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6 August, 2015 00:00 00 AM

Halls of Dhaka University

Halls of Dhaka University

Y&I desk

Dhaka University is the oldest and the largest public university of Bangladesh. It was once called the “Oxford of the East”. Dhaka University has always played an active role throughout the history of Bangladesh. Its contribution to the modern history of Bangladesh is something that can’t be denied. The university has well accommodation facilities as it has a number of halls and hostels for both male and female students. In the beginning, the journey of Dhaka University started with three halls- Salimullah Muslim Hall, Jagannath Hall and Dhaka Hall. In 1969, the new name of Dhaka Hall was given as a tribute to Dr. Md. Shahidullah. Altogether Dhaka University now has 23 halls and hostels. The halls are named after some of the great personalities of Bangladesh, whose positive influence helped us to make a decent nation. Sadly enough, many of us don’t know clearly about the personalities whom the halls are named after. This week Y&I has tried to introduce the readers to some of these famous personalities.         

 Salimullah Muslim Hall

In 1921,Salimullah Muslim Hall started functioning with 75 residential students (according to another opinion 87) and 103 non residential students on the first floor of Dhaka Medical College. Ahmed Fazlur Rahman, Reader of History Department (Associate Professor) and Ex-Faculty of Aligarh Muslim University,  was appointed as Provost of Salimullah Muslim Hall. The present building of Salimullah Muslim Hall was inaugurated on 11 August, 1931.
Salimullah Muslim hall was named after Nawab Sir Khwaja Salimullah Bahadur who was the fourth Nawab of Dhaka and one of the leading Muslim politicians during the British rule. In the wake of partition of Bengal in 1905, he consulted with Nawab Muhsinul Mulk at Aligarh over the issue of formation of the All India Muslim League. In 1906, the Muslim League was officially founded  at the educational conference held in Dhaka to protest against the efforts towards re-unification of Bengal, and Salimullah played a pioneering role in it. The convention was held at Ahsan Manzil, the official residence of the Dhaka Nawab Family. Sir Salimullah was a key patron of education for the Eastern Bengal. He was one of the founders of the University of Dhaka and the prestigious Ahsanullah School of Engineering (now the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology). Sir Salimullah was a staunch supporter of the Partition of Bengal and was a member of East Bengal and Assam Legislative Council from 1906 to 1907. He was also a member of Bengal Legislative Assembly from 1913 till his death in Calcutta in 1915 at the age of 43. He was the founder President of Bengal Muslim League in 1907.

Jagannath Hall

Jagannath Hall, one of the three oldest residential halls of Dhaka University,  was founded in 1921. The hall is a residence hall for minority students, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and others. The first Provost of this hall was Professor Naresh Chandra Sengupta. Asim Sarkar is the current provost of Jagannath Hall. The Zamindar of Baliati in Tangail, Kisorilal Roy Chowdhury, had previously established Jagannath College and later established Jagannath Hall. He named Jagannath College and Jagannath Hall after his father Jagannath Saha.
A tragic accident occurred when the roof of the ancient assembly building of Jagannath Hall collapsed on October 15, 1985. It killed 39 people, students, employees and guests. Since then the day is observed as a day of mourning for the university.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall
The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall of Dhaka University,  having the capacity to hold 490 students, is one of the fifteen male residential halls of the university. Founded in 1988, the hall is located near Polli Kabi Jasimuddin Hall in Dhaka University area.
We need not introduce the great personality Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as he is living in the hearts of millions of Bengali people. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the founding leader of Bangladesh. He has the prime contribution in our liberation war in 1971. He was the head of the Provisional Government of Bangladesh and became the Prime Minister of Bangladesh in 1972. He is popularly referred to as Sheikh Mujib or simply Mujib, with the honorary title of Bangabandhu.

