On July 1, 2023, Dhaka University, the country's highest academic institution, will enter its 103rd year. This day is being celebrated as "Dhaka University Day". The university authorities have taken a day-long colorful program on the occasion of its entry into the 103rd year, keeping in mind the motto "Building Smart Bangladesh University".
On July 1, 1921, the doors of education of Dhaka University were opened for students. This university was built on a 600-acre land in Ramna, the most elite and beautiful area of Dhaka at that time, combining the abandoned buildings of the East Bengal and Assam Province governments and the buildings of Dhaka College (now Curzon Hall).
Dhaka University is a living history; Dhaka University is a moving chapter of history. This university is intimately connected with the history of the birth of the country called Bangladesh. History is scattered around this historical institution, various chapters of history have been written. Battala, Madhur Canteen, Kala Bhavan, Shaheed Minar, there is no place in this university where the history of Bengalis and Bangladesh has not revealed some of its episodes. And the history behind the establishment of this historic institution is no less fascinating. During the British colonial rule, the process of establishing Dhaka University began in the second decade of the 20th century with the aim of developing an independent nation. This University of Dhaka is the result of the protest of the people of East Bengal against the unjust decision of the then rulers in British India. Famous historian Muntasir Mamun wrote about this in Dhaka Smriti Bismriti Nagari book,
"Dhaka University was established as a compensation for the partition of Bengal. What Lord Lytton called Splendid Imperial Compensation. East Bengal was lagging behind in all areas of education, economy. After the partition of Bengal, this situation changed a little, especially in the field of education."
The Muslim people of East Bengal were greatly angry and disappointed after the cancellation of the Partition of Bengal, 1911. A group of Muslim representatives led by the then Nawab of Dhaka, Sir Khwaja Salimullah, including AK Fazlul Haque known as the 'Tiger of Bengal', and Syed Nawab Ali Chowdhury, first demanded the establishment of a university here on 31 January 1912 to improve the fortunes of the people of the region as a compensation for the rejection of the partition of Bengal.
There is a rumour raised recently that Rabindranath Tagore opposed the establishment of Dhaka University as he thought Muslim community people of Dhaka do not deserve to have higher education. Now in Bangladesh a host of people believe this rumour out of communal outlook. It is very much unfortunate for us to misjudge Rabindranath Tagore. Confining Rabindranath in Kolkata and in a religious community is a utter injustice to the poet, educationist, philanthropist and philosopher like Rabindranath. It is known from the writings of various researchers that Rabindranath Tagore was not present in Kolkata on that date of meeting convened opposing Dhaka university Rabindranath Tagore have been invited from Dhaka University after five years of its establishment. He was given a warm reception and was sheltered at the Nawab Bari. In the newspapers of that time there was not any allegation against Rabindranath for opposing the establishment of Dhaka University.
However, it was initially recognized as the Oxford of the East in the context of strict quality control by scholars and scientists of various backgrounds. It started as a residential university with three faculties and 12 departments. In the first academic year, the number of students in various departments was 877 and the number of teachers was 60. At present, Dhaka University has 13 faculties, 13 institutes, 84 departments, 60 bureaus and research centers and 19 residential halls for students, 4 hostels and 138 material colleges and institutes. The number of students studying in this university is about 46 thousand 150 people. About 2 thousand 8 teachers are engaged in teaching and research.
Numerous distinguished students have studied at Dhaka University, including 13 Presidents, 7 Prime Ministers and a Nobel Prize winner. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation of Bangladesh, studied here and the students of this university had a special contribution to make Bangladesh independent. The teachers of this university have received the highest number of Bangladesh Science Academy Medals. It is also the only university in Bangladesh to be included in the list of top 100 universities of Asia Week.
From the language movement of 1952 to the independence war of 1971, the university has played a glorious role. During the War of Independence, this university was attacked by the Pakistani forces. In this, many teachers-officers-employees and students of this university were martyred. In view of the teachers' demands since the 1960s for the cancellation of the ordinance introduced by the dictator Ayub Khan's government in 1961 to keep the teachers and students of the university under strict control, the National Parliament of the People's Republic of Bangladesh canceled the said ordinance and issued the Dhaka University Order-1973. At present the university is being governed by this order.
Today on July 1 at 10 a.m. under the leadership of Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Md. Akhtaruzzaman, a colorful procession alongwith teachers, students, officials and employees of the university will be started from Smriti Chirantan Chatwar and end at the teacher student center (TSC).
There will be hoisting of national flag, flags of Dhaka University and halls. National anthem, Dhaka University theme song and opening song will be delivered and cake cutting, flying of pigeons and balloons are supposed to be held at the TSC. Then at 10:30 in the morning in the TSC auditorium, a discussion meeting titled 'Smart Bangladesh Building University' will be held. On the occasion of the day, archways will be constructed at various entrances of the university and important buildings and structures will be illuminated.
Tias Titir Misha A student of Health Economics Department, Dhaka University