Dhaka University

After A Century

06 March 2021
Dhaka University

Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed
As a student of Bengali Department of the University of Dhaka under 1977-78 session, I completed my honors in 1980 and post-graduation in 1981. Until the result, I and many of my contemporaries had the stay in the campus till 1983. While studying Bengali literature, I had the opportunity to study English literature and political science respectively as subsidiary subjects. After my university campus life, I have started career as a teacher in 1984. Later, I have joined in a government service as an officer in the BCS (Ansar) cadre in 1986. After completion of 32 years in service, I have now engaged myself as a regular column writer and editor of a monthly magazine. However, my career is not the subject of discussion today, the issue is Dhaka University.
Dhaka University is not just a centre for education; it is the centre for multidimensionality. After obtaining the highest degree from Dhaka University, I have been able to achieve a great and significant time in my life by acquiring a little bit of this multidimensionality. In that sense, it can be claimed that Dhaka University has made me a successful person. On the eve of going to write something about Dhaka University, the novel named 'Srikantho' of Saratchandra reminds me a lot. At the beginning of novel, he said, "I can't remember many words today in this declining time of life". The same thing happened to me. The expressions move to my mind is like a subject of no expression by language.
After going through many ups and downs, on 13 March 1920, the Indian Legislative Assembly passed 'The Dhaka University Act (Act No. 13) 1920'. The doors of the university were opened for the students on July 1, 1921. The campus was blessed with the footsteps of renowned academics like Harprasad Shastri, Muhammad Shahidullah, GH Langley, Haridas Bhattacharya, DWA Jenkins, Ramesh Chandra Majumder, AF Rahman, Satyendranath Bose, Naresh Chandra Sengupta, Gyan Chandra Ghosh and others.
The University has a leading role in fulfilling the national aspirations. It has the history of success in every democratic movement including the 1952 Language Movement and the great freedom struggle of 1971. Many students, teachers and officials and employees of this university sacrificed their lives in the language movement, mass uprising of 1970 and in the great liberation war. In the war of liberation, 19 teachers of Dhaka University became the victims of the Pak government's plan for killing of the intellectuals. On the night of March 25, 104 students, 1 officer and 28 employees were martyred. On 2 March 1971, the Central Students' Struggle Council hoisted the first 'Flag of Independent Bengal' on the roof of Dhaka University Arts Faculty. On the night of March 25, 1971, many people were martyred when Pakistani forces launched a surprise attack on students, teachers, officials and employees of Dhaka University in the name of Operation Search-light. In order to immortalize the memory of the martyrs of the War of Liberation, an 'intellectual memorial plaque' was inaugurated on 26 March 1994 on the road island in front of the Vice-Chancellor's building. The names of 150 martyrs including 19 teachers, 104 students, 1 officer and 28 employees have been inscribed on it.
The real purpose of the university is to spread knowledge by ensuring democratic rights and creating opportunities for everyone to express their views. I hope that the university can not become a business organization. I would expect teachers and students not to run after promotion or power without the knowledge. Only then, the expectations and achievements of the century will be fulfilled. The campus environment will be congenial for acquiring knowledge, culture and free will. The Dhaka University campus will be a breeding ground for socio-cultural and free-thinking practices, creating researchers, policy makers, urban and state thinkers for the socio-economic development of the country. Dhaka University will create a brave and prosperous generation to strengthen the country's infrastructure for the purpose of economic growth. The university that was founded through many ups and downs and rose to prominence as the Oxford of the East is now a thing of the past. From the post-independence period onwards, our national pride, the quality of education at Dhaka University, began to decline. At this time, the question remains about the large part of the recruitment in the university. Complaints of hiring incompetent teachers, especially for political reasons, often arise. If the teacher is not qualified, then the students will not get quality education that is normal. As a former student of the university, there is no chance to disagree.
University students have to deal with many more problems. The quality of food is getting worse day by day. There is lacking of adequate classrooms. The required number of seats in the library does not match. There is no end to the dissatisfaction with evening courses and seven colleges. There is nothing new to say about the quality of education. Students have become liable to walk on campus due to external vehicles. Dissatisfaction with the metro rail running through the campus is not the less mentioned issue. The university is plagued with thousands of such problems and crises.
Every year July 1 is being observed as 'Dhaka University Day'. On the eve of its centenary, the institution was established by many national and international renowned scholars, presidents, prime ministers, ministers, members of parliament, political leaders, scientists, teachers and millions of graduates. They have been contributing in various important sectors at home and abroad and are brightening the image of the country.

(Dr. Forqan is former Deputy Director
General, Bangladesh Ansar & VDP).

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