Madison concert brings back memories for Joy
Dhaka, May 13: Sajib Wazed Joy, ICT Adviser to the Prime Minister, said that the 'Concert for Bangladesh' Melody for Humanity 'organized by the ICT Ministry at Madison Square Garden in the United States was a memorable event. George Harrison's performance of 'Concert for Bangladesh', the greatest musician of all time in Madison Square Garden in the United States during the bloody war of Bangladesh in 1971, moved the world conscience about the brutality of Pakistani soldiers in Bangladesh.
Most recently, the Ministry of ICT hosted a similar concert at the same location in the United States. The world's best rock stars performed music on the occasion titled 'Concert for Bangladesh'.
Joy wrote on his verified Facebook page on Wednesday that a country thousands of miles away in 1971 was bleeding to defend its red-green flag. And the story of that country in the face of a friend deeply moved one of the most popular artists in the history of world music.
In 1971, oceans away from a country shedding blood for her beloved red and green flag, one of the most influential artists in the history of world music was deeply moved by what his friend told him what was happening in that country. Unarmed people shot down by the occupying Pak army, wholesale rape of women and children dying of hunger left him shocked. It was right then some poetic words sprang up in the form of an unforgettable lyric;
"My friend came to me
With sadness in his eyes
He told me that he wanted help
Before his country dies."
Beatles' star George Harrison didn't just write and compose the song but also went on to think about doing something that might help the people of Bangladesh, a victim of one of history's worst genocides. He reached out to maestros like Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton, who also agreed to drum up support for the cause. Rest is history. Concert for Bangladesh set the precedence of helping a victim-of-war nation through a concert.
Whenever I watch it on YouTube, it takes me back to a golden moment - George Harrison singing the song Bangladesh, Bob Dylan rendering 'How many roads a man must walk down', and Pundit Ravi Shankar playing his fingers on his sitar like a storm. They are sharing the same stage!
This weekend I relived that moment as we paid tribute to that melody-for-humanity event through another concert on the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh. The dream for Bangladesh, as the world's all-time greatest rock stars and musical masters had seen, came true as the war-torn country back in 1971 is now an epitome of sustained progress and development.
From the engineering masterpiece Padma Bridge to the technological feat Bangabandhu Satellite, Bangladesh has made inspiring history. Still, no success story goes unchallenged by a few people with wrong intentions.
We must be careful so that the ghosts of war criminals cannot bring the dark chapters back. We must show zero tolerance to the peddlers of religion. We must stand united on our promise for Golden Bengal on this Golden Jubilee. Let's sing Harrison's Bangladesh together once more and let the world hear it. This time the promise on this Golden Jubilee is to build Golden Bangla, the dream of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.