Martyr Dhirendranath Datta remembered

Martyr Dhirendranath Datta was the torch bearer of non-communal spirit and his contribution in establishing the Language Movement be remembered forever, said speakers at a discussion yesterday.

Recalling his daunting spirit against oppression, speakers also said new generation should be made aware of his contributions towards present Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council (BHBCUC) organised the discussion at Jatiya Press Club in remembrance of the day when he demanded Bangla as one of the state languages of the then East Pakistan. 

Dhirendra Nath Datta was a nationalist, patriot, political and social leader, parliamentarian and a lawyer. He was born in Ramrail, Brahamanbaria on November 2, 1886.

He was the member of the first Pakistan Constituent Assembly in 1947. Datta was the first parliamentarian in the Constituent Assembly who, at great personal risk, demanded 'Bangla' as the State Language on February 25 1948 in Karachi.

This demand for "Bangla" as the State language of Pakistan was the foundation stone for the Language Movement, which led towards the birth of Bangladesh. He was the first to plead for Bangali Nationalism in a formal way.

After the pronunciation of the historic demand for Bangla as the State Language within a fortnight on May 11th 1948, Language Day was observed in the then East Pakistan. The spirit of movement was installed and the process continued.

The momentum reached its height on 21st February 1952, where thousands of patriotic students participated in a big demonstration in Dhaka.

At the age of 85, he was picked up by the Pakistani Army from his Comilla residence on March 29, 1971 along with his son, Shaheed Dilip Datta, who was also tortured and killed.

Speaking as chief guest, Kamal Lohani, said, “When he demanded Bangla as one of the state languages of Pakistan, he had to go under immense criticism.”

Assistant Editor of the Samakal Ajoy Dasgupta said, “Dhirendranath Datta did not believe in finding solution in communal violence. He believed in non-communal ideology. So, he was killed”.


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