Fazlul Huq Muslim Hall

Fazlul Huq Muslim Hall was established in 1940. It is one of the oldest residential halls  of Dhaka University. This hall was opened with a total of 363 students on 1st July, 1940. Fazlul Huq Muslim Hall is divided into three parts, such as Main Bhavan, South Bhavan and Extension of South Bhavan. Dr. Mohammad Shahidullah is the first provost of the hall. Fazlul Huq Muslim Hall was established after the name of A.K. Fazlul Huq, former prime minister of undivided Bengal.
Fazlul Huq was popular with the title Sher-e-Bangla. He was born in Jhalokati District in Barisal Division on 26 October, 1873. Though he passed the MA in Mathematics from Calcutta University, he completed BL degree in 1897 from the University Law College. He was the second Muslim in the Indian subcontinent to obtain a law degree. He served as General Secretary of the Indian National Congress and he was also a working committee member of the All India Muslim League and in 1929, he founded the Krishak Praja Party (KPP).
For Bengali Muslims Sher-e-Bangla founded several educational and technical institutions like Islamia College in Calcutta, Baker Hostel and Carmichael Hostel residence halls for Muslim students of the University of Calcutta, Fazlul Huq Hall (Dhaka University, Sher-e-Bangla Hall (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology),  Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University (SAU) etc to name a few. He had important contribution for establishing Dhaka University. Sher-e-Bangla died on 27 April, 1962 and he was buried on the grounds of the Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka.

Sergent Zahurul Haq Hall

Founded in 1957, Zahurul Haq Hall was once called Iqbal Hall. But since Bangladesh’s Independence in 1971, the name was changed to Zahurul Haq Hall after the name of Zahurul Haq, martyr of the independence war.
Born in 1935 in Noakhali district, Zahurul Haq was a sergeant of the Pakistan Air force. He was killed in jail when he was under trial. Zahurul Haq was one of the 35 persons accused in the Agartala Conspiracy Case of 1968. Zahurul Haq passed matriculation from Noakhali Zila School in 1953. He studied in Jagannath College for two years and completed intermediate education from there. He joined the Pakistan Air Force in 1956. Later, he was made a sergeant. Sergeant Zahurul Haq was known as an uncompromising and honest soldier to his colleagues. He was a good sportsman and a painter. Some of his paintings are preserved in the Bangladesh National Museum.

Begum Ruqayyah Hall

With twelve female students, the first Women’s residential hostel of the University of Dhaka started functioning at Chameli House in 1938. This hostel was recognized as Women’s Hall from September, 1956. Akther Imam, Professor of Philosophy, University of Dhaka,  was the first Provost of this hall. In 1964, this Women Hall was named as Ruqayyah Hall after the name of Begum Ruqayyah.
Begum Ruqayyah was a foremost feminist writer and social worker in the undivided Bengal during the early 20th century who dedicated her whole life for the emancipation of women of this sub-continent. She was born in 1880 in the village of Pairabondh, Mithapukur, Rangpur district in a zamindar family. She achieved title as Begum Ruqayyah Sakhawat Hussain after marriage as her husband’s  name was Sakhawat Hussain. Begum Ruqayyah especially worked on gender equality and other social issues. She founded the first school aimed primarily at Muslim girls, which still exists today. She also wrote short stories and novels. Her important works are Sultana’s Dream and Padmarag.
P. J. Hartog International Hall

The full name of the hall is Sir P. J. Hartog International Hall. It’s a six-storey building. There are 100 rooms in the hall. There are 122 students and 19 guests and the total number of residents  in this hall is 141. There are 55 teachers who live here among them three are professors. Most of the students are from Nepal, Bhutan, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and Turkey and so on.
International Hall was named after the first  Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University Sir Philip Joseph Hartog who was a British chemist and educationalist. Hartog was born in London on 2 March, 1864.  He was a member of the commission under the late Sir Michael Sadler of  Calcutta University. After establishing Dhaka University in 1921 he was made its first vice-chancellor. When the Indian Statutory Commission was set up in 1928 under Sir John Simon, Hartog was appointed chairman of the Auxiliary Committee on Education.  He received the honours of the Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire and Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire in the year of his retirement in recognition for his services. Sir Philip Hartog died at a nursing home in London at the age of 83.

Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall

Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall is located at Dhaka University area. A mural of Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib has been unveiled in front of the Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall of Dhaka University (DU) on June 30, 2013. Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib was the wife of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. She was born in Tungipara of Gopalganj sub-division of Faridpur district in 1930. She was married to Sheikh Mujib at the age of eleven and had three sons and two daughters. She was killed along with Bangabandhu and most of her family members by a disgruntled group of army officers on August 15 in 1975.

