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Dhaka University Centennial & New Beginnings

Md. Sayeed-Ur-Rabb   শনিবার, ১২ মার্চ ২০২২ 12765
Dhaka University Centennial & New Beginnings

MD Sayeed Ur Rabb - Founder & Chairman of Mahe Moni Arts & Sports Museum; President & Chief Editor of ANA; DU Blue; A prolific author and journalist, national and international athlete and wrestler, community activist, former President & CEO of Thikana Newspaper in the USA

Throughout its rich and indelible history, Dhaka University has demonstrated excellence and grace in its preparation of students, not only for academic prowess, but also for the eternal struggle against the perpetual machines of tyranny and injustice. Dhaka University has served as an esteemed institution through four different empires, acting as both headquarters and haven for the scores of intellectually curious students that have occupied its halls. It is my pride and honor to have been one of those students, and now, as an alumnus, to represent this University which has constantly instilled in its students the eternal values of moral fortitude in the face of adversity and political turbulence, regardless of their surroundings or circumstances. Scholars and students alike have constantly demonstrated their shared penchant for conscientious opposition across all eras of the University’s existence by leading resistance towards the many injustices imposed by the imperial powers that once bound our people. Even today, our institution and its students provide a leading voice of reason in the face of national crises and injustice. This has been done by only one means, through the perpetuity of the values established by the founders of the University, that all students shall leave the school with a feeling of empowerment and duty, that as the privileged and educated, they have the cogent responsibility of building and nurturing the society around them, such that it is independent and shielded from ignorance and disinformation by the ecumenical presence of knowledge.

The University has exemplified this mission many times; in 1952, when the founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinna declared that Urdu shall be the national language of Pakistan, Dhaka University students protested ardently for the preservation of Bangla. Then, in March 1971, when Dhaka University students lifted their flags high before handing it to national leaders to symbolize the advent of a 9 month struggle for freedom. Over the years, Dhaka University’s students have led and continue to lead movements in a majority of the Nation’s crises before and after our independence. This is a streak we cannot lose, for injustice will never die and thus our fight against it shall never perish. So long as there are those among us who have only known ignorance and poverty their whole lives, we as the University’s students and alumni must dedicate our lives to being their champions against tyranny and indoctrinated transgressions.

Though many more people apply for its limited seats, by admitting thousands of the brightest students each year, Dhaka University expands its capabilities and footprint in the dynamic global economy. A rigorous selection process therefore proves essential to national interests because as representatives of not only the University but of Bangladesh as a whole, students serve as ambassadors of the collective population. A baseline university education enables students to learn the skills required to live a comfortable life with a secure job, but emblazoned with the Dhaka University emblem to their names, our students must use their talents to do more. They must develop their instincts to drive initiatives that make society flourish while creating enriching opportunities for people along the way. If this concept is not prioritized, then education would solely be for selfish reasons. Society is built on a robust and interconnected support network, full of multitalented and variegated role models and professionals that empower others towards self-subsistence. Our struggle for autonomy was one committed for the common good but the mechanisms for our achievement of independence cannot be forgotten. It is imperative that we set our goals to be recognized not only nationally but also globally, and we do this by resifting our focus from the self to the collective.

 Dhaka University Alumni Association Program. From left DU Alumnus Sayeed Ur Rabb, Ambassador Anwarul Bari Chowdhury, Former Bangladesh Bank Governor Forash Uddin, DU Alumnus MB Chowdhury, Former Caretaker Government Adviser Justice Habibur Rahman, Barrister Rafiqul Haque, Former Chief Justice ATM Afzal, Attorney General Mahbube Alam.

Dhaka University has undoubtedly bred a plethora of eloquent politicians, diligent researchers, and thought-provoking writers but as society continues to evolve, it creates exciting opportunities to reimagine and actualize the potential of our esteemed institution. Through its progress, the University must recognize multi-talented individuals, teachers and students alike, and also become a multifaceted institution with world class representation and recognition among not just the academics, but also the creatives, athletics, entrepreneurs, and more. With this social evolution and progression, adaptation and a shift in mindset is key and can be achieved by incubating new ideas and concepts, prioritizing science, technology and advanced research initiatives and less politics. Carrying a diverse portfolio of specialties is beneficial because it promotes the University and the Nation itself, uplifting its people and giving them much needed recognition on a global scale. Student selection can be an inclusive and comprehensive process with rigor in assessing individuality and uniqueness instead of the platitudinous nature of everyone simply being academically gifted in the same way. I envision a future where we can equally appreciate the student fighting an assortment of socioeconomic odds to further their education, with the student that has always been able to afford extra academic support, to even the student whose main achievements have been in the athletic arena over the classroom. A scintillating and exciting outlook exists on the horizon of our future, with the prosperity of Bangladesh riding on the shoulders of Dhaka University.

