‘Bangabandhu Corner’ is an aesthetic initiative of Mujib’s practice


Bashudeb Dhar || Bangabandhu Corner-A new attempt to practice ‘Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’ in Bangladesh. Going to the father of the nation for a while in the busiest life. This initiative has recently expanded beyond the borders of Bangladesh and reached new heights in the international arena. Bangabandhu Corners have been set up in Bangladesh missions in different countries, most recently Mujib Corners have been inaugurated at Press Clubs in New Delhi and Kolkata.

What is Bangabandhu Corner? In a word, the aim of Bangabandhu’s practice is to present Bangabandhu with various materials including books and pictures in one place. Going to Bangabandhu in leisure time on the way or in the gap of work. To put it more clearly, spending some time with the father of the nation of Bangladesh. And this initiative was started by a banker named Shams-ul-Islam.

In this context, the history of Bangabandhu practice in Bangladesh needs to be highlighted. After the assassination of Bangabandhu and his family in 1975, the occupiers of power conspired to take the country towards Pakistan and even tried to form a confederation with Pakistan. The history of the war of liberation was changed and Bangabandhu was exiled. Naming is also considered a heinous crime. The democratic secular constitution drafted in the spirit of the war of liberation was Islamized by military decree. Secularism, one of the four basic principles of the constitution, was abolished, and Islam was later made the state religion.

The idea was also propagated that it was not Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman but Ziaur Rahman who declared independence, Major of Pakistan Army in 1971 and later General, Chief of Army Staff. Neither Mujib nor his party Bangladesh Awami League has any role in the liberation struggle of Bangladesh. The slogan of the liberation war ‘Joy Bangla’ was banned. Military dictators also destroyed the blood ties that Bangladesh had with India during the war of liberation. In a word, the conspiracy was to wipe out Bangabandhu and Bangladesh from the war of liberation.

After the assassination of Bangabandhu and his family in 1975, the Awami League led by Bangabandhu was kept out of power for 21 long years. The architect of Bangladesh too. After the Awami League came to power with the people in the 1996 elections, Sheikh Hasina started trying to bring the country back to the line of the liberation war. Though the planned conspiracy to keep the new generation away from the war of liberation and Bangabandhu came to an end, the defeated Pakistani trend was not completely eradicated. However, opportunities arose for the war of liberation and the practice of Bangabandhu. Apart from the BNP-Jamaat rule from 2001 to 2006 and the covert military rule of 2006-2007, the nation was reborn in 2009 and the Awami League returned to power. The new journey started on the path of liberation war consciousness.

By removing all obstacles, the way to rediscover Bangabandhu became easy. I began to research and write. Various books on the liberation war and Bangabandhu were published. Bangabandhu came up anew in the seminar discussion. Bangabandhu Corner is an exceptional initiative in its continuity.

While Mohammad Shams-ul-Islam was the General Manager of Sylhet Circle of the state-owned Agrani Bank, Bangabandhu Corner was started on a limited scale. He himself said he was sceptical of success. But from the beginning, he got a positive response. His idea later spread to the head office of Ansar-VDP Unnayan Bank, when he was the managing director of the bank. This initiative took a more aesthetic form at the head office of Agrani Bank. After Shams-ul-Islam took over as the managing director and chief executive of the bank, Bangabandhu Corner was set up on the seventh floor of the bank building. There are more than 400 books written about Bangabandhu and the liberation war, three albums of Bangabandhu’s pictures, a big picture, magazine, CD and a bronze sculpture weighing 118 kg. If you stand beside this sculpture, it seems that Bangabandhu is beside you.

Shams-ul-Islam said, “I showed the picture of Bangabandhu Corner to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on one occasion. She looked at the pictures attentively and praised them.” It serves as motivation. And in an effort to expand the initiative.

Mr Islam, the inventor of Bangabandhu Corner, told the story behind the initiative. After independence, Bangabandhu merged Habib Bank and Commerce Bank of Pakistan and established Agrani Bank. If there was Pakistan, I could be a junior officer in any bank. Pakistan’s 23-year history testifies, not more. With the rise of independent Bangladesh under the leadership of Bangabandhu, I have become the highest official of a bank today. Bengalis are getting a chance to stand with their heads held high. Being able to utilize talent and skills. He said that great efforts were made to erase Bangabandhu and the war of liberation from the minds of the people of Bangladesh, but it was not possible. After the assassination of Bangabandhu, a vacuum was naturally created. After 21 years, when the forces of the liberation war came to power, the country started its journey in the right direction under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina. In this great work, I have tried to join with a new thought. My initiative is very small, but I am proud to be able to inspire busy people to spend some time with Bangabandhu. I think this is a step towards making Bangabandhu our companion in our busy time.

Bangabandhu Corner has already been set up in almost all corporate offices, educational institutions and embassies and press clubs in the country. The government has decided to set up Bangabandhu Corners in libraries in all educational institutions of the country. In this way, interest is being created to know Bangabandhu. The practice is growing.

Bashudeb Dhar: President, Indian Media Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (IMCAB)