Deepening engagement in information and cultural exchange, Bangladesh and India yesterday jointly launched radio programmes to be aired by Bangladesh Betar and All India Radio.
The two countries also inked an agreement on co-production of a feature film on Bangabandhu to be directed by India’s renowned Shyam Benegal.
The launch of the radio programmes and the signing of the agreement came at a meeting of visiting Bangladesh Information Minister Hasan Mahmud and his Indian counterpart Prakash Javadekar at the Hotel Shangri La in New Delhi.
Bangladesh’s acting high commissioner Rokebul Hoque and Joint Secretary of India’s External Affairs Ministry Vikram Doraiswamy were also present in the meeting.
The All India Radio will broadcast Betar programmes for two hours in the morning and two and a half hours in the evening, and people in Kolkata and Agartala can listen to them, said a Bangladesh official statement.
With Tuesday’s launch, content from All India Radio’s Maitree Bangla service has started airing in Dhaka and reciprocally content from Bangladesh Betar has begun airing on All India Radio in Kolkata and Agartala.
The biopic of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will be released during his birth centenary celebrations. The “Mujib Borsho” will be celebrated from March 17 this year to March 17, 2021, to mark his birth centenary.
Hasan Mahmud said relationships between the two neighbouring countries reached new heights under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
He added that the new agreement and cooperation in the year of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu is a “milestone” in bilateral relations.
Javadekar said India looked forward to engaging further with Bangladesh TV (BTV) and Betar in co-production of content and would extend all possible cooperation in setting up the Bangabandhu Film City in Bangladesh.
He said the feature film on Bangabandhu, to be directed by Benegal, would be completed on time and released as part of centenary celebrations of Bangabandhu.
Javadekar added that the Indian government had already released funds for the film and would give more if necessary.
Hasan said more joint production projects should be taken up between Bangladesh and India.
Doariswamy said India and Bangladesh would celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations during the year-long birth centenary celebrations of Bangabandhu, and finishing touches were being given to make a film and a special programme to mark the occasion. A formal announcement on this would be made soon, he added.
The meeting of the two information ministers also decided to go for more joint production of films.