Throughout the ages, athletes have been universally esteemed and honored in society because they constantly test and surpass the limits of their physical and mental capabilities. In many instances, the marginalized and minorities of society are represented by the sportsman and his athletic feats, and the sportsman’s achievements in competition serve to inspire and motivate. They embody characteristics which are prone for success so long as they are provided robust coaching support and healthy competition among peers. With more Bangladeshi athletes performing in the mainstream arena, young citizens can look up to members of their own country and find inspiration in the success bred in their home land. Before long we will witness the evolution of a new Bangladeshi society that is on an eternally upward trajectory towards a powerful and innovative state where students can envision and realize limitless possibilities.

To this end, we need to produce able leaders in the field to drive this initiative. I am confident that we will soon see the day when Dhaka University emerges among the elite Physical Education & Athletic Performance centers of the world. As one of the premier educational institutions in our continent, it is only appropriate for our University to develop a course of study and specialization dedicated to the health, wellness, and abilities of our bodies through physical education. These programs should encapsulate the scientific nature of sports and physical education, as well as its economic and social impact. Not only will this drive tremendous economic value for our citizens but it will allow us to breed scholars, leaders, and professionals who understand the value of a physically and mentally healthy life beyond academics and career aspirations, and will contribute to a health conscious population in Bangladesh. The ubiquitous adage “Health is Wealth” rings no truer than in our own nation, and an emphasis on physical education is a powerful vehicle that will help uplift Bangladesh socioeconomically.

In the 21st century, the evolution of technology has catalyzed an unprecedented level of efficiency in fostering and harboring international communication and collaboration. This technological future is a vast opportunity for the University to be more connected to other educational and research institutions and form strong global alliances that give students extraordinary opportunities to build international relations and networks. If Dhaka University engages with international students through amicable, intellectual circles, research and exchange programs, scholarship outreach, and advanced degree sponsorships, then both pedagogues and the pedagogy will expand their horizons and broaden their perceptions of the world. Such collaboration will help keep them focused and away from pessimistic, politically rooted views that conflict with a healthy academic or competitive atmosphere. In addition, if students work next to inspirational and uplifting role models that they look up to and respect, then they themselves will eventually serve as mentors for the future youth of Bangladesh. Students need examples to draw from and luminaries to look up to, and most of all, they need directed and nurturing guidance from the administration to not only develop themselves for the global job market, but also to conceive and maintain everlasting moral principles of righteousness in the face of evil, so that they may rise up against social dilemmas and conquer challenges of all spheres. By breaking down these walls and fostering collaboration, the University’s students can unite with their international peers towards achieving their common goals; to broaden their worldviews and perspectives and thereby inspire active metamorphoses.

Our martyrs set aside their fears and fought for a language and culture they knew would be fruitful for Bengalis by demanding their voices be heard. This University is a chest filled with bright minds but there are several locks yet to be opened to see the holistic treasure inside. These keys need to be held with strong hands and matched with the right lock in order to open. As an athlete, entrepreneur and alumnus, I hope to inspire current students to show them they can be well rounded individuals, specialists with innovative ideas who aren’t afraid to dissent from the popular opinion, and scholars who do not engage in the common norm or the orthodoxy. Students should flourish to become innovative and conceive new ideas and solutions to societal issues. They should strive to be autonomous thinkers, to perhaps be their own boss or a mission-driven leader in their field, but they have to be carefully guided so that they are cognizant of the optimal circumstances necessary to achieve such goals.

