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Joy Bangla Concert: A unique initiative to showcase country’s history through music

  • Published at 09:21 am March 7th, 2021
Photo: Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Two interactive discussions with representatives from the bands and organizers will be aired on Channel 24 at 8:30pm and Gaan Bangla at 8:00pm on March 7. Maasranga Television will air an hour-long show at 11pm

To commemorate the historic March 7 speech by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the annual Joy Bangla Concert takes place at Bangladesh Army Stadium every year on March 7. Under the supervision of Centre for Research and Information (CRI), Young Bangla, one of the leading youth networks of Bangladesh, has been hosting the rock concert since 2015 to rejuvenate the spirit of the Liberation War of Bangladesh among youths.

This year the Joy Bangla Concert has been cancelled due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic. Young Bangla confirmed it in a Facebook post on its verified Facebook page. Bangabandhu’s grandson Radwan Mujib Siddiq, in a Facebook post, mentioned that the popular concert will return in 2022.

Also read: Joy Bangla Concert to be back in 2022

Radwan, the trustee of CRI, urged everyone to keep their eyes on the official Facebook page of Young Bangla, the youth secretariat of CRI, for virtual celebrations of the biggest concert that showcases country’s glorious history through music along with visual presentations. Young Bangla’s Facebook page will air highlights from the previous years. 

Besides, two interactive discussions with representatives from the bands, which would perform regularly in the concert, and from the organizers, will be aired on Channel 24 at 8:30pm and Gaan Bangla at 8:00pm on March 7.

In addition to highlighting the past events, the virtual programmes will also foreshadow some ideas about the concert in the next year. Moreover, Maasranga Television will air an hour-long show, compiling patriotic songs, rendered by the popular bands from the past episodes, starting from 11pm as a tribute to this unique initiative.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s historic March 7 speech, inspiring the nation’s independence, has not lost its charm in all these 50 years; rather it is gaining more international exposure and appeal to the generations with time.  

Last year, through holographic technology, the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman virtually appeared before thousands of people at the Bangladesh Army Stadium during the Joy Bangla Concert.

The 2020 Joy Bangla Concert was special. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana attended the concert as a surprise visit ahead of the birth centenary celebrations for the Father of the Nation. As Bangabandhu’s birth centenary was just a few days ahead, the homage to his historic 7th March speech became ever so passionate. 

The Bangladesh premier arrived at the venue at around 7:30pm and sat at the VIP Gallery where the concert organisers put hoardings containing some of Bangabandhu’s quotes and his signature image with the raised finger during the March 7 speech. Bangabandhu’s grandchildren Saima Wazed Hossain and Radwan Mujib Siddiq were already there.

The concert rolled on with performances by iconic and emerging bands of Bangladesh. The rock stars joined hands to put forth an eight hour epic. However, the most compelling of the narratives was by the fans themselves. Unrelenting, vocal and enthusiastic, they were the true highlight of Joy Bangla Concert 2020.

With a call to roar like March 7, favourite bands presented several Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra songs before an audience of this generation at the 2017 edition of Joy Bangla Concert. To transcend the limit of entertainment, four inspiring Audio Visuals (AVs) on the themes -- Pride, Courage, Inspiration and Trust-- were screened. 

Rolled out in 2015, Joy Bangla Concert has been a household name in the country’s music industry and a part of the youth pop culture, blending the patriotic melodies composed during the Liberation War of Bangladesh with the western-influenced modern songs.

The youths who jumped, screamed, and danced to the western-influenced rock genre and the wartime patriotic melodies are now missing that electrifying vibe shared by a sea of young hearts.

“I am missing the unique blend of history and music that this concert is all about. The songs that were aired on the wartime secret radio station called Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra 50 years ago inspired the Freedom Fighters to free the country,” said Rajin, a college student.

In successive years, the country’s biggest concert for youths added some special features such as presentation of the coloured version of the speech in 2016. The speech, transformed from black and white into colour, appeared onscreen before an audience of 30,000 youths at the concert. The entire Army stadium became emblematic of the resolute spirit of historic March 7, 1971, when legions of freedom loving people gathered at the then Race Course Maidan to get the directives from their beloved leader to achieve their flag, language and independence. 

Back in March 7, 1971, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered the historic March 7 speech setting the tone for the country’s independence that led to the Liberation War and the birth of Bangladesh.

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