Television

Bangladesh gets archival footage from AIR, DD on Liberation War

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NEW DELHI: Bangladesh President has received the recordings of transmissions made by All India Radio and Doordarshan during the Liberation War of 1971 from President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

He recalled that valiant Mukti Bahini soldiers fought hand in hand with Indian troops for Bangladesh’s liberation. He expressed hope that these recordings will remind people of Bangladesh of those momentous times.

Akashvani, especially the Kolkata station, played a critical role in upholding the cause of Bangladesh even before the rest of the world woke up. Unfortunately, most of the broadcast schedule and other interesting programmes were not kept in permanent format as archives because of several constraints. But Akashvani has been able to retrieve several tapes of that period and has already broadcast them for the last many years, to remind both India and Bangladesh of their shared legacy.

At the request of Bangladesh Betar and the special interest of Mukherjee, a renewed effort was made by Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar, AIR DG F Sheryaar, and DDG, Akashvani Kolkata to salvage more materials from wherever possible so that whatever is possible is put out in the public domain before both the nations.

Two CDs have thus been produced in the last one month containing recordings from the Akashvani Archives of 1971 and early 1972. They represent the contribution made by Akashvani to the momentous developments of 1971, that led to the War in December, the Vijay Divas and the subsequent commemorations.

The first CD entitled “Liberation of Bangladesh 1971” contains the public speeches from Akashvani Delhi of the then Prime Minister of India and the Lok Sabha statements, interviews and speeches of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the surrender of Pakistani forces on the 16 December, the public address of Rahman in January 1972 and other programmes, that are mainly in Bengali.

The second CD entitled “Struggle of a Nation” is based on the recordings of Akashvani Kolkata, contains documentations of important happenings and events from March to December 1971 and the speeches of the then Prime Ministers of India and new nation of Bangladesh and live commentaries thereof.  It also has the ‘Samvad Bichitra’ newsreel programme that played a pivotal role during the Liberation Movement.

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