Siki passed the Prothom-alo. The country’s largest media celebrated the success of overcoming obstacles, ups and downs on this journey with its head office in Dhaka and staff from all over the country. Some dignitaries who were invited to the event from the capital’s Krishibid Institution Auditorium were also present to extend their greetings.
The joyous celebration of Rajat Jayanti, the holiday today, was mixed with the unfailing love of countless readers who took Prothom Alo to the top, and the good wishes of numerous well-wishers from home and abroad. Prothom Alo started its 26th year journey on the path of the century by promising to continue journalism in the spirit of liberation war with courage, honesty and concentration.
Prothom Alo has been proving this for 25 years. In the Silver Jubilee festival, the same pattern was repeated as the program started at 10 o’clock as per the pre-announced time. The program started with the performance of the National Anthem by the collective voices of 25 workers from different departments under the direction of Associate Editor Sumna Sharmin.
Then the front page of the first day’s newspaper is shown on the back screen. It is recalled that the pages of the magazine were enriched with the writings of eminent writers. Images of such writings were also floating on the screen. Gratitude is expressed to them.
A few days after the publication of Prothom Alo, the famous poet Abu Zafar Obaidullah wrote a poem titled ‘Prothom Surya Prothom Alo’ after reading the magazine. He had sent the poem for publication. Prothom Alo’s executive editor Sajjad Sharif started the silver jubilee speech by reciting the poem. He said Prothom Alo is not just a daily newspaper, but the name of a dream. The development of Bangladesh took place through bloody struggle to establish great human values like democracy, human rights, freedom of speech and equal rights. Prothom Alo is doing journalism with that spirit. It has shed light on many darknesses. Made a way forward. He remembered those who were lost in this journey – Transcom Group Chairman Latifur Rahman, Prothom Alo Board of Directors member Arshad Waliur Rahman, Rokia Afzal Rahman and other late colleagues.
A lot of torture has come on us, there have been cases. But we have been honest, we have adopted the truth. This integrity is our strength.
Matiur Rahman, Editor, Prothom Alo
In its journey, Prothom Alo has set a special theme every year by coordinating its work plan and the perspective of national life. Efforts have been made for that purpose. They have also become very popular as slogans. It has played a role as a catalyst of inspiration in the personal life and collective activities of many people. ‘Prothom Alo with whatever is good’, ‘Change it’, ‘Bangladesh will not lose its way’ – the slogans of Protham Alo are repeated in people’s mouths. The slogans of the past days are also flashed on the screen. Then came the motto of the silver jubilee year ‘Harbe na Bangladesh’.
After that, Swanan Shahriar, Managing Director of Ki Makers Consulting, a research institute, presented the values, vows and vision of Prothom Alo.
This time, four distinguished guests from the fields of scientific research, trade, sports and music came to the stage. They expressed their opinion about Prothom Alo. ICDDRB scientist Ferdousi Kadri, who won the Magsaysay Award, said that Prothom Alo has been his regular morning companion for a long time. Knew a lot about the country, learned a lot by reading the newspaper. He advised the new generation of geniuses to seriously print the ideas and innovations.
Syed Nasim Manzoor, managing director and business leader of Apex Footwear, said Prothom Alo has the courage to speak the unpopular truth. They do not write anything after listening to someone. Investigates and verifies the truth. This is why the newspaper has come to the place of people’s trust and respect. Many entrepreneurs across the country are working in private. He suggested highlighting their initiatives.
Recently, French President Emmanuel Machon, who came on a visit to Bangladesh, went to an artist’s house in Dhaka to listen to music. Artist Rahul Anand of Water Song calls his house a ‘broken house’. Coming to congratulate Prothom Alo’s silver jubilee ceremony, he said that his father was a regular reader of Prothom Alo. Then he studied art in Dhaka University. Since then I have met the newspaper. He was a fan of sports pages, writings of Uppal Shuvra. But never met directly. Before he finished speaking, Uppal Shubhra came on the stage at the call of the conductor. Photographs were taken of the two. Rahul ends his speech by singing two lines, ‘Where the darkness is pitch black / The first sun of the day rises, leaves the Prothom-alo’.