Success is not just realizing your own potential but also being humble throughout the journey, and not forgetting that you are a representative for the less fortunate. As a Dhaka University Blue, I represented the school on a national and international level and strived to provide a champion’s effort with every performance, so that I might inspire and motivate those who admired my achievements. Just like me, there were many athletes who represented the University such as Tufazzal, Liaqat, Farooque, Niam, Parvez, Kobir, Bablu, Dana, Rumana, Kaisar Hamid, Sultanakamal, Pintu, Quamruzaman, Arif, Mubin, Quamrul Islam, Fakruddin, Jahangir Faiz, Dolly, Nawsher, Tipu, Sadek, Ibrahim, Protap, Kazi Abdul Alim, Sultunul Aziz, Brojendash, Shumit, Mukul, Badal and Mezbah.

Representing Bangladesh in the International arena was an experience very few have shared, and it’s an opportunity that many should be able to experience given a shift in admission quota, proper resources, funding and prioritization. Our principles in training and academics proved to be immensely efficacious in personal development both on and off the field, and it should strongly be emulated in the University’s modern day educational disciplines.
In 1979-80, a group of exceptional student athletes received the prestigious Dhaka University Blue in recognition of their superior academic and athletic achievements. I say this to exemplify not only the efforts of talented young athletes, but also to praise the bold committee whose foresight propelled them to empower enthusiasts of sports and physical education to believe in their abilities beyond academics.

Dhaka University Sports Board – Vice Chancellor Professor Fazlul Halim Chowdhury, Pro Vice Chancellor Professor AKM Siddique, Secretary (Director of Phys. Ed Dept.) AHM Mostafa, Members: Professor Aminul Islam, Professor Abdul Mumin Chowdhury, Professor Shamsul Islam, Dr. Hamid Uddin Khan, Shamsul Haque Mollah, MA Kuddus, Professor Ramjan Ali Shardar, Professor Iyaz Uddin Ahmed, Dr. Nurul Haque, Professor AKM Abdul Alim, Professor AH Mostafa Kamal, Professor AA Kamruddin, Dr. Rangalal Sen, Dr. Anwarul Azim Chowdhury, Dr. Mohabbat Ali, Dr. Sharifa Khatun, Mrs. Maksuda Begum, Dr. Azizullah, SAK Azad, and Wahiduzzaman Khan Pintu.

Dhaka University Blue: Football – Mostafa Hossain Mukul, Wahiduzzaman Khan Pintu, Zakir Hossain Badol. Athletics – Sayeed Ur Rabb, Tofazzal Hossain. Wrestling – Faroque Ahmed. Gymnastics – Ahmedur Rahman Bablu. Tennis – Shibli Ahmed, Kamruddin Ahmed. Boxing – A Abdul Halim. Basketball – Augustin Gomes Tony, Zillu, Kabir Ahmed, Sarkar, Parvez, Kamrul Ahsan, Moinul Hassan. Cricket – Rakibul Alam, Mujibul Haque Montu. Hockey – Mashukullah Aish.

Standing DU Blue Award Winners (1979-80) Sitting from left: DU Physical Education Department Director AHM Mostafa, VC Professor Fazlul Halim Chowdhury, Pro VC Professor AKM Siddique, DU Sports Secretary Wahiduzzaman Pintu

As a final note of reflection, Dhaka University students are thriving home and abroad, and located across all parts of the globe. We are helping advance the world powered by the stellar education earned at DU. As society is ever changing and I’m excited to see the evolution of Dhaka University’s policies and decisions in response to these changes. Our nation is only 50 years old, but as the mindset of our policy makers and administrators shift towards the non-traditional, modern approach of furthering science, technology, entrepreneurship, physical education, and sports sciences, we will no longer be responding to society’s evolution but rather driving it. Change will not emerge spontaneously, thus we must willfully make a collective and concerted effort to continuously instill in each student the conviction that they can be leaders working together towards a noble and altruistic goal of fixing flaws and transforming our Nation to be a safe, healthy and prosperous one, ensuring that the Nation and its people thrive in success and prosperity for millenia to come. Congratulations Dhaka University on its 100 years, and may we see many more in the future!

MD Sayeed Ur Rabb – Founder & Chairman of Mahe Moni Arts & Sports Museum; President & Chief Editor of ANA; DU Blue; A prolific author and journalist, national and international athlete and wrestler, community activist, former President & CEO of Thikana Newspaper in the USA.

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Posted ৮:৪২ অপরাহ্ণ | শনিবার, ১২ মার্চ ২০২২

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