Realize the importance to modernize Bangladesh Betar further to sustain: PM
DHAKA, Dec 15, 2014 Nirapad News : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today underscored the need for further modernization of Bangladesh Betar to sustain in the competitive era and assured that her government would extend all sorts of support to this end.
“The importance of Bangladesh Betar is endless. So I hope that all concerned including officials, employees and performers of Bangladesh Betar would further modernize the organization through its technological development by realizing its importance,” she said.
“We would extend all sorts of cooperation for further modernization of Bangladesh Betar to keep pace with the competitive era,” she added.
The Prime Minister said this while addressing the inaugural function of the “Diamond Jubilee” marking the completion of 75 years of state-run Bangladesh Betar.
Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu, Prime Minister’s Media Adviser
Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Ministry AKM Rahmatullah were present as special guests.
Information Secretary Martuza Ahmed chaired the function, while Director General of Bangladesh Betar Kazi Aktar Uddin Ahmed gave the welcome address.
Earlier, the Prime Minister inaugurated the four-day programme of 75-year celebration of Betar by releasing balloons and a placard inscribed with a logo of Diamond Jubilee.
At the function, the Prime Minister handed over a crest and citation to family members of late Syed Abdus Shaker, late Belal Mohammed, late Abul Kashem Sandip and Abdullah Al Faruk as well as to Mohammad Aminur Rahman, Mohammad Rashidul Hossain, Mohammad Anwar Hossain Khan, A M Sharfuzzaman, Mohammad Rezaul Karim chowdhury, Kazi Habib Uddin Ahmad for their courageous and heroic contribution to founding Swadhin Bangla Bangla Betar Kendra in 1971.
She also released a commemorative postage stamp and first day cover on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee Celebration of Bangladesh Betar.
Noting that the aim of her government is to alleviate poverty, ensure education, healthcare services and women empowerment and flourish rural economy and local culture, Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh Betar will have to work to achieve the goal.
Mentioning that the present era is a competitive one, Sheikh Hasina underscored the need for changing technological and programme presentation strategy to sustain in the competition.
The Prime Minister reminded the Betar officials, employees and
performers that it is their responsibility to give attention so that Betar’s programmes further increase the human elements, patriotism and nurturing of fine attribute of the audience.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh Betar has been containing and nurturing ever-existent culture and heritage of Bangla. With the passage of time, she said, it has been turned into a room of creating performers.
Bangladesh Betar, she said, has been playing an important role in broadcasting production-oriented programmes, education, agriculture, women empowerment and excellence in cultural heritage.
The Prime Minister said programmes and news are the best dependable sources of information, education and entertainment of the masses of the rural areas. The workers of Betar always stood beside the distressed people by providing emergency information on disasters, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh Betar is the biggest mass media for flourishing talents of about 10,000 singers, theatre artistes, 8,000 presenters, 4,000 children and juveniles and 800 performers in the rural areas.
“This organization has been providing minimum money to renowned, poor, neglected and elderly artistes to live,” she said.
The Prime Minister said realizing the importance of Bangladesh Betar, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman increased its effectiveness immediately after independence.
“Bangabandhu had taken initiatives to broadcast Betar’s overseas programmes in six languages and allocated 604 acres of land to Bangladesh Betar to set up a shortwave station at Kabirpur on the outskirts of the capital in 1974,” she said.
The Prime Minister said whenever Awami League government came to power, it worked for the development of mass media including Bangladesh Betar.
Recalling the great role of Betar in all crucial moments of the country, the Prime Minister said the patriotic and brave workforce of the organization stopped airing programmes protesting a ban imposed by the Pakistani military junta on broadcasting live of Bangabandhu’s historic 7th March speech.
However, the classic 7th March speech of Bangabandhu was aired on 8th March as the military ruler was compelled to allow broadcasting it making Bangladesh Betar an inseparable part of the history of country’s war of independence, she said. Terming Betar as the second front of the War of Liberation, Sheikh Hasina said the patriotic and brave Betar officials set up Swadhin Bangla Biplobi Betar Kendra following the barbaric attacks of the Pakistani invading forces on the freedom-loving unarmed people on March 25, 1971.
During that time, she said, Awami League leader MA Hannan read out the proclamation of the War of Independence given by Bangabandhu from the Kalurghat Betar Kendra at 2.30 pm on March 26.
While talking about recognition to the founders of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra through today’s function, the Prime Minister said Bangabandhu had first taken the initiative to honour the “sound soldiers”.
“But he could not complete his work due to the August 15 massacre. But I am now happy that I completed his unfinished work today,” she said, thanking the information minister for taking initiatives for honouring the “sound soldiers”.
The Prime Minister said various programmes including news, Charampatra, Jallader Darbar and patriotic songs inspired a lot the brave sons of the soil who had been fighting for the cause of an independent Bangladesh.
“Today’s Bangladesh Betar is the successor of the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra,” she said.
Mentioning Bangabandhu’s practice of listening to Betar peorammes and news, Sheikh Hasina termed Betar as her favourite organization as she has a long time habit to listening to radio.
Criticing BNP-Jamaat alliance for using Betar as the tools of distorting history of country’s liberation war, the Prime Minister said this evil force tried to cripple the organization as part of their conspiracy to destroy Bangalee culture and tradition.
After brutal assassination of Bangabandhu, military dictator General Ziaur Rahman grabbed power illegally through killing and conspiracies and changed the name of Bangladesh Betar to Radio Pakistan.
“General Zia changed the name of Bangladesh Betar in Pakistan style as he could not forget the love for Pakistan though he claimed himself as a freedom fighter,” she said. The Prime Minister said after assuming office in 2009, her government has turned Bangladesh Betar into an organization of the people. “We have taken a fresh project to build Bangladesh Betar as modern mass media,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the digitisation process for Bangladesh Betar has already begun and the organization has been broadcasting programmes in two channels through internet. As a result, she said, the people are listening to Betar programmes through mobile phones side by side with internet.
The Prime Minister said the government has a plan to launch Bangabandhu Satellite into orbit within the present tenure and added that two channels have been allotted there for Bangladesh Betar.
The Prime Minister gave the assurance of solving various problems of officials and employees of Bangladesh Betar, saying that the post of director general of Betar would be upgraded to grade one post, while promotion of deputy secretary and above level posts will be given according to the number of entry level posts of Betar.
Besides, she said, pension for the artistes would be introduced and the honorarium for the artistes would be raised.
Regarding the demand for formation of the Broadcasting Cadre for officials of Bangladesh Television and Betar, the Prime Minister said the government is examining the logic behind the demand. “We would consider it after examination,” she said.
Hasanul Haque Inu hoped that Bangladesh Betar would be a constant companion of the countrymen in the struggle for fighting militancy, poverty, climate change impact and gender disparity.
“Let Bangladesh be a voice for the voiceless,” he said.