Readers’ Forum

02 November 2021

80 years of BBC Bangla

THE first 15-minute Bangla program was aired on BBC on October 11, 1941 and as such, on October 11, BBC Bangla turned into its 80th year. Undoubtedly, as an international media, it is a source of pride and joy not only for BBC Bangla, but also for countless listeners and readers. BBC Bangla is still an important medium for imparting neutral, reliable and objective news and news analysis to Bengali speaking people all over the world including Bangladesh.
For the last eight decades, BBC Bangla has been able to retain its appeal and acceptance to the audience by maintaining its own individuality and sense of uniqueness. BBC Bangla is still a brand and a glory, though many other international Bengali radio stations are unfamiliar to Bengali-speaking listeners. The way in which the media presented objective and accurate information on risk during the great liberation war of Bangladesh, it still continues that trend. With the proliferation of mass media, the trend of one-sided news coverage has increased but BBC Bangla is still equally popular with the masses for its impartiality, informative reporting, diverse programming and professionalism.
Due to the interest and demand of the audience, BBC Bangla TV has become more active on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter besides expanding its activities. Meanwhile, the number of followers on BBC Bangla's Facebook page has exceeded 13.23 million. Apart from keeping audio content on the radio, the Bangla Service of this British mass media is also present on social media by adding more text and video digitally.
The role of the BBC during the glorious war of liberation in 1971 will be forever remembered in the history of Bangladesh. In the midst of the nation's misery, this news medium has become a reliable and trusted institution for millions of people. In those horrific days, when the world did not have as much media as it does now, the London-based BBC provided a great deal of encouragement and inspiration to the almost disoriented Bengali nation with accurate information. Not only that, BBC Bangla was a symbol of neutral news in villages, cities and abroad, especially during the anti-authoritarian movements of the eighties, apart from the various movements, struggles, crises, elections, natural disasters, etc. in Bangladesh. BBC Bangla is still equally popular with news thirsty people.
During the Great War of our Independence, BBC Bangla was a reliable international news medium to countless freedom-loving people. The latest news fascinated them, which in turn encouraged them to become regular listeners. I can remember many people listening to the BBC in the morning at the sweet shop in our market on a winter morning. Many news-thirsty people would gather by the radio with a cup of tea. Thousands of such memories of the BBC are scattered in remote towns and villages and are still seen in many places listening to BBC Bangla with great interest.
After all, the way the BBC Bangla listeners value the readers and the way in which the listeners have been lamenting, complaining, praising, commenting, criticizing, happiness and sorrow for a long time on Preetibhajaneshu (listeners' view and feedback) program is truly incomparable and should be remembered with gratitude. It is an extraordinary feature of BBC Bangla that it is easy to reply difficult questions. In the future too, BBC Bangla should broadcast the discussion, criticism, happiness, sorrow, love and dislike of the listeners in an incomparable way without any hesitation. In fact, this relationship is about the love of the listener-reader, this relationship is about the depths of the heart. Let the BBC's lively breaking news keep the BBC as vibrant and bright as ever.

Md. Zillur Rahaman
Gandaria, Dhaka.

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