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Monday, June 4, 2012

Re: [mukto-mona] The allegation of opposition to the establishment of Dhaka University

His name was Nepal Chandra Howlader, I suppose.  He used to call Prof. Khandker 'Baba'.

On Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 12:09 PM, Kamal Das <> wrote:
That boy, I forgot his name, was three years junior to me.  Fakhruddin Ahmed, the Rhodes Scholar, was my classmate. 

On Sat, Jun 2, 2012 at 7:58 PM, subimal chakrabarty <> wrote:

Our memory fades. After 40 years it is hard to separate myths and facts from a mixture of these two. Let us assume that Dr. M. Khundakar, as the head of the department, was actually against producing chemists for India. Given the animosity between Pakistan and India, Khundakar was a great nationalist, but at the same time he was very poorly professional. Why did he take Hindu students at all? Once taken, how could he make a Hindu learn less and therby make him lesser of a chemist? During the Pakistani occupation period (March-Devcember 1971) he sheltered a brilliant Hindu student in his own home (Kamal-da might have been his classmate and hence may be able to reconfirm it). By doing this he risked his own life! Is it not intriguing that Khundakar was in the process of making a first-class-first Hindu chemist in the very Pakistan period in his own hands? Is it also not inspiring and wonderful? How a feat of professionalism be better? Is it not a wonderful piece of the untold history of our great liberation war and communal harmony as well? 
By the by I should mention from whom I heard about Dr. M. Khundakar's alleged unwillingness to produce chemists for India. He was Ganapati Haldar. He was another brilliant student and was my roommate for one year in the dorm when we were students of Dhaka college. He came of a poor family. He got involved in a politics that made him dream of changing the society. He got killed in the hands of the antiliberation forces.         

Cc: "" <>
Sent: Friday, June 1, 2012 9:02 PM

Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] The allegation of opposition to the establishment of Dhaka University
Well, we deserve no better than mediocrity. The worms are already planted in the brains of students and teachers. Only few might be coming out right from the system with an open mind while the rest will paying some money to the middlemen and get some mundane jobs and will carry on living happily after. I think the battle is already lost. Good and fair teachers for Bangladeshis? Why and who cares? (Sorry for my sarcasm)

"All great truths begin as blasphemies." GBS
From: Jiten Roy <>
Sent: Friday, June 1, 2012 8:01 PM
Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] The allegation of opposition to the establishment of Dhaka University
Very well said, Deeldar! 
Communality blurs one's vision to see the talent in the people belonging to a different community from theirs. This practice gives undue advantage to a preferred community over the others. Although the preferred community may gain from this practice in the short term, but the country will lose in the long run due to mediocrity, as you so justly said.  This practice encourages brain-drain, which causes irreparable damage to a country. Therefore, people who really love their county can never be communal.
You also said that talented people will always shine wherever they are. That's so true. I think communality anywhere in a country, especially in the academic institutions, is the highest form of betrayal to a country.
I taught Physics at Dhaka University for 3 years (1978 – 1981). While grading paper, my only thought used to be - if I was being fair to my students, nothing else. Never a thought of communal discrimination ever crossed through my mind during my academic tenure. I think - most of our teachers think that way also. Some Islamist-teachers may possess communality in Bangladesh. The same way, some Hindutyabadi-teachers in India may possess communality. I believe - these are exceptional cases only. It will always be there.
Jiten Roy
--- On Fri, 6/1/12, Shah Deeldar <> wrote:

From: Shah Deeldar <>
Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] The allegation of opposition to the establishment of Dhaka University
To: "" <>
Date: Friday, June 1, 2012, 9:21 AM

