The Joy Bangla Concert 2020, held at Army Stadium on March 7, commemorated the spirit and courage relayed to our countrymen nearly five decades ago by the Father of the Nation, through his historic speech on March 7, 1971. The speech inspired our people to prepare for a war of independence amid widespread reports of armed mobilisation by West Pakistan.
Furthermore, March 17, 2020, marked the birth centenary of Bangabandhu. The energy of metal and rock bands, renditions of celebrated patriotic songs, and a holographic visual of Bangabandhu's 7th March speech, were some of the highlights of the concert, organised by Young Bangla, a youth platform under Centre for Research and Information (CRI). The event started off with a soulful rendition of our National Anthem, followed by the song, Joy Bangla. This year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana graced the event with their presence. Bangabandhu's grandson Radwan Mujib Siddiq, a trustee of CRI, and granddaughter Saima Wazed Hossain, were also present.
In between the performances, some anecdotes from Bangabandhu's life where shared. One such anecdote was that at 23, the age of many people in the audience, Bangabandhu stood as a beacon of hope for those who were starving in the 1943 Famine. The concert featured both emerging and prominent musicians, including F Minor, Minar, AvoidRafa, Shunno, Vikings, Fuad & Friends, Band Lalon, Arbovirus, Chirkutt, Cryptic Fate, Nemesis, Arekta Rock Band, Adverb, and Sin. Among the notable performances of the concert were Band Lalon's rendition of Pagol Chhara Duniya Chole Na and Arbovirus' rendition of Tagore's O Amar Desher Mati.
On March 7, 1971, our countrymen and the international media had their eyes glued to the announcement that was to come from Bangabandhu's speech, which was later recognised by UNESCO as a 'Memory of the World'. At the concert, a holographic visual of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, shed light on what exactly happened 49 years ago when their father set out for his historic speech that roared out against 24 years of injustice and repression in Bangladesh by the regime of Pakistan. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recalled that her mother urged Bangabandhu to share the truth with the people, without fear. At the end, through the holographic visual, the Prime Minister recited a poem about her father.
Then, Bangabandhu appeared before the audience through a holographic visual. His unwavering voice that shook the repressive regime of Pakistan, the human sea bursting into a roar with the spirit of liberation from the oppressive regime of Pakistan in 1971, became real once more. For over 50,000 youths, it was the experience of a lifetime. Overall, the concert was hugely successful.