August 2, 2016 - 12:37pm
It was a different day for the students and teachers of colleges and universities as they came out of regular academic routine, took to the streets, joined hands together and vowed to combat militancy.
Thousands of students and teachers across the country yesterday collectively raised their voices for building social resistance and mass awareness against terrorism.
The call for fighting terrorism came from human chains formed by teachers and students of different colleges and universities on their campuses or in front of their educational institutions across the country from 11:00am to 12:00 noon.
Participants were seen holding placards and banners inscribing different slogans like “Bangladesh Against Terrorism”, “We will resist militancy by togetherness and firmness”, “Non-communalism is our pride”, and “We want peace, not terrorism: we want fearless life.”
“They [militants] want to destroy our independence, our culture and our communal harmony. So, together we must resist them to uproot the menace from the country,” said Indranil Debnath, a student of civil engineering at North South University (NSU), while talking to The Daily Star.
He was standing hand in hand at the human chain formed on the NSU campus in the capital.
Addressing a human chain at the Central Shaheed Minar, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said, “We will not be able to combat terrorism only by enforcing laws. We have to build social movement and social resistance against militancy and terrorism.”
He also directed English medium institutions to include topics on Bangladesh's culture, heritage and history in their curriculum.
“We, the people of all strata of life, must unite ourselves. Such unity will definitely resist militancy in Bangladesh,” said Mofizur Rahman, chairperson of the department of mass communication and journalism at Dhaka University, while addressing a human chain on the campus.
Addressing a human chain, Independent University, Bangladesh Vice-Chancellor Prof M Omar Rahman said they had kept counselling and monitoring the students to prevent them from being misguided.
Assistant Proctor of Stamford University Towhidul Hasan Nitol told a human chain, “It is our duty to teach the students about our glorious national history, our literature and culture. If the sense of nationalism and patriotism can be grown among them, it would be possible to prevent them from being involved in terrorism.”
Earlier on July 24, the University Grants Commission of Bangladesh in a letter requested all the public and private universities to form the human chains marking one-month of the July 1 Gulshan café attack that left 22 people including 17 foreigners and 2 police official killed.
It was an initiative to create awareness against militancy and terrorism in the wake of recent terror attacks in the country, said several teachers of different universities.
Apart from the capital, many universities and colleges held such programmes in different districts including Chittagong, Chandpur, Bogra, Dinajpur, Rangpur, Joypurhat Naogaon, Munshiganj and Kurigram.
“Students and youths should be engaged in different social and cultural activities to prevent them from being involved in militancy,” viewed Morshed Emon Mehedi, a student of Chittagong Commerce College, while addressing a human chain on his campus.
The other education institutions that formed human chains include National University, Jahangirnagar University, Chittagong University, Rajshahi University, Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Islamic Arabic University, Bangladesh University of Business and Technology, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, Southeast University, Bangladesh University, Daffodil International University, Motijheel Ideal School and College and all the government colleges.
Besides, students and teachers of different Fazil and Kamil madrasas formed human chains in different districts including Rangpur, Gazipur, Dinajpur, Naogaon and Sirajganj, said Rowshan Khan, acting registrar of Islamic Arabic University, which regulates around 1,300 madrasas across the country.