Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra

Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra
Radio's glorious role in the Liberation War began with the call of independence from Radio Pakistan, Chittagong. After the formation of Mujibnagar government on 17 April 1971, Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra (Radio Centre of Independent Bangladesh) started broadcasting from 25 May 1971, the birth date of poet kazi nazrul islam. 

It ceased broadcasting from 19 December 1971, when the Bangladesh government-in-exile moved to Dhaka from where it started broadcasting through transmitters of former Radio Pakistan.

Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra

The Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra (Begening it was Swadhin Bangla Biplobi Betar Kendro as a Clandestine Radio ) from where today's Bangladesh Betar born, in fact, evolved from the Kalurghat in Chittagong transmission centre from where the declaration of independence was made by Ziaur Rahman under the learship of Shaikh Mujibur Rahman. The Kalurghat radio centre was abandoned when it was heavily shelled by the Pakistan Air Force on March 30. The centre, however, resumed its second phase of activities from 3 April 1971 at Bagafa (Tripura State) with a short wave transmitter. The centre was later shifted to Shalbagan and Bagafa-Belonia Forest Hills Road, Agartala. The key person in organising the centre in its early stage was Balal Muhammad, a scriptwriter and artiste of Radio Pakistan. Several other liberation activists who joined later included Abdullah-Al-Faruque (Presently The head of Bangla Dept. of Radio Deutsche welle, Germany), Abul Kashem Sandwip, Kazi Habibuddin Ahmed Moni, Aminur Rahman, Rashidul Hussain, A M Sharfuzzaman, Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Syed Abdus Shaker, and Mustafa Monwar. The damaged transmitter that they brought with them from Kalurghat was made operative by engineer Syed Abdus Shaker. The daily programme in this phase consisted of a morning transmission between 8.30 and 9 and an afternoon session between 5 and 7.

On May 25, the centre was shifted to Calcutta where it started functioning on the same day. With the arrival of new and experienced radio personnel from Dhaka, the centre became fully operative technically. From May 26, it was named Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra. In August, appointment letters were issued for various positions with effect from June 1971.

New Name Radio Bangladesh

Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra was renamed Radio Bangladesh on 6 December 1971, when India gave formal recognition to independent Bangladesh and its provisional government.

Radio Bangladesh was named Bangladesh Betar in 1972 and was renamed Radio Bangladesh again in 1975. Once again it was renamed Bangladesh Betar in 1996. At present, it has a constellation of 19 medium wave transmitters, five short wave(only one is active) and 14 FM transmitters (use as a feeder) and covers the whole of the country's territory.

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