90 The entire first year was spent in the stormy wave of the mass movement. Having crossed the threshold of Dhaka College, I have just stepped on the threshold of Dhaka University. The Department of Statistics spans the entire curve of the U-shape on the fourth floor of the Science Annex building. Front porch is fully open. At the end of the spring of nineties, a rowdy young woman broke this balcony. Below are Mathematics, Geography and Law sections. They broke the stairs in their youth and climbed up and down. I hear the sound of running up and down. Sometimes the sound of small four-story tea shop hush hush!
Daksu election was announced before the class started. Mahanand see the election procession. Standing on the balcony of the fourth floor, I see all the heads of the procession from a distance. The origin of the procession is Madhur canteen in Kalabhavan area. Just as springs flow from mountains and flow into the ocean, processions flow out of art galleries and disappear into curzons. Beloved annex building in the middle of the stream of the river. The cheers of every procession shook the building. Standing proudly in front of the Jatiya Shaheed Minar, the Annex Building listens to the election promises of all children with motherly neutrality. Chhatra Dal, Chhatra League, Chhatra Union, Chhatra Maitri, Chhatra Front are all his children!!
June has come. On the morning of the 6th, I appeared at SM (Salimullah) Hall with some trepidation. Even if I take classes from home, my attachment is SM. I am the voter of hall by default. All my life I have heard that Daksu election means gun and pistol drill. It will be scary!! Again I went alone to vote. I didn’t find friends when I went. Most of the friends in the department are students of Shahidullah and Fazlul Haque Hall.
Disproving all fears, the election went off without a hitch without any firing. In the election, the Chhatra Dal won all the posts in Daksu and almost all the posts in the other halls except Zahurul Haque and Jagannath. But the main excitement of my university life started after this election.
In June and July, the anti-Ershad movement was limited to a few marches and meetings. Studying and learning Curzon Hall, TSC, British Council, Kala Bhavan, Fine Arts and wandering around. And I regularly travel by ‘Chaitali’ bus from Shyamoli to Annex to Shyamoli. With what joy I used to wait for the dark red Chaitali bus named Dhaka University!! There is no language that can express that joy. Today I became very nostalgic.
In October, the face of the university suddenly changed. Movement every day. collective movement. Chhatra Dal Chhatra League Two residents of two buildings leave parallel lines and become two sides of an equilateral triangle. Chhatra League (Jasad, Basad), Jatiya Chhatra League, Union, Front, Maitri, Federation all parties started movement together on the basis of minimum program. In November, it turned into a one-time movement. The only demand is Ershad’s resignation.
Last week of November. The university has not been declared closed. However, the education program in the class is closed. Bus service on other routes including Chaitali has not stopped. We go to university. Do marches, do meetings, love struggles… just don’t do classes.
27 November 1990. After waiting for a long time at Shyamoli bus stand, Chaitali bus was not seen. 15/20 students standing in pharmacy opposite Shyamoli cinema hall. Jalal Bhai of Master’s Department of International Relations said that there must have been a problem. There was no mobile internet then. Radio TV is regulated. I don’t know about the university. What happened! don’t know anything
My batchmate English first year Faria Lara said, anyway we will go to university today. Lara is a girl at the forefront of the humanitarian anti-dictatorship movement. Born in a politically conscious cultural family. Lara is the daughter of famous writer Selina Hossain. Said to me, “Milton, whatever the rickshaw public bus tempo, we will go to the campus.”
Notice that the movement of other vehicles is also limited. It is very crowded. On Jalal Bhai’s advice, I boarded the Shahbagh-bound coaster. It was said that we will come down to Shahbagh and gather in front of the public library gate.
I got off the bus and saw a terrible scene. I forgot to get together. Armed police concrete block barricades on the road leading to the university from Shahbagh Junction. Jalal Bhai and I boarded the first bus from Shyamoli. Lara couldn’t get up. Who knew my last meeting with Lara at the bus stand! Lara wanted to become an airplane pilot. After Ershad’s fall, this unique talent died untimely in a training plane crash.
Jalal Bhai got into an argument with a constable at Shahbagh. He said, we will go. Hearing the screams, a handsome police officer with ray ban sunglasses came forward. He turned his neck from side to side. can’t go Now I spoke in a low voice. Brother is studying in the library. Test ahead. Officer asked for ID card. Both showed. He looked upside down for a long time. When he confirmed that we are DU students, he allowed us to go inside.
He called again from behind. He said, be careful. Shooting is happening. A group is firing from inside Ramana Park. Others are building resistance from campus. Everyone has a firearm.
Jalal Bhai asked, who is in the park? Supporters of the government?
The officer got a little angry. He said, why such a question? Keep telling me to be careful. Four years ago I was also a student here. Love has not diminished even a drop. Now government servant. Can’t say more than that.
The officer looked at me and once at Jalal Bhai. He took off his sunglasses. Whispered, you do not know anything?
I said, no.
Doctor Milan passed away some time ago. He was going towards TSC by rickshaw. Shots were fired from inside the park.
Never heard the name of doctor Milan before. But after hearing that he was shot dead, his hands and feet became cold. I was afraid to walk from the front of the public library to the art gallery. Jalal Bhai’s face stopped. Extreme excitement in the eyes.
I stepped towards the south. I left the national poet’s shrine on the right hand side and started moving forward. Four or five rounds were fired almost simultaneously. Now is the time to leave the cage. I don’t remember how I walked the next few steps. On Jalal Bhai’s advice I lay down for a few minutes on the west side of the Walter behind the University Central Library. So that the bullets do not hit.
The final fall of Ershad’s government took place on December 6. The university was full of festivities. Thousands of enthusiastic students gather around the TSC road island. This joyousness is not one day, it lasts for almost a month. From the annex building we used to go to TSC to enjoy the all-party procession. I used to shout and sing country songs. It seemed that the country was free again.
After the end of the Ershad era, Ekanbobui spent the winter in bliss on the campus. I was admitted one spring. Another spring has come. Zakir Hossain Bandhan, another friend of Statistics, and I became friends. The spring birds flew to the sanctuary of Jahangirnagar after escaping the illusion of the annex. I crossed the river Padma. Destination Sundarbans. Both are Ferrari birds. The fleeing birds do not return to the nest.
I settled in Khulna University of Engineering (KUET). The address of Sir Salimullah Hall became Dear Lalon Shah Hall. The complex curve of statistics has become the complex moment diagram of civil engineering. This complexity is now livelihood.
Dhaka University is the best university in the country not only because of academic reasons. History is a witness… This university has shown the way to the nation in Bengali language movement, freedom movement, anti-dictatorship movement. Its centenary celebrations are underway in 2021. One hundred years of glory. There is one year left by me. A most joyful year.