Surya Sen Hall

Surya Sen Hall was called Jinnah Hall in the beginning but after the independence of the country in 1972 the name was changed to Surya Sen Hall. Surya Sen was a Bengali independence fighter against the British rule who is noted for leading the 1930 Chittagong armoury raid in Chittagong of Bengal in British India (now in Bangladesh). Sen was a school teacher by profession and was popularly called as ‘Master Da’. He was influenced by the nationalist ideals in 1916, when he was a student of BA in Behrampore College. In 1918,  he was selected as president of Indian National Congress, Chittagong branch.
Surya Sen was born on 22 March, 1894. In 1916,  when he was a BA student in Behrampore College he learned about Indian freedom movement from one of his teachers. Surya Sen led a group of revolutionaries on 18 April, 1930 to raid the armoury of police and auxiliary forces from the Chittagong armoury. However, although the group could loot the arms, they failed to get the ammunition. A few days later, a large fraction of the revolutionary group was cornered in the nearby Jalalabad hills by the British troops. In the ensuing fight, twelve revolutionaries died, many were arrested, while some managed to flee, including Surya Sen but the police came and captured him in February 1933. Before Surya Sen was hanged, he was brutally tortured by the British and he was later hanged to death. A film named ‘Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey’ was made on the life of Surya Sen directed by Ashutosh Gowariker in which Abhishek Bachchan played the role of
Master Da.
Haji Muhammad Mohsin Hall
Haji Muhammad Mohsin Hall is one of the residential halls  of the University of Dhaka.  Founded in 1967,  the hall was named after a prominent philanthropist in Bengal Haji Muhammad Mohsin. His most notable contribution was during the great famine of Bengal during 1769-70. Mohsin was born in Hughli (now in West Bengal, India) in 1732.
After his wealthy widowed half-sister Munnujan’s death in 1803, Mohsin inherited all of her assets. However, he decided to leave this wealth for charity, and created a trust in 1806, with his entire wealth of 156,000 Taka. He established many schools  and colleges in Bangladesh and India. He died on 29 February, 1812.

Shahidullah Hall

Established in 1921,  Shahidullah Hall was called Dhaka Hall at the beginning. But in 1969 the new name was given as a tribute to Dr. Md. Shahidullah. It is located behind the Curzon Hall and has a main building accommodation with two extensions. Only science faculty students are accommodated here.
Muhammad Shahidullah was a Bangladeshi educationist; writer, philologist and linguist. He was born in 24 Pargana, West Bengal (now in India).  He graduated in Sanskrit in 1910 from City College, Kolkata, and completed Master of Arts in 1912 in Comparative Philology from the University of Calcutta. He received PhD degree from Sorbonne University of France in 1928 for his research on the dialects of the Charyapada. He has been considered as the first Indian Muslim to receive this doctorate degree. Shahidullah began teaching in Jessore Zila School in 1908. He joined the University of Dhaka as a lecturer in 1921 in Sanskrit and Bangla. At the time of his teaching period at Dhaka University he researched on the origins of the Bengali language. French government awarded him Chevalier De L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1967 for his research on language and literature. He is acknowledged as one of the greatest Bengalis of all time. Dr. Shahidullah was buried within the grounds of Shahidullah Hall.

Shamsunnahar Hall

Shamsunnahar Hall is the second women hall of Dhaka University located in Dhaka city’s  Ramna area. The hall was named after writer and educationist Shamsunnahar Mahmud. Shamsunnahar was born in Feni sub-division of Noakhali district in 1908. She started her career as a teacher of Bangla at Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata. She met Kazi Nazrul Islam during her stay in Kolkata. Kazi Nazrul Islam inspired her to write.  Shamsunnahar worked as secretary to the Nikhil Banga Muslim Mahila Samity (All Bengal Muslim Women’s Society) for some time. The Centre for the Rehabilitation of Disabled Children was established at her initiative in 1961. She was elected member of the National Assembly in 1962. She wrote many poems and worked for several magazines as editor. She died on 10 April, 1964 in Dhaka.

