It was not easy to capture and preserve the time-honored 19-minute speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on March 7 at the Racecourse Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan). Although there was no instruction from the Ministry of Information at that time, it was captured and kept secret at the initiative of the director of the film division of the Film Development Corporation. After the war of liberation, it was removed from the cupboard of the film division of the secretariat in a 42-inch black trunk to a paddy field in Dohar, Dhaka. Then it was taken to Calcutta. After independence, the film trunk was brought to Dhaka. After that the broadcast started by editing. The trunk was closed for more than ten months. Amjad Ali Khandaker (7) is one of the seven people who recorded and recorded the historic speech on March 7.
After learning to work in 1985, Amjad got a job in the Film Division of the Film Development Corporation of the Ministry of Information in 1976 and retired on June 29, 2004. Due to his job, he captured many of Bangabandhu’s political programs. He has served even after the country became independent. During the Pakistan period, many were reluctant to take part in Bangabandhu’s program. Eight of them, including the director, were interested. His father moved from Madhya Nadibhanga area of Harirampur in Manikganj to Madhya Ganda mahalla of Savar municipality in the eighties. The father of 6 children, Amjad Khandaker, is physically ill and his wife has died. He lives in Savar with his old mother and three sons. He lives in Dhaka with his other four sons. He described the proximity of Bangabandhu, including the video recording of the March 7 speech, from memory. The declaration of independence came through the speech that inspired the Bengali nation in the struggle for liberation – ‘This time the struggle is for our liberation – this time the struggle is for freedom’.
Amjad Ali Khandaker had a long discussion at his home about how the speech was recorded and preserved during the war. He said that under the direction of Abul Khair Mahibubur Rahman, director of the film division of the Film Development Corporation, seven people including him went to the racecourse ground on March 7, 1971 at 7 am with cameras and accessories. The film’s camera was placed three and a half feet away from the dias of the stage that day. In Bharadupur, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman fearlessly stood in front of Dias and delivered his time-honored speech. Then Bangabandhu got down from the stage and went home.
Amjad said there were rumors that the stage might have been blown up by a bomb. They were also afraid. Meanwhile, when Bangabandhu rose on the stage, lakhs of people rejoiced. Bangabandhu did not speak to anyone on the stage. Pinpatan went down in silence like himself. The crowd chanted slogans. Amjad Ali Khandaker said that if anything was recorded at that time, it would have been developed in FDC. But nothing related to Bangabandhu was allowed to work there. In this situation, on the advice of the director of the film division, they used to develop a recording of Bangabandhu’s program using all the names like ‘cyclone’ and ‘election’. After developing the March 7 speech, Amjad submitted it to director Abul Khair Mahibubur Rahman. He later left it in the office cupboard.
Amjad Ali Khandaker, former chief cameraman of BTV, said the then information ministry had not given any instructions on the record of the day’s statement, adding that it was recorded in Abul Khair’s personal interest. He said Bangabandhu was arrested on the black night of March 25. Abul Khair was worried about the documentary of the speech when the Pakistani army attacked the innocent Bengalis in Oira. The war has begun, meanwhile the office is open. They do office. When the situation deteriorated, on April 9, Abul Khair called Amjad to his room. He asked her to buy a large trunk with some money.
Amjad bought a 42-inch black trunk from Sadarghat. In that tank, all the documents of Bangabandhu including the film of Bangabandhu’s speech on March 7 and a documentary about the rebellious poet Kazi Nazrul Islam were filled. The next day, he called Amjad and told him to take the trunk to his relative Majid Darogar’s house in Joypara, Dohar. On Khair’s instructions, Amjad asked permission to meet his father at BG Press (his father worked at BGPress) before leaving. The next day he met his father Safayet Ali Khandaker and prepared to go to Dohar with Amjad’s trunk the next day. But Amjad had to hurry to get the trunk out of the then tinshed office inside the secretariat. The Pak army guarded the gate and the situation inside was not favorable. In this situation, with the help of Sergeant Farid through the second gate, he got out in a baby taxi with a trunk.
