“TSC was greener, I think,” said a former Dhaka University student, reflecting on his own green years of life.
Many like him, who included cabinet ministers and socialites and prominent national figures, gathered on Friday (27 Jan 2012) at the Teacher-Student Centre for the 26th reunion of the English Department Alumni Society.
The EDAS get-together this year also coincided with the 90th anniversary of the department itself that opened in 1921.
“We had fewer students back then. There are so many now, but they’ve lost interest in studies since there are so few jobs,” said septuagenarian professor emeritus Serajul Islam Chowdhury, a former student who also taught at the department for decades.
“We had no political chaos. Student politics used to revolve around an ideology. Now it’s just party allegiance and flattery,” said Chowdhury, who did his Master’s in 1956.
Finance minister A M A Muhith, former caretaker government advisers Sultana Kamal and Rasheda K Chowdhury were also there.
“I was admitted here in 1967. Honours was a three-year course back then. The country and the university were so different,” Transparency International, Bangladesh chairperson Sultana Kamal mused.
“But being here, among old friends, it makes me feel like the old times again,” she added.
bdnews24.com editor-in-chief Toufique Imrose Khalidi reminisced about the memorable events during his student days.
“We witnessed many things that are now a part of national history,” he said.
“Dhaka University taught us to be brave. We learned much more from just being on the campus than we did in the classrooms,” he added.
He announced that bdnews24.com will provide free WiFi to English department students.
At the cultural event, Secretary and Planning Commission member Masud Ahmed and inspector general of police Hassan Mahmood Khandker sang. Both have been regular performers for the past few years.
The Society formed its new executive committee for 2012, with Toufique Imrose Khalidi as its general secretary. Nandan Group chairman Masrur Chowdhury, general secretary of the 2011 committee, became the president of the new committee.
The 25-strong executive committee includes Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Planning Commission Member Masud Ahmed, information secretary Hedayetullah Al Mamoon, IGP Khandker, professors Fakhrul Alam and Rebecca Haque, also the department chairperson, Wazir Sattar and Ishtiaq Majid.
Outgoing president Harunur Raschid became a member of the 10-strong advisory committee led by A M A Muhith.
At the beginning of the hours-long event, the alumni observed one minute of silence in remembrance of the late teacher national professor Kabir Chowdhury and the late Razia Khan Amin.
Alumnus Ishtiaq Majid contributed Tk 2 million to set up a Trust Fund to support students and other EDAS activities.
The English Department Alumni Society was launched in 1986 and had been organising regular reunions on the last Friday of every year (by earl). Now it has been decided that the event will take place on the last Friday of every January.
Senior professors Syed Manzoorul Islam, Arts faculty Dean Sadrul Amin, civil servants such as Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner Benazir Ahmed were also in attendance.
Sponsors such as Nandan, Green Delta Insurance raffled various prizes given away by Professor Amin.
(as published on bdnews24.com)