Making money out of Baishakh festivity
A section of Bangladesh Chhatra League leaders of Dhaka University pulled in big bucks by organising musical concerts and setting up shops on Dhaka University campus on the day of Pahela Baishakh.
Chhatra League leaders arranged three musical concerts and set up around 35 shops sponsored by some private companies including two cellphone operators on Wednesday, campus sources said.
They earned about Tk 10 lakh and the money was distributed among almost all the leaders of DU unit of Chhatra League, sources in the student wing said.
Of the three concerts those at Mall Chattor and in front of Arts Faculty were held without proper permission from the university administration.
Hundreds of advertisements of products of three private companies on the campus tainted the traditional image of Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bangla New Year.
Besides, a number of former leaders allegedly extorted money from makeshift shops set up at Suhrawardi Udyan.
Each shop had to pay in between Tk 1,000 and 2,000 a day before the carnival, Chhatra League sources said.
“We didn't know private companies would sponsor the programmes,” said DU Proctor Dr KM Saiful Islam Khan.
Morally, nobody should make money by using spaces and structures of the university for sponsor companies, he added.
“We gave permission for the concert at the base of Raju Memorial. Two other spots were permitted for baul songs but the organisers held concerts there,” DU Proctor told The Daily Star.
A senior professor of DU Syed Manzoorul Islam said he had never seen such commercial shops on the campus on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh.
“The entire campus turned into a bazaar,” Prof Manzoorul said adding that DU is not the place for such business by student leaders.
DU authorities should constitute an enquiry committee to find out people involved in such activities, he added.
Chhatra League DU unit president Sheikh Shohel Rana Tipu said they had no commercial interest in arranging the programmes.
“We just helped students so that they could celebrate the Pahela Baishakh,” he added.