Today we are living in a free country and enjoying a peaceful life with family and friends. But do the new generations ever think how much bloody sacrifices were paid by our ancestors to earn this freedom? In this article, we are going to introduce you to Bagha Jatin, the unsung revolutionary freedom fighter of Bengal whose indomitable courage and valor threatened the then British emperors and served as a harbinger of the long-cherished independence of the Indian Sub-continent.
It was a regular day at a crowded railway platform of Siliguri, Bengal in April 1907. A Bengali young man was rushing to his compartment carrying water to serve an ill co-passenger. But he unintentionally collided with a British captain. Bearing the common grudge against the natives, the captain beat that man. After a few minutes, that brave Bengali guy returned to the captain and questioned about this rude attitude. Then he was confronted by three more British soldiers.
The rest was history. All four British men were thrashed down on the floor of the platform. Later, charges were pressed against that Bengali young man. But in the courtroom, those soldiers were admonished, as nothing could be more damaging to the fame of British rule than to acknowledge that the English military officers had been single-handedly knocked out by a Bengali boy. That brave man was none other than Jatindra Nath Mukherjee, known as Bagha Jatin.
Jatindra Nath Mukherjee was born on the 7th December 1879 in kushtia district of Bangladesh (then Bangla Presidency). The anecdote says that in 1906, Jatindra single-handedly killed a ferocious Leopard with a tiny Gorkha dagger to save the life of his cousin. After that incident people started calling him, ‘Bagha Jatin’ which refers to ‘Jatin with the strength of a Tiger.
Jatin lost his father at a very young age and was raised by his mother Sharatshashi – a dedicated social worker, and a poet. Completing the Entrance degree in 1895, Jatin learned short-hand with typewriting and got appointed as a cleric (stenographer) to the then government of Bengal under Financial Secretary Henry Wheeler. Keeping a small portion of his salary, Jatin used to send the rest amount to his family and distressed people. In 1900, Jatin got married to Indubala Banerjee of Kumarkhali Upazila in Kushtia. The couple had four children.
In student life, Jatindranath met Swami Vivekananda in a relief camp. Swami enlightened Jatin about the art of conquering libido and encouraged him to join other courageous youths who could selflessly serve the distressed people in famine, epidemic, and flood. Getting impressed by Jatin’s ardent fervor to die for a cause, Vivekananda sent him to the Ambu Guha Gymnasium, where he practiced wrestling.
In 1902, the Anushilan Samiti was formed in the Bengal region, as a coalition of the local youth groups and gyms (akhara). This organization supported the practice of revolutionary violence for ending British rule in the Indian Sub-continent. In 1903, Jatin came in touch with Sri Aurobindo Ghosh a nationalist leader who planted the seeds of revolution in Jatin’s mind against British rule.
Some sources say that Jatin played a leading role in founding the branches of Anushilan Samiti in different districts. This organization was also involved with beneficiary activities like adult night schools, homeopathic dispensaries, small scale cottage industries, agriculture, etc. Furthermore, Jatin used to send the local meritorious students abroad to acquire higher studies and learn the military craft.
In the guise of a sub-urban fitness club, Anushilan Samiti emerged as a secret revolutionary trend called ‘Jugantar’ – created with a vision to train the dedicated youths for fighting against the British. At that time, the people of the sub-continent started to stand against the British Empire in the spirit of Indian nationalism. In this wake, thousands of fearless patriotic youths joined Bagha Jatin’s movement of freedom.
Jugantar spread its units across the country and turned into a pan-India movement. Soon their activities spread overseas to South-East Asia, Europe, and America. The Indian liberation movement made a wonderful blend of cultural nationalism and socialism keeping revolution against the British at the focal point.
Image: A Commemorative Indian Postage Stage (September 9, 1970) on Bagha Jatin
Jatin dedicated himself to the cause of ‘total independence’ of India termed as, ‘Purna Swaraj’ as opposed to the proposed framework of the Indian National Congress. In 1912, Jatin met the German Crown Prince during his visit to Calcutta and asked for arms supply for carrying out the revolution of forming a socialist government in India. And, the First World War broke out in 1914.
Manabendranath Roy, the chief lieutenant of Jatin got the responsibility of receiving the weaponry in April 1915. They planned to ship the arms by German ships via the port of Sumatra, and reach the Andaman Islands. Then, form the army of liberation at Balasore in Orissa coast. Jatin was assured that a cargo filled with ammunition left towards its destination. But, the consignment had never reached the Indian shores. Unfortunately, this plan was uncovered by international spies and secret agencies. And, the British authorities got informed about this plot.
Reports suggest that a Czech spy namely EV Voska found the information regarding the delivery of German consignments at the Indian east coast. The spy sold this information to the British. Some sources said that the German agent, who was in charge of that arms consignment, was a double agent and passed the information to the British.
