The history of Shaheed Minar
The First Shaheed Minar
The first Shaheed Minar was immediately built after the historical incidents of February 21. According to one of the main planners and the designer of the first Shaheed Minar Saeed Hayder, the decision to build a Shaheed Minar was first taken by the students of Dhaka Medical College. The planning was undergoing from midnight of February 22 and the work started the next day. Although there was a curfew in place students defied that and started building the Minar in the afternoon of February 23. They worked throughout the night and finished it at dawn. A hand written paper was attached to the Minar with 'Shaheed Smritistombho' written on it. The Minar measured 10 into 6 feet. The Minar was inaugurated by the father of martyred Sofiur Rahman. It was destroyed within a few days by the police and Pak Army.
Shaheed Minar (1963-71)
Famous architect Hamidur Rahman created the design of
Shaheed Minar and the construction was started in 1957. The foundation stone of the Shaheed Minar was laid on February 21, 1956. Hamidur Rahman's model was a huge complex on a large area of land on the premises of DMC Hostel. The enormous design included a half-circular column to symbolize the mother with her martyred sons standing at the dais of the central part of the monument. A number of Yellow and deep Blue pieces of stained glass symbolizing eyes that reflects the sun was also to be placed firmly in the columns. The marble floor was designed to reflect the moving shadows of the columns all day long. The basement of the Minar also included fresco art to minutely describe the history of the Language Movement. A railing decorated with Bangla alphabets was to be constructed in front. Two footmarks in red and black was also in the design indicating the two opposite forces. A museum and a library were also included in the design of Rahman. An eye shaped fountain was also to be constructed with a wavy platform. To protect the Shaheed Minar from tropical climate, the construction started according to the design in November 1957 under the supervisation of Hamidur Rahman and Novera Ahmed. Most of the work including the basement, platform, some of the columns with the rails, footprints and some of the murals were also finished when the Martial Law was imposed and the construction was stopped. Later the construction work was completed in 1963 leaving a lot of Rahman's design unfinished. It was inaugurated on February 21, 1963 by the mother of Abul Barkat, Hasina Begum. The Minar was severely damaged during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. The columns were demolished by mortar shells. Pak Army crushed the Minar and placed there a signboard written 'Mosque' on it.
Compiled by Muhammad Shafaq Hussain (Student of IUB)
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