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Former Chiefs Reminisce Bangla Service’s Early History


In this program, Bangla Service’s two former chiefs, Ishtiaq Ahmed and Iqbal Ahmed recall the early history of Voice of America’s Bangla Service.

VOA started broadcasting in Bangla from New York City in 1954 on an experimental basis once a week for 15 minutes. The broadcast time was subsequently increased in 1957. VOA Bangla regular broadcasts started on January 1, 1958 from Washington, DC and featured two distinct 30-minute programs for listeners in East Pakistan, now Bangladesh proper, and a program for the Indian State of West Bengal. VOA later combined the two air shows into one contiguous, sixty-minute program stream in 1966.

On April 20, 1980 VOA Bangla began the popular 30-minute breakfast show in addition to the daily one-hour evening broadcast.

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