The Pakistani troops patrolling the streets escaped from the press club, Curzon Hall and landed at Suarighat. Two porters put the trunk in the boat. After crossing the river and going to Jinjira in Keraniganj, he took the trunk on the roof of a bus and got off at Bakhsnagar in Nawabganj. He then lifted the trunk on the back of a horse, walked 6 miles on both sides, and reached Majid Daroga’s house in the afternoon. Speaking of Khair, Amjad asked Majid Daroga to keep it. Meanwhile, fearing that Amjad might be caught by the Pak army with his trunk, Khair secretly followed him and appeared at the house in the evening. The two spent the night at the house and returned to Dhaka the next day. Amjad moved to Harirampur in Manikganj, 12 km from there. After two days at home, Amjad returned to Dhaka by launch. Amjad Ali Khandaker said no one but him and Khair knew what was in the trunk.
Meanwhile, a few days later, after receiving the news that the Pakistani army had entered Dohar, he sent the trunk of Khair to the house of his brother (Majid Darogar) Danesh Khar in Karkosai village, 6 km away from Majid’s house. Khair’s family was there. The trunk was hidden inside a paddy field in that house. The next day Amjad went there and brought Khair’s wife and children to Dhaka. The next day Khair’s family moved to Calcutta. Then, with the help of the freedom fighters and some people, Khayer secretly took the trunk to Calcutta. After the country became independent, Khair returned with the trunk when he returned home with his family. When Pakistan DFP Bangladesh DFP, the staff of the film department joined the job in a new way.
Amjad Ali Khandaker, a one-time chief cameraman of BTV, lived with his family in Dhaka’s Tejturi Para before and during the war of liberation. He said the March 7 speech had been edited for publicity after the country became independent. Later, BTV and all the cinema halls broadcast the historical speech witnessing the history they contained. He also claimed that people had heard the speech on the radio before and had not seen the video.
Amjad Ali Khandaker said that he had many memories with Bangabandhu. After his victory in the 1970 elections, 11 staff members of the Film Division of the then Film Development Corporation went to Bangabandhu’s Dhanmondi No. 32 to know his reaction and to capture the scene. One of them said to Bangabandhu, ‘We poor people want to take pictures with you’. Bangabandhu said to them, ‘Who is poorer than me? – Take pictures near income ‘. Qayyum, the then PID photographer, took pictures with Bangabandhu. That picture is still remembered on the wall of Amjad’s house.
On the day of Bangabandhu’s return to his homeland on January 10, 1972, Amjad went to Dhanmondi House No. 32 after taking charge at Farmgate and took pictures. He said he was appointed Bangabandhu’s first cameraperson from DFP. When Bangabandhu returned home from the airport through the racecourse ground to the house number 32, seeing the tears of joy of thousands of people besides his relatives, tears came to Amjad’s eyes. After that, starting from the OIC conference, Tangail tour, India tour and other events, Amjad was by Bangabandhu’s side with the camera. Amjad also said that other cameramen were jealous when Bangabandhu grabbed him from behind while he was drinking tea at the Bangladesh Mission in India. After the death of Bangabandhu’s mother, they went to Tungipara in danger signal number 7 on the river. Apart from Sadarghat, the steamer anchored at Munshiganj at night. The next morning they set off again. They reached Tungipara in the evening and stayed there for five days.
When Amjad fell ill a few months later, he took on other medical responsibilities. Amjad said that when Sheikh Hasina, daughter of Bangabandhu, was first sworn in as the Prime Minister in 1996, she also captured that scene when she visited his office on the first day. Amjad Ali Khandaker said that he had met the Prime Minister for a short time at the Parliament House two years ago. Hasan Mahmud honored him. Besides, no one is looking for him in that way. Of course, he has no regrets about this.
Source: Bhorer Kagoj by www.bhorerkagoj.com.
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