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Foundation launched

Manik Mia`s journalism was about movement

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Staff Reporter :The formal functioning of Manik Mia Foundation was launched yesterday at the Ittefaq Bhaban at R K Mission Road in the city to highlight the work and ideals of late Tofazzal Hossain Manik Mia, the founder of the Daily Ittefaq and The New Nation at a time when the nation is facing the crisis of democracy and free journalism to chart out its future. The event saw the presence of a galaxy of senior journalists, academics and intellectuals who spoke from their memory on the legendary political thinker turned journalist who played the pivotal role to creating the socio-political landscape to end the exploitation of Pakistani rulers and usher the dawn of independent Bangladesh. The function was presided over by Chairperson of Journalism Department of Dhaka University Professor Akhtar Sultana. Prominent speakers on the occasion included ASM Abdur Rob, Ferdous Ahmed Qureshi, Prof Abul Kashem Fazlul Haque, Prof Amirul Islam Chowdhury, Prof Anwar Hussain, journalist Rahat Khan, poet Al-Mujahedi, columnist Sadeq Khan, Syed Abul Maksud, Reazuddin Ahmed, Asif Nazrul, Kazi Siraj and Raqibuddin. Chairman of the Foundation Barrister Mainul Hosein welcomed the guests and expressed his gratitude for their coming and explained that Manik Mia Foundation was to imbibe among young journalists the ethics and spirit of journalism Manik Mia pursued. The foundation will promote the cause of journalism and welfare of journalists in need for help, he said.  The theme of the inauguration ceremony was, 'to create responsible newspaper, we need to ensure freedom of news'. Designer of Manik Mia Foundation, architect, Helal I Khan was present. The discussion was conducted by Syed Tosharaf Ali, Secretary General of Manik Mia Foundation. Chairman of The New Nation Saju Hosein, Managing Editor Arshad Hosein and other family members were present.Barrister Hosein pointed out the need for cooperation of eminent journalists and others for the success of the foundation. He also recalled his mother's unbelievable role in making his father to pursue journalism. He made it clear that it is a family foundation. Prof. Akhtar Sultana said Manik Mia played the courageous role to popularize the six point movement. His pen was mightier than the sword and his language was plain meant for the people in the streets. He was an honest and courageous journalist, columnist and politician and one of the three important journalists of the 50's along with Maulana Akram Kha. Rahat Khan who passed 40 years of his career with Ittefaq and moved around Manik Mia said he may be rightly treated as one of the founding fathers of Bangladesh. Without his fearless writing and political far sight, it would not have been possible to mobilize the nation towards independence. He has spread the Bengali nationalism to every corner of the nation by his popular column.   Barrister Mainul Hosein is similar to his father as his word is as good as his work. He finally realized the dream of opening the Manik Mia Foundation.' Rahat Khan said Manik Mia must be restored to the people's memory so that a courageous nation can emerge again. He said Manik Mia's post editorial column 'Rajnaitik Mancha' (Political Platform) became very popular in East Pakistan. Ittefaq had a significant role in 1954 general elections, and contributed to the victory of the United Front.In 1958, The Daily Ittefaq always strongly opposed all military rule of Pakistan from Ayub Khan to Yahya Khan. During this time, Ittefaq transformed from a weekly to a daily newspaper.Poet Al-Mujahedi said Manik Mia was fearless and he overcome all obstacles to establish the political rights of the people. He said democracy is now dead and the nation is witnessing the carcass of the dead democracy. Ferdous Ahmed Qureshi said he established the Daily Ittefaq as the vanguard of the people's political rights, hopes and aspiration when Awami League was advancing the six points to fight Pakistani oppression in the political front. He said student leaders would visit him regularly and take guidance in their political thinking and giving it shape in actions.   Syed Anwar Hossain said, one man leads the way and others follow. What Manik Mia left for us is the historic legacy and we must follow it.Asif Nazrul said the new generation is not aware of the works and ideals of the iconic journalist and measures must be taken to take his role as a thinker and leader to the younger generation to mould the future of the nation. Kazi Siraj said as the dreamer of independence he was the center of attraction to all irrespective of political party and difference in their thinking. The Pakistani regime tried to derail him and even imprisoned him on several time to abandon his speech journalism but  failed. Prof. Abul Kashem Fazlul Haque said it is the responsibility of the government and public institutions like Bangla Academy to take up programme to take the works and sacrifice of Miank Mia to the common people. He expressed frustration saying never once Bangla Academy or such other organizations had taken such programme.   Columnist Sadek Khan said the foundation can play an important role in the development of journalists even if it is not operating at government level.Syed Abul Maksud remembered a post editorial of Manik Mia and said if he were alive now he would write using the same pinching words for the country's intellectuals as most of them have become sold out leaving their conscience. He praised the efforts of Barrister Mainul Hosein and said people aspiring for democracy and free media would join hand to make the foundation a leading think tank of the nation. Mainul Hosein said the ethics and values of Manik Mia, more commonly known as 'Manik Bhai' among fellow journalists in the country will be held high by this Foundation. He mentioned the contribution played by his mother in making a journalist out of Manik Mia. The daily Ittefaq office was burned in the very first day of the Pakistani army crack down. It was rebuilt again ASM Abdur Rob said Manik Mia has always opposed oppression and injustice and the creation of Ittefaq gave his resistance an institutional shape. He raised the Bengali nation on its feet to protest the injustice and oppression. Speakers held the view that during Bangladesh's Language Movement and the Liberation War, The Daily Ittefaq played a vital role as Manik Mia charted out his goal for Bengali nation.  Today Anwar Hossain Manju is the Editor of the Daily Ittefaq and the paper features all the standard sections of a modern daily newspaper like political news, sports, education, entertainment and general and local news.

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