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Bhashani dropped from Bangla textbooks

Mohiuddin Alamgir

Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan BhashaniMaulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani

The new curriculum for students has dropped the biography of Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, a politician who fought all his life for the rights of the oppressed and against exploitation, imperialism and feudalism, from Bangla textbooks for Class V and VIII.
Followers of Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani teamed up as Bhashani Anusari Parisahd protested at the move and demanded reinstatement of the biography in the textbooks.
The National Curriculum and Textbook Board chair, Mostafa Kamaluddin, told New Age, ‘We have included  text on Bhashani’s contribution to the country in brief in textbooks of Class VII and IX. We have dropped the text from books for Class V and VIII to avoid repetition.’
The government is implementing the new curriculum for students from Class I to IX with effect from 2013.
The curriculum has been changed after about 17 years to keep pace with the modern world and infuse values in students of all education systems, textbook board officials said. The curriculum was last revised in 1995.
The Bhashani Anusari Parisahd coordinator, Rafiqul Islam, told New Age that a text on Maulana Bhashani spanning two
pages was included in the Bangla textbooks ‘after the independence but it was dropped in the new curriculum.’
‘It was done to keep the new generation from knowing about Bhashani and his contribution to the nation,’ he said.
Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, born in Sirajganj in 1880, was a pioneering figure of grass-roots politics in the British India and mass movements. He led the mass uprising of 1969 that gradually changed the course of history of this land, leading to the birth of Bangladesh. In May 1976, he led the Long March demanding demolition of the Farakka Barrage constructed by India to divert flow of Ganges waters inside its territory, triggering the drying up of the River Padma and desertification of Bangladesh He died in November 1976.
Siddiqur Rahman, who led experts and educationists  in developing the new curriculum told, New Age that Bhashani’s contribution was discussed in the several chapters of the subject called Bangladesh and global studies.
The textbook board chair said that page 10 of the new Bangla textbook for Class VII has a picture of Bhasani and mention about him.
Page 5 of the book of Bangladesh and global studies and page 115 of the textbook of civics for Class IX also have text on Bhashani.
‘In the textbooks, we said that Bhashani had led the mass uprising of 1969 that gradually changed the course of history of this land,’ the chairman said.
Rafiqul Islam said that the textbook board and the government had undermined the leader’s contribution to the nation as mentioning him as part of text was not enough.

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