For the first time World Bengali Conference is going to be held in Dhaka. The three-day conference will be inaugurated at Osmani Memorial Auditorium at 10:30 am on February 19. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be the chief guest while Nobel laureate Dr. Amartya Sen will be a special guest at the inaugural programme. A London-based organisation, Bengal International (BI), is hosting the conference.
A press conference was held yesterday in this regard at the VIP Lounge of National Press Club in the capital. Chairperson of BI, Mohammad Shamsul Haque; one of the founders of BI, Dr. Binoy Bhushan Chowdhury; joint convenors of the conference preparatory committee Ramendu Majumdar and Nasiruddin Yousuff; members of the same committee Hasan Arif and Selim SH Chowdhury and BI representatives from London, USA, Canada, Dubai and other parts of the world were present and spoke at the press conference. Member secretary of the preparatory committee, Golam Kuddus, conducted the press conference.
The inaugural programme will start through the rendition of national anthem, Ekusher Gaan and observance of one-minute silence in honour of all the martyrs of Language Movement, Liberation War and other rights movements of Bangladesh.
Apart form speeches by chief and special guests, Dr. Binoy Bhushan Chowdhury; Mohammad Shamsul Haque and Nasiruddin Yousuff will speak at the inaugural programme. Golam Kuddus will conduct the inaugural programme.
Four seminars will be held at the Nawab Nabab Ali Senate Bhaban, University of Dhaka. Following the inaugural session, a presentation titled “Bengalis’ Gift to the World” by Dr. William Radice will be held. Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam will preside over the seminar.
On the second day (February 20) of the conference, three seminars will take place at the venue. Presided over by Professor Rehman Sobahan, Nobel laureate Professor Amartya Sen will present the keynote paper, “Bangaliana: Ekush Shatak” at 10 am while Vice Chancellor of Visva Bharati University, Professor Udaya Narayana Singh will speak on “Bhasha Tumi Kaar: Je Chahey Tahar” at 11:30 am. Dhaka University Vice Chancellor, Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique, will preside over the session. The last seminar titled “Bohirbishwe Bangla Bhasha O Shongskritir Bortoman Ebong Bhobishyot” will be held at 2 pm on the day. Presided over by Professor Zillur Rahman Siddique, eminent journalist Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury will speak at the seminar.
Marking 60 years of Language Movement, eminent Bengalis from across the world will formally place wreath at Central Shaheed Minar at 12pm on February 21. A vibrant cultural programme will also be held at Rabindra Sarobar Mancho, Dhanmondi at 4 pm. Both expatriate Bengalis and local artistes will perform at the event.
The conference aims to nourish Bengali culture and to form Bengali brotherhood worldwide. The richness of Bengali nation will be solidified through the concerted efforts of both expatriate and local Bangladeshis.
Established in London, UK, Bengali International has branches in America, Australia and Africa. The organisation has been working for diffusing Bengali culture and consolidating Bengali solidarity for the last 35 years.
-With The Daily Star input