Kabi Jasimuddin Hall

Kabi Jasimuddin Hall is located near Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall. Established in 1976, Kabi Jasimuddin Hall was named after Polli Kobi (The Rural Poet) Jasimuddin.
Jasimuddin was a poet, songwriter, prose writer, folklore collector and radio personality. He was born in the village of Tambulkhana in Faridpur District on 30 October, 1903. He obtained his BA degree in Bengali from the University of Calcutta in 1929 and MA in 1931. He wrote the famous poem ‘Kabar’  during his student life. The poem was placed in the entrance Bengali textbook while he was still a student of Calcutta University.  
Jasimuddin worked with Dinesh Chandra Sen as a collector of folk literature and he collected more than 10,000 folk songs. He joined the University of Dhaka in 1938 as a Lecturer and later joined the Radio.
His masterpiece ‘Nokshi Kanthar Maath’ has been translated into many languages. During the Liberation War of Bangladesh, he wrote some patriotic songs. He died on 14 March, 1976 at the age of 72.

A.F. Rahman Hall

Established on 1976, A.F. Rahman Hall is located in Nilkhet area of Dhaka. But many of us are  not familiar with the name of this great educationalist. A.F. Rahman is the first Bengali Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University. The full name of A.F. Rahman was Ahmed Fazlur Rahman. He was born in 1889 in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal in India. In 1912 he earned BA degree from Oxford University, England from history and later he did research on political economy from London School of Economics. He had an important contribution to establish Dhaka University as the commission member of Calcutta University. He became the Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University in 1938. He achieved Knight Award from the British Government in 1936.

Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall
To mark the contribution of Shaheed President Ziaur Rahman in the war of liberation Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall was proposed to be established and it was formally inaugurated on 1 June, 1988. Dr. Rahim B. Talukdar acted as the Project Director. A. F. M. Khodadad Khan, Professor, Department  of Mathematics,  acted as the first provost of the hall. It is a five-storied building having 121 rooms capacitated with 482 seats.
During the nations war of independence in 1971 Ziaur Rahman was the commander of the Central Sector, BDF (Bangladesh Defense Forces) Sector 11.

Kobi Sufia Kamal Hall

Kobi Sufia Kamal Hall is one of the new residential halls of Dhaka University for female students. It is situated near the education building in front of Fazlul Huq Muslim Hall. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the hall on 14th November in 2012.
Begum Sufia Kamal was a poet and cultural activist. She was an cultural icon in the Bengali nationalist movement of the 1950s and 60s. Sufia Kamal was born in Shaestabad, Barisal in a Zamindar family. Her first poem, ‘Bashanti’ was published in Saogat magazine in 1926. In 1931, she became the first Bengali Muslim woman to be a member of the Indian Women Federation. A short story titled ‘Shainik Bodhu’  which she wrote was published in a local newspaper in 1923. Her first book of poems, ‘Sanjher Maya’  (Evening Enchantment) came out in 1938 which was later translated into Russian language. In 1937,  she published her first collection of short stories titled  ‘Keyar Kanta’. She has also great contribution in our liberation war. She died in 1999 . She was the first woman who was given a state funeral in the country.

Nawab Faizunnessa Chowdhurani Chhatrinibash  
Nawab Faizunnessa Chowdhurani Chhatrinibash is one of the female student halls of Dhaka University. The hall is located beside the Ruqayyah Hall. The hall was named after Zamindar of Homnabad-Pashchimgaon Estate ( in present day Comilla District) Nawab Faizunnesa Choudhurani. She is the most famous for her campaign for female education and other social issues. In appreciation of her social work, in 1889 Queen Victoria awarded Faizunnesa the title of “Nawab”, making her the first female Nawab in South Asia. She established many schools  and colleges and was also involved in many social works. Originally written in Bangla, Nawab Faizunnesa’s ‘Rupjajal’  was published from Dhaka in 1876.

Bijoy Ekattor Hall  

Bijoy Ekattor Hall ( Victory 71 Hall ) is located just in the middle of Surya Sen and Zia Hall. It is an 11-storied building and two blocks with student capacity of 1,000. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the hall on November 14, 2013. Professor Dr. Abu Jafar Md. Shafiul Alam Bhuiyan has been appointed as the first Provost of Bijoy Ekattor Hall of Dhaka University.

Amar Ekushey Hall  

Amar Ekushey Hall is one of the finest and latest dormitory or hall for male students of the University of Dhaka. Nowadays it becomes one of progressive hall of Dhaka University. Amar Ekushey Hall is located near Shahidullah Hall of Dhaka University.


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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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