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Call from Bangabandhu, Pak flag went missing from TV on March 23

DHAKA, March 22, 2015 (BSS) - Responding to the call made by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bengali broadcasting officials in the then East Pakistan refrained from showing Pakistani flag on TV screen on March 23, national day of Pakistan, 1971.

Bangabandhu in a speech prior to that day, called for showing black flag on the day, as a protest.

"Though he called for showing black flag instead of the national flag, but we could not follow his order word for word as we used to remain surrounded by Pakistani army officials in our office. So, we decided not to show Pakistani flag on TV screen on that day," said noted cultural personality Hasan Imam, who was one of the members of that broadcasting committee.

"It was a custom to wrap up the day's program with showing national flag on 11 pm. But that day, instead of wrapping of the day's program at 11 pm, we continued it till 12 am of March 24, and that is how we had been able to attain our goal," he added.

Hasan Imam recounted how Pakistani army officials were wondering why the program is not ending at 11 pm and asking questions about that.

"We were very nervous. We told them that a fantastic program is going on live and it will take time to finish," he said.

"Responding to the call of Bangabandhu for non- cooperation, we, the agitated artistes, started boycotting the programs of TV and Radio from March 1, 1971. Our boycott was so wide-ranging that the Pakistani administration was not being able to run the TV and Radio. Bangabandhu in his historic speech of March 7 told that TV and Radio will be in operation and following that we went to meet him at his home in the evening. Some of us including Wahidul Huq, Atikul Islam, Golam Mostafa and Hafiz met him and asked whether we would join our work or not. He said, if TV and Radio follow your order, than these two media will be left out of ongoing non- cooperation," Imam narrated.

The eminent cultural activist said they formed two committees, one for TV, another for radio under the leadership of Ashrafuzzaman and Mostafa Monwar respectively and broadcast fantastic programs in support of Bengali nationalism till March 25, 1971.