The 103rd birth anniversary of poet and women's rights activist Begum Sufia Kamal was observed yesterday with a call for ensuring equal rights of women in every sphere of life and taking a stand against sectarian violence.
The poet's own rights-based organisation, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP), hosted a memorial lecture at Bangla Academy.
Talking about the poet's life, Director General of Bangla Academy Shamsuzzaman Khan narrated in his lecture how Sufia Kamal grew up in an extremely orthodox family but stood out as a forerunner of communal harmony.
She was born to a zamindar family in Barisal on June 20, 1911.
Referring to the recent incident at Kurmitola Bihari Camp where nine members of Bihari community were set on fire and burnt to death, Debapriya Bhattacharya, distinguished fellow of the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said, “By murdering those not of the same nationality as us, we have shown that we are yet to realise the harmony that Sufia Kamal believed in.”
In commemoration of the ideals that Sufia Kamal cherished, Late Justice Debesh Chandra Bhattacharya was given the Sufia Kamal honour this year.
The programme was chaired by BMP Chairperson Ayesha Khanam.