Image: Equestrian statue of Bagha Jatin in Kolkata, West Bengal India
Jatin and his followers took positions at Kaptipada village in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha near Balasore to take delivery of the shipload of arms consignments coming from Germany.
But when the information was passed to the British authorities, they jumped into action in no delay. In the meantime, Jatin and his group reached Balasore Railway Station walking on foot for two days through the rough terrain of Mayurbhanj. On the 9th September of 1915, they took shelter on a hillock at Chashakhand village in Balasore. The team members requested Jatin to leave the place safely; as they were guarding on another side. However, the brave-heart Jatin denied leaving his followers.
Afterward, a large battalion of British Police led by the top-ranked European police officers from Calcutta and Balasore along with an army unit from Bhadraks Chandbali approached those five revolutionaries from both sides through a pincer movement. The gunfight between the British side and the revolutionaries lasted for about two hours. While the British Police and Army officers were armed with modern rifles, Jatin’s team fought with the traditional Mauser pistols.
In the battle, Jatin was shot in the abdomen and breathed his last, at the age of 35, in Balasore city hospital on the next day, 10th September 1915. Before death, Bagha Jatin took full responsibility for the actions through a statement and asked for fair judgment for his followers. Two months later, two of his followers, Nirendranath and Manoranjan, were sentenced to death.
Charles Tegart, the famous British police officer, used to tell his fellow colleagues that if Bagha Jatin (Jatindranath Mukherjee) were an Englishman, his statue would have been built next to Nelson’s Column at Trafalgar Square, Central London.
Have we paid enough tribute to this brave freedom fighter against British reign in the Indian sub-continent? Recently some miscreants have vandalized the sculpture of Bagha Jatin at Kumarkhali Upazila in Kushtia which is very unfortunate for a sovereign country, like Bangladesh. To preserve the golden history of Bangladesh we must honor this forgotten hero and stand against all attempts of hatred, intolerance, and extremism.
Chhayanaut, country’s renowned cultural institution, virtually arranged a four-day special cultural programme paying tribute to the national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam that ended on Sunday.
The four-day special programme titled ‘Nai Dukkho, Achhe Shudhu Pran’ began on December 17, featuring song, recitation and dance performances on Nazrul’s majestic creations with specified topics on each day.
Streamed live on Chhayanaut’s Facebook group and YouTube channel every night at 9 pm, the opening day’s programme featured Nazrul’s Ghazals and devotional creations.
The second day’s programme was based on Nazrul’s Raga-based songs, the third day featured some of the specified notations of Nazrul songs and closing event on Sunday was based on Nazrul’s modern, patriotic and folk songs.
Renowned artists from different arenas including Khairul Anam Shakil, Shaheen Samad, Tropa Majumdar, Bhashwar Banerjee, Sumona Bishwas and more from home and abroad joined the four-day event and presented enthralling cultural performances representing their respective genres of works, based on the given topics on each day.
Also read: Nazrul’s 121st birth anniversary celebrated
“This special event was Chhayanaut’s one of the two special ventures to connect its students, teachers, organizers and volunteer artists from home and abroad, who had been the journeymen of the institution since its beginning in 1961,” according to Chhayanaut secretary-general Laisa Ahmed Lisa.
The organization previously arranged a similar four-day virtual tribute programme on Rabindranath Tagore from December 03 to December 06, titled ‘Jagroto Koro, Nirvoy Koro Hey’.
Also read: Nazrul’s 44th death anniversary today
Will children be able to get COVID-19 vaccines?
Not until there’s enough data from studies in different age groups, which will stretch well into next year.
The Pfizer vaccine authorized in the U.S. this month is for people 16 and older. Testing began in October in children as young as 12 and is expected to take several more months. The Food and Drug Administration will have to decide when there’s enough data to allow emergency use in this age group.
Depending on the results, younger children may be enrolled for study as well.
Moderna, which is expected to become the second COVID-19 vaccine greenlit in the U.S., began enrolling study participants ages 12 to 17 this month, and will track them for a year. Testing in children younger than 12 is expected to start in early 2021.
It is uncertain if the results on younger children will come in time for vaccinations to begin before the next school year.
Positive outcomes in adult studies are reassuring and suggest it is safe to proceed in testing kids, said Dr. Buddy Creech, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University and director of its vaccine research program.
Even though children usually don’t get very sick from COVID-19, they can spread the virus to others, said Dr. Robert Frenck, who is the lead researcher for Pfizer’s study in kids at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. At least 1.6 million youth have been infected, 8,000 have been hospitalized and 162 have died from the virus, he noted.
“It’s really important, not only for themselves but also for society,” Frenck said.
