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9 June, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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RU cultural organisations fail to attract members

RU Correspondent
RU cultural organisations fail to attract members

Different cultural organisations of Rajshahi University (RU) have been facing acute shortage of activists for the last 20 years. These organisations carry on their activities by sharing members.

A handful of such organisations have even terminated their activities on the RU campus due to lack of manpower and interested students. Some of them are continuing their activities under the open sky as they they have no office. Students now are often afraid of joining cultural activities because of frequent attacks on free-thinkers and cultural activists, say sources.

According to sources in the RU registrar's office, the varsity has around 12 registered cultural organisations. Each of these organisations does not have more than eight to 10 members.  However, some of these members belong to several of such organisations, the sources say.

Most of the students these days stay glued to their mobile phone and computer as they pass their time on social networking sites. The preparation for BCS (Bangladesh Civil Service), which is almost an addiction for students, also prevent them from getting involved in outdoor activities. "The Kazi Nazrul Islam Auditorium used to buzz with cultural activities throughout the '90s. But such activities have taken a back seat these days," Abdul Latif, the 70-year-old guard of the auditorium, told The Independent yesterday.

Sources say cultural activities were in the forefront since the establishment of the RU. The rise of Bengali nationalism in the 1970s inspired art movements and ushered in a cultural atmosphere on the campus. Tagore specialist Mina Mizanur Rahman, Phd degree holder on Gonshilpi Songtha Sombhu Sarkar, prominent poem reciter KM Samsuzzoha, vocal artist Andor Khisor, comedian Abu Hena Roni and Hridoy Al Miro came to prominence from the cultural hotbed of RU.

Prof. Shah Azam Santonu, former general secretary of the RU Teachers' Association, was a cultural activist during his student years at the varsity. "Social media has created the chance for students to make documentary films on various issues and to showcase them to the world. It's one of the reasons that students are losing interest in social or cultural organisations."

"Many students used to enrol here under the artist quota. But the cultural organisations are losing members since this quota has been abolished," said a teacher from the marketing department.

There are 12 syndicate-approved organisations on the campus, but the number of while regular and irregular activists is more than 60. Owing the crisis of manpower, Somgith, a poem-reciting organisation, ASE, a cultural organisation, and Abhawman, another such organisation, ceased their activities on the campus. Indrojit, president of the RU Central Cultural Association, said that free-minded students are losing interest in cultural activities due to the absence of a cultural platform. "The activists are performing their activities on the roof of academic buildings, but they are not safe from militant attacks," he added.

The limited number of rooms, which are in any case too narrow for practice, in the new TSC is another factor that disheartens the cultural activists, noted Indrojit.  

Admiting the limitations of TSC, Prof. Hasibul Alam Prodhan said: "We've taken different initiatives for resolving different problems. On each Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, we arrange dance classes. Besides, we'll soon start cultural competitions in the dormitories."  

RU pro vice-chancellor Prof. Dr Ananda Kumar Saha said: "University authorities always prioritise culture activities and we are not different.  If we receive any written allegation from the cultural organisations, we'll take proper steps for resolving the problems."

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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