"I won't be surprised if there was unwritten instruction to the department-Heads from the state authority in favor of communal discrimination."
Discrimination has been pretty rampant in schools/colleges/universities without any doubt. You can't do much about it unless strong individuals step in and do the right thing. Nobody can stop a bright student becoming whatever he or she wants to do in his/her life. But with persistent practice of discrimination, you create mediocrity in your academic institutions. The very brights will leave while mediocre students will stay and create more mediocre students. And, you can guess what happens next. If you add politics and religion into the equation, that would lower the quality even further and set the standard as garbage in garbage out mode!-SD
"All great truths begin as blasphemies." GBS
From: Jiten Roy <>
Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2012 10:30 PM
Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] The allegation of opposition to the establishment of Dhaka University
Physics department had very good reputation of being secular, in those days (1960s). I never had any personal experience of religious hatred from any of my Muslim teachers; instead, I only experienced their selfless love and affection. But, I heard allegation from some Hindu students about communal treatments towards them from the very same teachers. What could be the explanation for these two different treatments from the same person(s)?  This is what I also noticed – accusation always came from students after receiving not so satisfactory grades from those teachers. Therefore, when I hear this type of allegation, I think many of them may be either unfounded or mistaken interpretations of the event.
This is not to say that there was no communality in any of our teachers. In some special circumstances, it may have happened. I heard that communality may have played a role when two students, one Hindu and one Muslim, compete for the top rank (first-class-first) and their scores are too close to call. Top rank used to come with guaranteed job as a faculty or in the civil services. This was a consideration at the time of awarding the top rank during the Pakistani-era. I won't be surprised if there was unwritten instruction to the department-Heads from the state authority in favor of communal discrimination. Therefore, teachers might not have choice but to comply. Who knows...
Jiten Roy--- On Thu, 5/31/12, Subimal Chakrabarty <> wrote:

From: Subimal Chakrabarty <>
Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] The allegation of opposition to the establishment of Dhaka University
Date: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 3:20 PM

I can input some data to make the story more complete. 
1. Before 1971 the Chemistry dept  head of DU used to tell the class that he was not going to produce chemists for India. I heard about it from a student (killed in liberation war) of the same dept. I don't if that was an exaggeration. The same teacher have shelter to a brilliant Hindu student during the occupation period. This student spent the entire 9 months in Dhaka city. I have seen hindu students referring to him as a Rajakar. That person is now in America and doing good. The thing is still a riddle to me. 
2. One Hindu student from English dept. told us about a departmental professor who had bitter experience as a minority student in Calcutta University. He used to suffer from inferiority complex and used to sit on a back seat all by himself. One day one professor pointed to him and asked, "Is that a Musselman?"
Sent from my iPhone
On May 31, 2012, at 7:54 AM, Shah Deeldar <> wrote:
Muslims are not any exceptions to the typical human behavior. Any group of people would like to find some commonality or differences with other groups of people and fight the "common enemy". When they do not find any common enemy, they will find differences within the same group and fight the people who look different or behave differently. The exceptions are rare unless the group has different motives and agenda. You can easily test this by putting bunch of Muslims (or Hindus/Christians) in a village and let them interact for few months. Certain group of Muslims will look down on others even they pray to the same Allah.
Yes, for some good or bad reason, people would like to be connected to the Arabian royal blood in order to be able to  boast about their ancestry. That is because of their poor self confidence and education. I would agree with you about Pakistani Muslims hating more their Hindu ancestry than Bengali Muslims. New converts are always less tolerant to their past. The reason is obvious!
The bottom line is that God is not a solution when people think their God is better and more powerful than other people' Gods. It is rather a refuge for certain scoundrels, who do not want to answer some tough questions. It is rather a business with no productivity except producing more illiterates for the society. To a small starving child, an "omnipotence" God has no value at all in comparison to a small piece of bread. 
PS. Sorry for being little off topic.

