The entire Liberation War was the best time of my life. Specially, the moment when victory was declared can be regarded as best of the best. I used to work in Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra (The Independent Bengal Wireless Centre) at the time.
I went to the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra Office at Baliganj circular road on the morning of 16th December. Upon arriving at the office, two officers Ashfaqur Rahman and Taher Sultan told me that a victory song had to be performed. They urged me to start right away. I asked, 'where would I get a song right now?' – to which they answered, 'Contact Shahidul Islam, he would write one'. Shahidul Islam was a friend of mine and I talked to him.
We didn't yet know whether the Pakistani Army would surrender or not. Maybe the high ranking officers knew but we, the artists, did not. Upon hearing everything, lyricist Shahidul Alam wrote down the first four lines of the song "Bijoy nishan urche" (The flag of victory is waving).
That settled the problem of 'not having a song', but what about the tune? The office was bustling with people that day; I couldn't understand why yet. Later I found out that another victory song was being performed. But since we had one harmonium which was taken for the musical composition of that song, we had to do ours orally.
We got the harmonium and Dotara (two-stringed musical instrument) later. By that time, Shahidul Islam had written two antaras (middle staves of the song). After the musical composition had been done, we felt that the song should be sung by Ajit Roy. He immediately agreed when asked. The remaining artists were also present in the trial room that time - Rathindranath Roy, Probal Chowdhury, Timir Nandi, Rafiqul Alam, Manna Haque, Mrinal Kanti Das, Anup Bhattacharya, Tapon Mahmud, Kalyani Ghosh, Uma Khan, Rupa Farhad, Mala Khurram and many others. It took one and a half hour to compose the music and rehearse the song, then it was recorded.
On that day, meaning 16th December, four leaders of our Government-in-Exile (the Mujbnagar government) Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, Captain Mansur Ali and AHM Qamaruzzaman visited Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra. Then, we got to know that the Pakistani Army had surrendered at Dhaka race course stadium.
I can't explain how joyful that was to hear! We embraced each other, had sweets. At that time, a procession comprising the artists of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra was brought out. From that point onwards, the victory song began to be aired.
Shujeo Shyam, Artist of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra