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Thursday, June 7, 2012

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

"Khandkar never announced his intention to produce no more Hindus for India (sic)" does not really mean anything. Most people with such a caliber (university professor) are tactful enough to avoid making such announcements in public. Of course, Ganapati Haldar is dead; and we can not ask him how he knew that Professor Khundkar did not want to produce chemists for India. Thus, we could not be certain about Professor Khundkar's culpability, and we had to talk in terms of "if he did/said."
In any case, I think we have talked enough using the Khundkar name, and we have exchanged some healthy thoughts without overly vilifying Professor Khundkar. It is time to give the subject of educating people for India a rest, particularly in terms of using the Khundkar name.
Sukhamaya Bain
On Jun 4, 2012, at 10:24 PM, Kamal Das <> wrote:
Prof. Khandkar was never consistent in his manners.  He had connections on the top politicians.  He allowed a sick bed to Shaikh Shahidul Islam because he was the nephew of Bangabandhu, it is said.  He never really risked his life by giving shelter to a Hindu student.  In fact that story I am hearing for the first time.  A person who fought with rickshaw pullers for two annas every day is not expected to show such magnanimity.  Khandkar never announced his intention to produce no more Hindus for India, it was another teacher of another Department who did it.  However, education at Dacca University was less than that of international standard those days.  Only a fool could be proud of it though it was the best the land could offer.
On Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 6:15 PM, Shah Deeldar <> wrote:
I would not pass any comment on Dr. Khondokar behavior because I do not know him at all. What I can understand from your writings is that he was a nationalist and showed a great deal of favor towards certain group of students. However, he was a civil teacher but could not hide his disgust about some Hindu students chose to leave the country. Since those students overwhelmingly left for India rather than US, he probably got very upset. He had no understanding why those people wanted to flee. Maybe, he wanted them to stay in the country and serve and fight for their rights? If good people just leave without giving a fight, it also put more burden to the next generations.

Now, why he saved a student from Pakistanis by risking his own life, we would never know. That might be due to his human quality that was still there with him? There are times when a monster can do good things too.

Teachers are also humans and they too posses the same qualities/attributes like many of us.
"All great truths begin as blasphemies." GBS
From: subimal chakrabarty <>
To: "" <>
Sent: Saturday, June 2, 2012 9:58 AM
Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] The allegation of opposition to the establishment of Dhaka University
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.         
From: Shah Deeldar <>
To: "" <>
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
Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2012 10:30 PMSubject: 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...


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"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".
               -Beatrice Hall [pseudonym: S.G. Tallentyre], 190

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