"All great truths begin as blasphemies." GBS
From: Sukhamaya Bain <>
To: "" <>
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 9:11 PM
Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] The allegation of opposition to the establishment of Dhaka University
While I salute Dr. Das for his successful fight against a wrong trend, I must say that during my student life at Dhaka University Chemistry Department (1975-1981), an overwhelming majority of my professors were non-communal decent human beings of the Muslim background. In fact, I consider quite a few of them as the best teachers of my life. The clear concepts that I got from them made me increasingly interested in Chemistry. Most of the ones that I got a chance to mix with at a personal level were helpful and understanding.
Unlike Dr. Das, I actually doubt if the Pakistani Muslims had more respect for their Hindu ancestry than the Bengali Muslims. The state of Pakistan during its entire lifetime (1947 to date) does not support what Dr. Das felt. I think one needs to mix intimately with people, while asserting his/her rights, to know their real character.
Talking about Arabian ancestry, I think Bengali Muslims overall are too irrational when it comes to the looks, sounds and smells of their religion; but I doubt if they are worse than the Pakistani Muslims. Of course, there are exceptions to the overall picture.
Sukhamaya Bain
From: Kamal Das <>
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 8:10 PM
Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] The allegation of opposition to the establishment of Dhaka University
Chemistry Department stopped awarding first class to any student bearing Hindu name since the 1965 war between India and Pakistan, the tradition continued till I changed it four years later.  Most of my classmates agreed that I changed it by fighting the whole Department.Most people of Pakistani origin I came across in my life were respectful of their Hindu ancestry.  However, the story is different with Bengali Muslims.  They think, their ancestors came from some place in the Arabian land. 
On Sun, May 27, 2012 at 9:31 PM, Sukhamaya Bain <> wrote:
Not surprisingly, people who make this accusation against people like Ashutosh Mukherjee or Rabindranath Tagore did not answer my questions.
Q. A. Rahman has addressed some of the questions, with a declaration that he does not consider himself as an accuser. However, his answers and analyses were either plain wrong or typical of the two-nation theorist imbeciles.
Dr. Kamal Das has also made some comments. He reasoned that Muslims were not up to education, and were not expected to have a large share of teachers and students at Dhaka University during its early years.
Now let me make some comprehensive points.
Pakistan or not, if Hindus did not face the kind of discrimination, hatred, and barbaric atrocities that they did in East Bengal since 1947, if they did not leave East Bengal, the academic circle of any Bangladeshi university that would be worth calling "the Oxford of the East" would be dominated by Hindus over the Muslims even today. Let me give a few examples: 1) in my B. Sc. Honors class at the Dhaka University Chemistry Department, graduating in 1980, four students got the first class, and two of them were Hindus, 2) two years before us no one got the first class in Chemistry honors program from the university proper; only one student, a Hindu, got the first class from BM College in Barishal, 3) in our honors batch, the most distinguished scholar in the Science Faculty (the Kalinarayan Scholar) was a Hindu student from Physics. These are in spite of all the migration of mostly the elite class of Hindus from East Bengal beginning in 1947. The most sudden drop in the quality of Dhaka University was probably in 1947, when Hindu professors left en masse for India, and their void filled with unqualified and poorly qualified Muslims.
Of course, Pakistan was not in the horizon in 1921. Thus, the establishment of Dhaka University in reality had nothing to do with higher education for the Muslims; because the Muslims were not expected to be the principal components of the university. People who suggest that Rabindranath Tagore opposed the establishment of Dhaka University because he was anti-Muslim have a hateful objective of dissociating the greatest Bangalee poet from Bangladesh.
Now let me address a side point made by Q. A. Rahman. His point was that Pakistan was needed for breaking the Hindu domination in East Bengal. His argument was utterly foolish and hateful when he was indifferent to the fact of the migration of Hindus due to discrimination, hatred and barbaric atrocities in their home of centuries. He was essentially saying that it was OK for displacing the Hindus for giving the Muslims some privilege.
No, Muslims had to get themselves interested in real education in order to break the Hindu domination. Hatred can give a short-term gain, which Pakistan did for the Muslims. But look, for example, the elite of Bangladeshi Muslims who have a significant health problem go to India for treatment. Aren't those Hindu doctors in India saving the elite Muslims of Bangladesh?
Talking in terms of political domination, I do not think the Muslims needed Pakistan. Without Pakistan, Muslims would be dominating all of Bengal today; because democracy was inevitable, and because to be a voter one does not need to be very scholarly or rich. Of course, if that political domination was combined with the wisdom of promoting education, Muslims would have had their fair share of power in all respects in due course without the help of hatred.
I would advise people like Mr. Rahman to wake up for progress for all people, especially for the Muslims. Sprouting madrasahs in Bangladesh like wild mushrooms in dirty soil, and promoting hateful religious stupidity will not help the Muslims; real education in humanities, science and technology will.
Sukhamaya Bain
From: Sukhamaya Bain <>


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