Published: Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Transformation of TV plays–as Atiqul Haque Chowdhury saw it

Transformation of TV plays--as Atiqul Haque Chowdhury saw it“Over the years TV plays made on the Liberation War focused on issues such as how the collaborators assisted the Pakistan army, how they tortured the Freedom Fighters and civilians. Rarely did we see TV plays venturing into lesser exposed areas of the subject, like what was the cause behind the war,” said veteran media personality Atiqul Huque Chowdhury.
Talking to The Daily Star, he discussed the transformation of TV plays. He also shared his views on the present state of TV plays, which he does not find inspiring, in general.
Chowdhury had been one of the foremost media personalities actively involved with the golden era (from late 1970s to late ’80s) of BTV plays. He started as a producer in 1965 and retired as the Deputy Director General of the state-run TV channel. During his tenure, he made over 450 TV plays.
According to Chowdhury, TV plays of that time also focused on social changes and romanticism.
He recalled notable actors, producers, directors and groundbreaking TV plays.
Humayun Ahmed’s serials like ‘Ei Shob Din Ratri’, ‘Bahubrihi’ and ‘Kothao Keu Nei’ are noteworthy, he recalled.
“These plays provided authentic portrayals of life. The interrelationship between people, political ideology or philosophy, in fact the whole society were depicted through these TV plays. These plays should be re-telecast,” he said.
Chowdhury saw a rapid change in the early 1990s, when producers and directors started to show more interest in ‘package’ TV plays.
“It is obvious that at present we have to concentrate on commercialisation but sacrificing aesthetic values cannot be acceptable. We have to create a bond between them through improving our technical skills,” he said.
“We had endless enthusiasm to do something for the nation. Sometimes, we worked from dawn to dusk to articulate our untold stories through our works which were blended with arts and aesthetics,” reminisced Chowdhury.
Though the current scenario is uninspiring to him, Chowdhury is positive about the future as he sees young individuals are emerging with more passion and enthusiasm.
“The scene is changing. I feel pleased when I see that youngsters are coming forth with a more positive approach. They are more rational than emotional. I am waiting for that day when our youth will dominate the country from every aspect,” concluded Chowdhury.

This interview was published in the Arts and Entertainment of The Daily Star page a few years ago.  We reprint the article in the reader interest.