November 21, 2013
He was supposed to study English literature. In those days teachers asked students to come and study in their departments. That’s how he ended up in Political Science instead of English literature in Dhaka University. In those days all bright students belonged to a particular progressive political party of students. He was a founding member of that student group. Whole day he had classes, in the late afternoon he tutored a student, in the evening there were meetings of the political group, finally from ten p.m. to two in the morning he studied! He graduated in 1959. Before his result was out he joined for a short period of time at Nasirabad College. Then joined the famous Anondomohon College in 1960. He was there till 1964. Right after he started his career he left the political party. Because of his job. He believed that teachers shouldn’t belong to any political party. He started teaching when he was twenty-one. Sometime right after he joined he expelled more than 100 students in an exam for cheating.
He joined Rajshahi University in 1964. Retired in 2001. In his long career he taught hundreds and hundreds of students. In his classes the classroom was flooded with students. One of classmates came to know about that he is my dad, his sister was my dad’s student, said that students mentioned him as “Prince” among themselves! I came to know that he was not only a strict principled person among students but also a famous teacher.
When he married my mother, she was a student of first year of the same department. Her education came on a hold. Because she can’t study in the same department! My mom was doing really well. She took a job when I was two. She graduated from a different department after a break. In that time period many teachers’ wives studied at the same departments of these husbands. They got a job there. Because of my dad’s ideology my mother had to sacrifice!
He was liked and disliked because of his ultimate straightforwardness. May be the second one is more. Everybody reads about truthfulness, everybody is asked to become a truthful person but not everybody likes a truthful person always. Only likes until it benefits them. Whenever it goes against them they start disliking those. People search their own shadow in others. It took me some time to understand that not everybody always speaks the truth! The teaching, the conscience was passed from him! It was as hard for him to accept as me!
He never wrote any book, to my mother’s sorrow. My dad used to say, “I don’t write notebooks.” Want to know why he said that. Even though I have some ideas. All of his books of his subject were donated to the library of the Political Science department of Rajshahi University. All of his writings (papers) which were published in foreign countries were put together and published as a small book. My mom did that as for my request. Thinking, if his M.S. thesis could have been published!
It could be understandable how much he believed in women’s equal rights if think about my mom’s career and life. My mom used to work in N.G.O. She had a very busy life. Her office hour wasn’t like eight to five. She had to work for long hours. Almost every day she used to come home in the evenings. She had to travel a lot. It was her regular thing. She also visited many foreign countries. My mom had a carrier of around forty years. Dad was always in support of my mom’s carrier. I have seen many people who talk like progressive. Many of them are like saints in the society, maybe because of their intellect. But I know and understand that how many of them are really believe in women’s equal rights and dignity. As for the need of new era now they don’t speak, stand against their daughters or even daughter-in-law’s careers. But when looking at their wives’ lives and thinking, I can feel that there are many untold stories! Maybe even their wives don’t think like that! Many women don’t think of their own rights. Specially women in male dominated societies and countries. And wives of many renowned, famous people live in a world of fantasy! They are so much overwhelmed by their husbands’ intellectualism that they don’t see their husbands’ male chauvinism! Because of my dad’s truthfulness, protest against all wrong doings and believing in women’s equal rights, I respect him. Know that many famous people don’t have these qualities.
Those women who wore Niqab (you could only see the eyes) and if they were students, he asked them to show their faces to make sure that the right person was taking the viva exam. He never allowed any student at home. Everybody should meet him in the department office. That was the rule. In few cases his Ph.D. or M.Phil. students came at home who were part-time students and couldn’t come other times. He caught the evil eyes of pro-Pakistani colleagues long before 1971. The result was that he lost several scholarships abroad for higher studies. The scholarship he got was given to pro-Pakistani people. Later he went to Queens University in Ontario Canada in 1973. He did his M.S. under the supervision of a Urdu speaking professor and the topic was related to Bangladesh’s Liberation War! The teacher of course didn’t like the subject! When he was returning to Bangladesh so many people asked “what are you doing?” There was a famine happening in Bangladesh and many suggested staying back. He didn’t.
He got the spirit of teaching to protest any wrong doing from his dad. My grandfather arrested a white British man with opium (illegal) while serving as an anti-corruption inspector under British Government in then British India! Got the transfer order to a remote jungle area as a reward!