Bangladesh Television in the 70s
On 1971, 23rd March, it was officially declared that Bangladesh is free. The flag of Pakistan was not seen other than in the cantonment areas. The red sun is in the middle of the green flag on the map of Bangladesh. At that time, when any event was telecasted, the national flag was shown and the national anthem was played. It was not possible to show the flag of Pakistan at that time. There were threats demanding to show the flag of Pakistan. There was a situation that if the flag of Pakistan was not showed on TV, then none of the Bangladeshi workers could enter the TV center.
The Bangladeshi workers did not imagine showing the flag of Pakistan instead of our national flag. When the show ended at 9.30, everyone was thinking of putting up the flag of Pakistan. But Fahmida Khatun surprised everyone on TV. She sang the song titled as “Aji Bangladesher hridoy hote kokhn apni…” Then a few Bangla songs were telecasted on TV one by one. Some of these songs was written by Dr. Moniruzzaman. It was 12 at night, when the first presenter of Bangladesh TV Masuma Khatun was first seen on TV. She declared that it was 24th March, 1971, 12:01 am and the telecast was over for the time being.
At that day, everyone was inspired to avoid the flag of Pakistan and the national anthem of Pakistan. And Bangladesh TV was at the hand of the Pakistan armed force and that is why nothing was telecast from Dhaka television. No Bangladeshi employees were at the TV center. On 26th March, Friday, the programs were telecasted from Dhaka TV Center. Not all the employees were allowed to enter their workplace.
On 24th March, a drama based on a watch shopkeeper was telecasted and the dramatist was Mamunur Rashid and the producer was Abdullah Al Mamun.
On 25th March, still photographerAbdul Hamid had to give his life and before that Faruq Iqbal was killed at Rampura. A monument was made for Faruq Iqbal.
People will understand the situation before 25th March and after 25th March. Abdullah Al Mamun made dramas based on patriotism and he produced all the dramas. He invited many artists and it was said Pakistani money was being used in favour of Bangladesh. At that time many people were participating in the fight for liberation through TV. On the other hand, many artists refused to work on TV for their safety. Superstar Razzak used to act on a show called “Ghoroa”. He used to avoid the show by saying that he could not memorize the dialogues and in this way the media persons were supporting the Liberation War.
In 1971, the TV center was highly protected. The freedom fighters once attacked the TV center by the help of the employees. Jamil Chowdhury and Mustafa Monowar had immense contributions to the Liberation War through television.
Our national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam died on 1976, 29th August at 10:10 AM. But that time there was no arrangements for live telecast. But still the TV employees did not forget to show their love for our beloved poet; they made a video based on him. Many stars participated, including singer Feroza Begum. But people were amazed because at that time there was no arrangements for live telecasts so people were assuming that the show was telecasted live. Different artists were giving their respect to the national poet. Every singer was singing one song and only Feroza Begum sung two songs to pay her respect to the poet. The three sisters Noor e Jannat, Jannat Ara and Ferdous Ara showed their respect to the poet as well.
Translated by Tanjila Alam