Sabina Khatun, the captain of Bangladesh women’s football team, congratulated and said that they often talk with Prothom Alo sports journalists. But they inquire beyond sports. And they are very modest towards women, he likes it very much.
Editor Matiur Rahman congratulated them with flowers.
After that, Sava’s representative Shamsuzzaman described the days he was arrested and imprisoned and said that Prothom Alo was by his side like his own family. Courage is provided.
Chittagong University representative Musharraf Shah described the incident of torture on him and how Prothom Alo stood by his experience. Prothom Alo’s Special Representative Rozina Islam congratulated them with flowers.
Magsaysay award winning ICDDRB scientist Ferdousi Qadri said that Prothom Alo has been his regular morning companion for a long time. Knew a lot about the country, learned a lot by reading the newspaper.
At this stage, Mahfuz Anam, editor of The Daily Star, gave a speech wishing Prothom Alo a silver jubilee. He said that one of the great achievements of human civilization is the establishment of the right to free thought. From free thought comes free expression. This freedom of thought is manifested in the media. Bangladesh is trying to establish things like free thinking, education, economy, democracy, secularism in the society. Prothom Alo is also playing a supporting role in this work. So it can be said that the progress of Prothom Alo is also related to the progress of Bangladesh. He said, journalism is a great profession. He inspired the journalists of Prothom Alo to fulfill their professional duties with love, devotion, honesty and pride.
After that, foreign representatives of Prothom Alo came to the stage. Journalists Kamal Ahmed, Delhi’s Soumya Banerjee, Kolkata’s Amar Saha, Northeast India’s Shubojit Bagchi and Mumbai’s Devarati Bhattacharya gave greetings.
After them, a fan of Prothom Alo came to the stage. National team cricketer Tamim Iqbal. He wished the silver jubilee and said, ‘whether I am playing or not, it is not a big deal; All of you will be with the national team.’ He asks for blessings for himself. Editor Matiur Rahman congratulated him with flowers.
At this stage, an exceptional event is held, a song competition. In this silver jubilee event, the audience and the stage performance were all workers from different departments of Prothom Alo. Under the direction of program department head Kabir Bakul, after the competition, the women activists also performed a dance along with the rallying song ‘Amar Mukti Aloy Aloy’.
Prizes were given after the dance-song among the prize winners of the best staff and silver jubilee ideas, quiz competitions by evaluating the work of the staff of various departments.
Managing editor, fiction writer Anisul Haque said, ’25 years is nothing compared to great times, but from the point of view of an individual, 25 years is equal to a lifetime. In addition to making Prothom Alo beautiful during this time, we have also played a role in making the country beautiful, and we have also made our own lives beautiful. Prothom Alo will continue to play this role in the future. Will play a role in the victory of people.
The official conclusion of the event was the speech of the editor Matiur Rahman. He wished all the workers, readers, well-wishers of Prothom Alo a very happy Silver Jubilee. Said, ‘From newspaper reporters to publicity, advertising, accounts, administration, graphics, press workers – those who stay behind, those hawkers – no one’s role is minor in achieving this success. Prothom Alo started its journey with only 109 employees and today it is a huge company of 987 employees. In addition to printed newspapers, we have been successful in all areas with many organizations like online, digital business, scientific thinking, Kishore Alo, Charki.’
Prothom Alo editor said, ‘Behind this success is our honesty and devotion. A lot of torture has come on us, there have been cases. But we have been honest, we have adopted the truth. This integrity is our strength. Now is a difficult time. Global pandemic, war, economic recession, heated political situation with elections in the country.’ He said to carry out the professional duties of journalism with more dedication and honesty to overcome this critical period. The workers were also inspired by his motivational speech and expressed their solidarity with the editor by clapping and cheering.