at the DIT building, they faced numerous technical problems. DIT building was only 142 feet tall, which was good enough to install the antenna. But, no space was available at that height required for studios. WAPDA (Water and Power Development Authority) office was right under DIT offices. It was decided to relocate WAPDA office. Ahmedul Kabir from the newspaper, 'Sangbad' played a key part in the process of relocation. In terms of any technical or bureaucratic issues, he was wholeheartedly helped by all Bengali officials.
Although we consider 25th December, 1965 as the day Bangladesh television started its journey, but the first image seen on the screen was, “Accept our best wishes, pilot television, Dhaka, 10th Poush 1371. During that time of Pakistan rule, some of the Bengali officials dared to ignore English calendar date and used Bengali calendar date. But, it is unfortunate that today we remember the inauguration date from the English calendar.
Ferdausi Rahman was the first artiste to perform on the inauguration day of television. The next six days aired a 25-minute programme of musical dance-drama. The programme was organized by Chayanaut and produced by Monirul Alam. The performers of the programme were Sanjida Khatun, Zahedur Rahim, Fahmida Khatun, Selina Kayum and Mandira Nandi. Later, Chayanaut produced many other programmes for television.
Also, on the second day, Fahmida Khatun and Zahedur Rahim sang in a musical programme. Since it was a programme for the second day of television, it was rehearsed nine times! It was also the first Rabindra Sangeet on the screen of television. The song was, “Tori amar hothat dube jai”. Another performance was a dance by three sisters, Parveen Ahmed, Nasreen Ahmed and Arefin Ahmed along with Mandira Nandi. The song for the dance was, “Amar ei rikto dali”. Mandira Nandi was the dance director. Another was a group song: “Pran voriya trisha hariye morey aro aro dao pran…” Another great feat of television was during the non-cooperation movement that went on from 1st March to 24th March, 1971. Dance-drama, “Chondalika” that had a significant and meaning related to the movement was aired during that period.