Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Bangla earned thru’ blood

Amar Ekushey Today
Bangla earned thru’ blood
Syed Badrul Ahsan
The Rubicon was crossed on February 21, 1952.
The imposition of Section 144 earlier by the provincial government, while it appeared to act as a damper on the spirits of some, by and large acted as a provocation for a majority of students and other young people determined to make their voices heard on the language issue. There was a clear difference of opinion between what could loosely be regarded as pragmatists and radicals on whether or not Section 144 should be violated. From the early morning on February 21, the Dhaka University campus of began to fill with students driven very much by a desire for a showdown, if showdown it had to be, with the authorities.
As the minutes and then the hours ticked away, the presence of students and people from other strata of life increased in number. By 10:00am, the university area brimmed over with students. Meanwhile, all around the campus stood the security forces, determined to clamp down on any demonstration of what they considered chaos and disorder. At around 11:00 am, a meeting of the students began at a spot called Amtala. Presided over by Gaziul Haq, the meeting did not waste much time in going into the specifics of the situation. As a result of a decision by the All Party State Language Action Committee, Shamsul Haq arrived at the meeting. He made it clear that Section 144 should not be violated and went into an analysis of why the All Party Committee had reached such a decision. He had obviously not anticipated the mood of the students, who were little inclined to give ground on the language issue and seemed ready to take on the authorities by breaking Section 144. However, Shamsul Haq did not appear to be without friends, since some students and student leaders gathering nearby loudly expressed their approval of his stand. As Abdul Matin and Ahmed Rafiq recall the events of the day, Haq, attired in a sherwani and black Jinnah cap, urged restraint on the part of the students. His exhortations were soon to be drowned in a chorus of loud protest by some students. Haq’s speech remained inconclusive. It was at this stage that Abdul Matin, convenor of the University State Language Action Committee, took control and made it clear that if Section 144 was not violated that day, in future no movements could go ahead owing to fear of an imposition of Section 144. He then hurled the rhetorical question at his audience: ‘Are we then to retreat because we are afraid of breaking Section 144?’ The answer to this question was a resounding ‘No’ from the students.
It may be noted that the principal objective of a violation of Section 144 was a march the students planned to the Legislative Assembly premises, where they would urge the lawmakers to present a forceful case for Bangla in the proceedings of the House. The difficulty they faced, though, was the increasingly high number of policemen on the campus. The dilemma was obvious: the students had to find a way of breaking through the police cordon and marching on. In the event, it was decided that they would break through the police presence in groups of 10. Within minutes, the procedure was put into practice and just as swiftly the police pounced on them in a brutal fashion. Truncheons were used liberally by the law enforcers, which of course led to confusion and panic among the protestors. And yet the miraculous kept happening: even as the police entered the campus in bigger numbers, the students regrouped, with some actually breaking through the cordon, hoping to make their way to the assembly building. In all the melee, the slogans kept coming from the young: “Rashtra bhasha Bangla chai”, “cholo cholo assembly cholo”. The pitched battles spilled out on the streets. Morning gave way to early afternoon.
Sometime around 3:00pm, the shootings began. The inquiry commission led by Justice Ellis subsequently mentioned the time as having been 3:20pm, which was around the time the Legislative Assembly was scheduled to meet in session. Four young men were to fall to the fury of the state: Abul Barkat, a student of MA class at Dhaka University; Abdul Jabbar, a tailor who had come from Gaffargaon, Mymensingh, to tend to a relative in hospital; Rafiquddin Ahmed, then a student at a college in Manikganj; and Abdus Salam, a peon in an office. Salam would succumb to his injuries a few days after February 21, 1952.
The bodies of those who died on the day, notes Badruddin Umar, were not handed over to their relatives. They were taken away by the security forces and buried in the nocturnal silence of the night.
East Bengal would never be the same again.


Courtesy of The Daily Star

Related News

Internet likely to face disruption for 12 hours today

News Desk : Internet connectivity in Bangladesh will face partial disruption for 12 hours from this morning because of maintenance of 1st submarine cable, said Bangladesh Submarine Cables PLC (BSCPLC) in a press release. The statement said from 6:01 am to 6:00 pm, the consortium has scheduled maintenance for a land cable fault near ... Read more

Chess Grandmaster Ziaur Rahman passes away

News Desk : Bangladesh Grandmaster Ziaur Rahman passed away at a hospital in the city after suffering a heart attack during the 12th round game of the ongoing National Chess Championship at the Chess Federation on Friday. Zia bhai is no more. He breathed his last at around 6:00pm at Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital,’ confirmed ... Read more

Ending GPA-5 era, SSC results to be published with English letter grades

News Desk : The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams will no longer be evaluated under the Grade Point Average 1-5 scale but rather be graded with English letters. A meeting of the National Curriculum Coordination Committee with the Education Minister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury approved the new evaluation framework on Monday (1 July). “There are ... Read more

Over 1.04 crore animals sacrificed on Eid-ul-Adha this year

News Desk : A total of 1,04,08,918 animals were sacrificed across the country on the occasion of the holy Eid-ul-Azha this year. As many as 3, 67, 106 more animals were slaughtered this year compared to previous year, the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock said in a press release on Tuesday. This year the ... Read more

9am-5pm office time to resume from Wednesday

News Desk : The public offices across Bangladesh are set to go back to old office timing from 9:00am to 5:00pm with Fridays and Saturdays being the weekly holidays as usual from Wednesday. The cabinet in its weekly meeting on June 3 decided restoring the old office timing between 9:00am and 5:00pm on weekdays ... Read more