During the Coronavirus pandemic situation, it is safe to stay at home. But who can convince the connoisseurs who love to visit restaurants and taste mouth-watering cuisines? Thanks to the blooming Cloud Kitchen business. Now you can order delicious food without stepping outside the home. This innovative trend of business can offer better service at a lower price. Stay with us to know how the Bangladesh Cloud Kitchen business can be a beacon of hope for many entrepreneurs who want to start a business with limited investment.
The concept of ‘Cloud Kitchen’ refers to the virtual kitchen structure that focuses on the food-delivery system instead of dine-in facilities. In this new trend, the food outlets and restaurants serve as food factories where the production of food takes place. The orders of food are received from online platforms, such as apps, websites, or Facebook pages.
The concept of a cloud kitchen presents a win-win situation for both the consumers and the sellers. On one hand, the Cloud Kitchen system has opened a new way of earning opportunity for many people who have baking and/or cooking skills, but can’t afford enough investment capacity to open a restaurant.
On the other hand, the online food-ordering system allows people to order food from home. Getting the food-delivery at the door-steps consumers can not only avoid the wastage of time in traffic jams; but also can get rid of Covid19 contraction risk. The ‘Virtual Kitchen’ concept is getting increasing popularity in Bangladesh, especially after the coronavirus outbreak.
Let’s discuss; what are the key benefits of the Cloud Kitchen or Virtual kitchen business.
For starting a food outlet or restaurant venture, an entrepreneur has to rent a location of a minimum of 400 sq. ft. space. Then, the process requires the prospective restaurant owner to deposit security money to the space owner.
However, the security deposit could be a lump sum amount, if space is located in the prominent areas of Dhaka city like Dhanmondi, Gulshan, Banani, or Uttara. After renting the space, more investment may be required for the purpose of renovation and decoration of the restaurant.
The continually increasing cost of real estate is challenging the survival of small-scale restaurant business ventures. But the simple business model of Cloud Kitchen can bypass those expenses, as those virtual kitchens can be placed anywhere. The virtual restaurant industry runs on lower operational costs. Instead of making huge investments in the real estate sector, virtual kitchens can focus more on the quality of service.
Traditional restaurants have to maintain huge expenses in diverse sectors, including space rent, operational cost as well as overhead expenses. The small scale ventures may have a small budget left to include the best quality food in their menus. This is why restaurant foods are not considered healthy food choices. However, the virtual kitchens have overcome these limitations by virtue of low operational costs and can efficiently focus on the quality of food.
The key marketing policy of most Cloud Kitchens is to deliver superior quality food at a reasonable price. As many consumers tend to purchase foods from online food shops regularly, the shops are trying to maintain the food-quality to maintain their goodwill. They are also upgrading their food menu depending on consumer interest. In simple words, the virtual kitchen business is adding value to the consumers.
In this wake, the virtual kitchens are offering various categories of food, like traditional Bengali cuisines, foreign cuisines, etc. You can also order customized cuisine to treat yourself or your family on a special day or on a special occasion.
During the pandemic situation, many traditional restaurants and food outlets are struggling to cover their costs. And the customers usually complain that the food-prices of most of the traditional restaurants are exorbitant. The working women/mothers/partners who have less time to cook food daily could have ordered food more frequently if the costs were reasonable.
But the virtual kitchens don’t have to make huge investments in other sectors. Utilizing this opportunity they can reduce the cost of food. What is more? The cost of food is quite reasonable in the Cloud Kitchen system; as the consumers have the opportunity to compare the price of several online food shops through a few clicks spending only a few minutes. The healthy competition among various online food business systems is attracting more consumers towards the Cloud Kitchen system in Bangladesh.
Generally, the virtual or Cloud Kitchen business model follows the B2C (Business to Consumer). In this system, the consumer can directly purchase food from the food-sellers.
While taking orders from the customers, the Cloud kitchens usually ask for some booking money which is a little fraction of the full charge. The advanced payment is taken to minimize the risk of order’s getting canceled. Besides the advance payment system, cash-on-delivery or instant-delivery systems are provided by some business owners in our country.
In Bangladesh, many Cloud kitchen businesses deliver food to the office-staffs on a monthly basis. The order is taken usually two to three days ahead of the delivery date. However, the requirements may vary depending on the specific rules of the respective business policy.
Some Cloud Kitchens deliver food through their own initiatives; while some others do the delivery through third-party courier services. In recent years, several organized food-parcel delivery systems have evolved in Bangladesh like FoodPanda, HungryNaki, Shohoj Food, Foodfex, Pathao Food, Cookups, Kludio, etc. Not to mention, these delivery services are strengthening the online business community.
However, the timely delivery of food is a great challenge for the cloud kitchen systems in Bangladesh. Due to traffic jams the delivery persons experience difficulty to reach their destinations on time. Besides this, the Spoilage of food – due to hot weather or other reasons – during the delivery period is another problem.
