March 7 microphones, amplifiers lie uncared for

Rajib Kanti Roy

7 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Some of the microphones and amplifiers used by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman during his historic speech on March 7, 1971, in Race Course Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan) are still preserved by Call-Ready, the iconic microphone company, but there is no effort from the state to preserve these invaluable pieces.

While talking to Daily Sun ahead of the 50th year celebration of the momentous day, Trinath Ghosh Sagar, director of Call-Ready, said, “Since my late father Haripada Ghosh and uncle Dayal Ghosh and Kanai Ghosh had uninstalled these microphones and amplifiers upon the completion of the March 7 rally, they had risked their lives to preserve these historic pieces.”

He said the Pakistan Army had conducted a raid and burnt down their home and office during the Operation Searchlight in later part of March 1971, but his father and uncle had managed to flee and hide a microphone stand and three to four mouthpieces and amplifiers used in the March 7 rally in a cousin’s house.

Trinath said the mouthpieces – German-made, Indian-assembled mikes from Green Bullet and Sure Company – do not work now.

“We are still preserving the microphones and amplifiers as these are significant part of our national history but we don’t know how long it would be possible to protect these,” he said.

“It is high time for the government to collect and save these equipments,” he added.

Trinath feels astonished thinking that why none of the government approached them to collect these historic symbols in the last 50 years.

When asked about money they used to charge for their microphone service, he replied, “nothing much”.

“It was more than the business as my father and uncle thought about the country’s interest,” he said adding, “They said they only charged the cost of setting up the mikes.”

Trinath heard from his father and uncles that how they, along with around 30 people, had set up around 150 mikes covering the total Race Course Maidan and Motijheel and New Market area at the dark night of March 6 ignoring all possible dangers.

“Bangabandhu called my father to his Dhanmondi residence on March 4 and asked him to set up the mikes for the March 7 programme,” he said.

Call-Ready is a very familiar name among the mass people of Bangladesh through the small plastic plaque attached to the microphones in most of the rallies of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Awami League.

The company was established by Dayal Ghosh and Haripada Ghosh, sons of Debendra Chandra Ghosh of Bikrampur, initially as Arzo Light House in 1948 in Old Dhaka’s Hrishikesh Das Road to provide lights in different social and cultural programmes.

Later in 1949, it was renamed when its owners imported microphones and amplifiers to get hired.

Since then Call-Ready had provided service in all major events in the then East Pakistan and a warm relationship between Bangabandhu and the Ghosh brothers had developed.

Trinath said their business had faced a severe crisis after the brutal assassination of Bangabandhu and most of his family members in 1975.

However, they had turned around when Sheikh Hasina returned to the country and took charge of Awami League in 1981.

Afterwards, Call-Ready began covering all Awami League events again.

Today, neither Trinath’s father nor his uncles remain alive. He and three of his brothers Bishwanath Ghosh, Shibnath Ghosh and Shambhunath Ghosh are running the traditional microphone service company.

“My father and uncles always wanted to see that Call-Ready getting recognised for their valiant contributions for the nation,” Trinath said.

He believes that still it is necessary as everyone should be evaluated according to their role in the history.