5 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Bangladesh

News Desk : A magnitude 5 earthquake jolted a large part of the country on Sunday (2 June) afternoon., including Dhaka. The quake struck at 2:44pm from a depth of about 110km, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, and was centred in the Mawlaik area of Myanmar, 441 km southeast of Dhaka. The quake ... Read more

Over 2cr to be fed as daylong Vitamin ‘A’ plus campaign begins

News Desk : The National Vitamin A-plus campaign is being conducted with a target to feed the capsules to over 2.22 crore children, aged between six months and 59 months. The campaign started at 8am on Saturday (June 1) and will continue till 4pm. Feeding Vitamin A capsules prevents blindness in children, ensures normal ... Read more

Postponed notice fake, HSC exams on June 30 as per schedule

News Desk : The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent exams will be held on time as per previous announcement, beginning on 30 June. The routine deferring the exams for a month that is making rounds in social media, is fake, the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Dhaka said on Saturday. A circular ... Read more

3 month-long ban on fishing, tourism in Sundarbans begins

News Desk : The forest department has imposed this three-month ban on fishing and tourism in the Sundarbans. Local communities, including fishermen, wood and honey collectors, who depend on the Sundarbans for their livelihoods, are concerned about a three-month ban on all activities in the forest starting Saturday. The restriction applies to visitors, including ... Read more

Appellate Division upholds HC verdict on DU teacher Samia’s demotion

News Desk : The Appellate Division today (26 May) upheld the judgement of the High Court which declared illegal the demotion order of Dhaka University faculty Samia Rahman on charges of plagiarism. A four-member appellate bench headed by senior judge M Enayetur Rahim of the Appellate Division rejected the appeal of DU as invalid. ... Read more

3.2 million children at risk as Cyclone Remal hits Bangladesh coasts: UNICEF

News Desk : As Cyclone Remal hit the coastal areas of Bangladesh, over 8.4 million people, including 3.2 million children, are at high health, nutrition, sanitation, and safety risks, according to UNICEF. ‘Our thoughts go out to the children and their families at this critical moment as they endure the storm’s impact,’ said UNICEF ... Read more

Classes suspended at coastal area schools due to cyclone

News Desk : No classes will be held at schools in the coastal areas due to Cyclone Remal, said State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Mohibur Rahman. He said this after a meeting of the inter-ministerial disaster management coordination committee at the Secretariat on Sunday. According to a bulletin of the Met Office, ... Read more

Cyclone Remal forms over Bay, signal 7 at Payra and Mongla

News Desk : The deep depression over the east and west central Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm “Remal” at around 9:00 pm today and is expected to hit the country’s coasts between 6pm and 11:59pm tomorrow, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD). The Met Office asked the Payra and Mongla ... Read more

Admissions for Class XI start tomorrow

News Desk : The first phase of applications for Class XI admission for the 2024–2025 academic year will begin tomorrow, May 26, and run through June 11th. According to the XI class admission circular 2024-25, the online application system is divided into three phases with designated application windows, result announcements, and confirmation periods. Students ... Read more

Exam will not be postponed for Cyclone Remal: NU

News Desk : The National University has decided not to postpone the Introduction to Government Policy exam for 4th-year Political Science honours students for the academic year 2022, despite the warning for the approaching Cyclone Remal. The exam is scheduled to be held on Sunday (26 May) at 1:00pm, the same day that the ... Read more

Gold price cut by Tk 1,084 per bhori

News Desk : The prices of gold in the country’s local market witnessed a fall on Thursday as the Bangladesh Jewellers’ Association (Bajus) slashed the price of 22-carat gold by Tk 1,084 per bhori (11.664 grammes). The new rate for the precious metal will come into effect on Friday, BAJUS said in a press ... Read more

Don’t pay anyone for visas, or work permits: Italian envoy

News Desk : Italian Ambassador to Bangladesh, Antonio Alessandro, advised visa-seekers not to pay anyone for visas, emphasising that the embassy only charges small taxes and processing fees. “Our services are free except for these official fees,” he said today (21 May) following a meeting with Shofiqur Rahman Choudhury, the State Minister for Expatriates’ ... Read more

Bangladeshi mountaineer Babar Ali conquers Everest

News Desk : Babar Ali from Chattogram has summited Mount Everest and raised the red and green flag on the world’s highest peak. He reached the summit at 8:30am local time (8:45am Bangladesh time) on Sunday, proudly raising the red and green flag of Bangladesh. He began his journey on 1 April, after necessary ... Read more

Price of gold increases by Tk1,178 per bhori

The new rate will be effective from Sunday (19 May) News Desk : The Bangladesh Jewellers Association (Bajus) today (18 May) increased the price of gold by Tk1,178 per bhori, followed by a price hike in the local bullion market. According to a Bajus statement, 22-carat gold will now cost Tk1,18,460 per bhori (11.664 ... Read more

9 Bangladeshis named in Forbes “30 Under 30 Asia” list

News Desk : Nine Bangladeshis have been named in Forbes “30 Under 30 Asia” list for their contributions across various industries. Forbes announced its prestigious “30 Under 30 Asia” list for the ninth consecutive year yesterday (15 May), showcasing 300 exceptional young individuals under the age of 30 who are making significant strides across ... Read more