Monuments and structures can be more than some blocks of concretes. Some of them can serve as the memoir of the significant historical events that we can’t afford to forget by generations. Dhaka city, the capital of Bangladesh, is enriched with several priceless landmarks that remind us about the glorious history as well as the bloody sacrifice of the nation during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. Do you want to visit those top historical landmarks of Dhaka? Read this article to know about these places.
Jatiya Smriti Saudha (National Martyrs' Memorial) is built in the remembrance of people who lost their precious lives in the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. This monument is the symbol of valor and sacrifice of the Bengali nation that separated Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) from Pakistan (then West Pakistan) and gave birth to a new sovereign country. Located at Savar about 35 km away from Dhaka city, this national monument of Bangladesh was inaugurated on the 16th December of 1982.
Through a nationwide design competition, Syed Mainul Hossain’s – a Bangladeshi architect and structural engineer – the design was chosen to build this top historical monument of Bangladesh. The wonderful design of Jatiya Smriti Saudha is the combination of 7 pairs of triangular-shaped walls that look like prisms. Interestingly, the outermost pair is the widest in span; but the shortest in height. And, the sequential pairs gradually maintain the aspect ratio. The innermost pair stands the highest forming the peak point of this monument.
You may be thinking, what is the meaning of these 7 pairs of walls and the sky-piercing peak of Jatiya Smriti Saudha? These 7 wall-pairs represent the 7 momentous chapters in the history of the nation, namely, the Bengali Language Movement in 1952, the provincial election victory of the United Front in 1954, the Constitution Movement in 1956, the movement against Education Commission in 1962, the 6-point Movement in 1966, the Mass Uprising in 1969, and finally the climactic event of liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.
Swadhinata Stambha (Independence Monument) is a national monument of Bangladesh that was established to commemorate the chronological historical events concerning the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. This monument is located at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka.
Suhrawardy Udyan (then Ramna Race Course ground) is the witness of several significant historical incidents concerning the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. On the 7th March of 1971, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman asked the mass people of this country to prepare themselves for the Liberation War through his historical speech known as ‘7 March Speech of Bangabandhu’. On this ground, East Pakistan Army’s Chief Commander Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi surrendered to the joint force of Bangladeshi Mukti Bahini and the Indian Army on 16th December 1971.
To restore the memories of these historic events and 1971’s Liberation War of Bangladesh, the Government of Bangladesh built the Swadhinata Stambha in 1999 on a 67-acre complex at Suhrawardy Udyan. This project is designed by two Bangladeshi architects – Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury and Marina Tabassum. The focal attraction of this project is a 50-meter high tower constructed with stacked glass sheets. At night, every single inch of this pillar releases rays of light, and the whole structure turns into the ‘Tower of Light’ creating mesmerizing beauty. The adjacent water body reflects the whole tower that enhances the aesthetics of this landmark.
The master plan of this ‘Suhrawardy Udyan project’ includes an underground museum called, ‘Museum of Independence’ preserving the history of the Bengali nation since Mughal regime to independence in 1971. The museum displays more than 300 photographs with historical significance, terracotta murals of war-heroes, paper clippings, and other memoirs regarding the events of 1971’s Liberation War of Bangladesh. Besides these, there are a 2000-seat auditorium, an amphitheater, and other ancillary facilities.
The Shikha Chirantony (eternal flame) symbolizing the eternity of Bengali nationalism is placed beside the Swadhinata Stambha tower.
The Muktijuddho Jadughôr (Liberation War Museum) is built with the vision of preserving the memory of the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. This museum aims to introduce the young generations to the indomitable spirit of their forefathers who fought against the violation of Pakistan (then West Pakistan) and encourage them in holding a firm stand against the acts of genocide and violations of human rights in 1971.
The journey of Muktijuddho Jadughôr started in 1996 as a non-government initiative with a vision for preserving the memory of 1971’s Liberation War of Bangladesh. As an outcome of the citizens' effort, this crowd-funded museum has collected more than 21,000 artifacts, including freedom fighters’ weapons, an archive of documents, and personal histories related to the war. What is more? The Muktijuddho Jadughôr preserves and displays human-remains including skulls and bones excavated from two mass graves of civilians, – found in the Dhaka suburbs – killed in genocide by Pakistani forces in 1971.
However, the lack of space made at the original premise made it difficult to display the collected artifacts. In 2017, the museum was relocated at Agargaon – accommodating an area of about 20,000 sq. m. with ample gallery space – based upon a new design by Bangladeshi architects Tanzim Hasan Salim and Naheed Farzana.
Here different galleries focus on different chapters of our liberation war. Some galleries remind the training and operations of the Mukti Bahini. Some galleries focus on the tragic genocide of the mass Bengali population carried out by the West Pakistani army in 1971. While some other galleries tell about the conspiracy of ‘Operation Searchlight’ that killed Bengali intellectuals during the liberation war.