Feni, May 18 (UNB) – The family of Nusrat Jahan Rafi, whose last days formed one of the most cruellest and ultimately heartbreaking episodes the nation witnessed in recent memory, has categorically rejected any notion of a film or other such dramatisation depicting the chain of events that led to her finally, after a heroic battle, succumbing to her injuries - burns upto 80 percent- at the DMCH Burn Unit on April 10. She was only 19.
Some five days earlier, on April 6, miscreants hiding behind burqas had lured her to the roof of her school, rather the Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrasah in Feni, and set her on fire after pouring kerosene on the poor girl. Some of them were her fellow students at the madrasah.
They had been turned against Nusrat by the unlikely figure of the madrasah’s principal, Shiraj-ud-Dowla - a pervert and sexual predator who was in jail at the time, on charges of sexual harassment filed by Nusrat shortly after she rejected an indecent proposal he made calling her into his room on March 27.
Used to getting his way in most matters around the madrasah, Shiraj could hardly countenance the tenacity and courage Nusrat showed in not just going to the police, something many women find themselves incapable of in our conservative society, but then also refusing to budge under all kinds of pressure to withdraw her complaint.
In the midst of the global #metoo movement, whereby women have been supporting and encouraging each other in defying the chains placed on them by patriarchy to call time on despicable characters like Shiraj, Nusrat’s story - buttressed by subtle nuances such as the backdrop of the highly conservative setting in which it occurred - immediately captured the entire nation’s imagination, and across borders as well. It ended of course in tears all around, yet the impact was such that it’s fair to assume it will occupy a place in the national consciousness for a long time to come.
Now it has come to light that a film was proposed by notable director Delwar Jahan Jhantu based on the tragic tale of ‘Nusrat’, which was even set to be the name of the movie. However, Nusrat’s family expressed their unhappiness and disapproval of the entire idea as soon as they came to know of it.
Nusrat’s elder brother Mahmudul Hasan Noman told UNB that some interested film and drama directors have contacted the family to acquire permission regarding their proposed projects on Nusrat, but the family rejected the offers based on their strong religious convictions. Most members of the family such as their father, uncles, grandfather, siblings and cousins are all part of the ‘Alem’ community, so it is impossible for them to approve such a proposal.
Nusrat’s mother Shirin Akter said “My daughter had become a ‘Shahid’ in the name of Allah. Recently we have been hearing that some are planning to make drama and films based on my daughter. Please, do not make any drama or movie based on her. Some have already made a few ghazals and waaz programs - we don’t reject those and they can even make more if they want- but please, do not hurt my daughter’s soul by making dramas and films on the incident.”
She added, “Nusrat had made an impact on billions around the world through her death. She is now resting in eternal peace in her grave. We would not be able to answer her in the Akhiraat (Afterlife) if people hurt her soul by making drama or films on her. My daughter is an innocent flower, please do not harm her. Although she suffered a miserable ending to her life in this world- we believe she will get martyr’s respect in the Akhiraat.”
The filmmakers thus miss out on an epic story, yet it is also doubtful that any of them working in Bangladesh even possess the skills and wherewithal to do it justice on screen in the first place. For now though, the grieving family’s wishes must override all other considerations.
Chattogram, May 18 (UNB) – Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Saturday said the government is working to bring online media under discipline and sought cooperation from journalist unions and press clubs to this end.
“One opens an online portal and gives cards to five others…this can’t happen. Online media should be brought under discipline and work also began in this regard,” he said while addressing a workshop at Chittagong Press Club as the chief guest.
Bangladesh Press Council in cooperation with the district administration arranged the workshop for journalists of print and electronic media.
The minister said different agencies have placed their reports on several online portals and they are working on those.
He said steps are being taken to enhance the capability of the press council.
Hasan Mahmud also lamented that there are now less investigative reports compared to the past although those open the ‘third eye’ of society.
In his welcome speech, Bangladesh Press Council Chairman Justice Md Mamtaz Uddin Ahmed said it will have to be decided first who will be journalists. “Or else, it’ll not be possible to protect the dignity of the profession.”
He also underscored the need for ensuring independence and protection of journalists.
Dhaka, May 18 (UNB) – Highly praising Bangladeshi workers as hard-working ones, President of Malaysian ruling People's Justice Party Anwar Ibrahim has said their government is working to ensure their wages, accommodation and welfare.
He made the remarks when visiting State Minister for Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Imran Ahmad met him at his office in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, according to a message received here on Saturday.
Anwar Ibrahim, also former deputy prime minister of Malaysia and a leader of the Pakatan Harapan coalition, said the government is also working on a proper and single management of foreign workers.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to Malaysia M Shahidul Islam, Counsellor (Labour) M Zahirul Islam and First Secretary (Labour) M Hedaytul Islam Mondal were present at the meeting.
Different bilateral issues were discussed at the meeting.
During the meeting, Anwar Ibrahim told Imran Ahmad that Bangladesh is moving on fast under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He also said Bangladeshis are much hard-working.
Imran Ahmad thanked the Malaysian government for its sincerity towards Bangladeshi workers.
He also urged Malaysia to invest in Bangladesh.
Dhaka, May 18 (UNB) - Detectives arrested 65 alleged ‘Ogyan Party’ members from different areas of the city on Friday.
Several teams of Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police conducted drives against the gangsters, who usually loot valuables from people in crowded places like market, shopping mall, bus station, railway station and launch ghat, after feeding them sedatives, said DMP Joint Commissioner (DB) Mahbub Alam while briefing reporters at the DMP Media Centre on Saturday.
They also recovered sedatives, juice and dates laced with sedatives, and seven stolen motorcycles and one private car.
Of them, members of Serious Crime Investigation Division of the DB arrested 38 from the New Market area while DB (North Division) arrested 11 from Fakirerpool and Kuril Biswa Road areas.
DB (East Division) members arrested four members of Ogyan Party from Wari area while DB (South Division) arrested seven suspected gang members from Gulistan and DB (West Division) arrested five gangsters from Uttara area.
Dhaka, May 19 (UNB) – President of Asiatic Society of Bangladesh Prof Mahfuza Khanam on Saturday said no civilised nation or country can go forward without having museums as those always help protect history.
"If we look at the richest and most civilised countries, we can see how they nourish their art and culture through museums," she said while addressing a seminar at the auditorium of Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
International Council of Museum (ICOM) organised the seminar titled ‘Museum as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition' marking the celebrations of the International Museum Day 2019.
Mahfuza Khanam, former vice-president of Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu), said it is a matter of great sorrow that museum instruments in the country are being changed with the change in government which is unexpected. “We should keep in mind that no civilised nation can move ahead without knowing its true history, and museum can only preserve the actual history of a country and nation,” she added.
Prof Dr Sabbir Ahmed, general secretary of Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Muhammad Manirul Hoque, Deputy Keeper of Bangladesh National Museum, and Sangita Lahiri, internship scholar at the Ramkrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkata, among others, spoke at the seminar held with Prof Sharif Uddin Ahmed of the History and Philosophy department at North South University in the chair.