Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bangladeshi Professor Dr. Abdul Mannan Choudhury, A “Live Defender”

by Hasanuzzaman Talukdar Shemul

Operations Manager & South Asian Representative

Modern Ghana

"If you want to be a self reliant person, a responsible member of your family and your country as well as a respected personality of your society, you have only one alternative that is you must have utilitarian education for economic emancipation." It is the massage for the students from Professor Dr. Abdul Mannan Choudhury, the current vice chancellor of the World University of Bangladesh (WUB).

Professor Dr. Abdul Mannan Choudhury, an alternative name of "Live defender" served in several universities including the University of Dhaka as a teacher for 37 years. He has to his credit a vast experience of working as academic administrator and consultant of high repute. He has been involved in research and publication at home and abroad He was editors of several leading journals.

Professor Choudhury was born in a successful family in Comilla district of Bangladesh. He passed his education life in Comilla, Dhaka, Manchester and London. He got his higher education in Master of Commerce from Dhaka University, Master of Business Administration from Manchester Business School, and PhD from London. He also served in Bayero University, Nigeria as Head of Department, Academic Dean and Syndicate Member as well as a teacher in Ahmado Bello University of Nigeria and AIUMT. He was the Proctor of Dhaka University, Senate Member of Dhaka University for about twelve years, Member of Finance Committee, Founder Director of Evening MBA Program of Management Department of the Dhaka University., Founder Chairman of Department of MIS, Chairman of National Management Association, Organizing Secretary of Bangladesh Commerce Education Society, and Founder Chairman of a Government Bank of Bangladesh. He is also an excellent writer and columnist. Dr. Choudhury was a freedom fighter too. He was the Deputy Commander (and was commander for few months) of the eastern command of the Mujib Bahini (Bangladesh Liberation Force) in the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh.

As said earlier, Professor Dr. Abdul Mannan Choudhury has been serving as Vice- Chancellor in the World University of Bangladesh (WUB). It is one of the most popular and leading universities for utilitarian education in Bangladesh. Now, World University of Bangladesh is among top five universities of the country and it has been possible due to Mr. Choudhury’s excellent leadership, relentless efforts and guidelines.

Earlier Career of the ‘Live Defender’ Abdul Mannan Choudhury:
Dr. Choudhury has a strong background. He is not only a professor or freedom fighter but a strong part of the history of Bangladesh. He was directly involved in 1962 education movement and 1963 Comilla University establishment movement.

Following Suhrawardy's death in 1963, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman came as the head of the Awami League, which became one of the largest political parties in Pakistan. In 1966, Mujib proclaimed a 6-point Program titled "Our Charter of Survival" at a national conference of opposition political parties at Lahore, in which he demanded self-government and considerable political, economic and defence autonomy for East Pakistan in a federated Pakistan implying a weak central government.

Dr. Abdul Mannan Choudhury was a strong supporter of these six points´ movements. On the 7th June 1966, the day of hartal, young Choudhury while picketing in front of the juncture of old high court and the Curzon Hall of Dhaka University was shot point blank but he somehow survived He was also involved in eleven point movements in 1969. In order to realize the eleven point demands and to protest against the repressive measures upon the student-masses by the Police and EPR and against the violation of the sanctity of the University, the Central Student Action Committee, from a meeting held at Dhaka University Battala on 17th January 1969 called for a complete strike in all the educational institutions of East Pakistan as from 20th January, 1969. To face the situation, the government imposed Section 144 prohibiting the assembly of more than four persons in any public place. Disregarding the imposition of this section 144, the students of the Dhaka University and different colleges assembled at the varsity campus and after a brief meeting nearly 10,000 students brought out a procession at about 12 noon by violating Section 144. When the procession reached near the then Post Graduate Medical College (near Chand Khan's bridge), the police charged upon the procession. After clashes for nearly an hour, some students including Asad as well as Abdul Mannan Choudhury tried to lead the procession towards the centre of the town, i.e. Gulistan Cinema Hall. At that time and situation, one police officer killed Asad by firing from his pistol from a very short distance. As a result, Asad died. Young Choudhury, at that time a student activist, was in a very close distance of Shaheed Asad but luckily escaped from being shot.

Dr. Choudhury was also a valiant freedom fighter and earlier organizer. According to a book by Tikka Khan and as per statement of journal and newspaper of that time, Dr. Choudhury was a trainer of 1971 liberation war. He composed and read out the resolution for Independence on 3rd March 1971, on behalf of the Dhaka University teachers. Tikka Khan wrote in his book, "Mr. Choudhury, the only university teacher, who was trained in Dehradun in guerrilla warfare joined liberation war of Bangladesh under Mujib Bahini".

Mujib Bahini or Bangladesh Liberation Force (BLF) was part of Bangladesh Mukti Bahini, a guerrilla force fighting against Pakistan in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. It was a special force created by the Bangabandhu supporters and composed of 60,000 young warriors. It was organized with the active assistance of Major General Oban of the Indian Army. Leaders of former Student League, Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni, Serajul Alam Khan, Abdur Razzak and Tofael Ahmed were the organizers of this special force. Mr. Choudhury was the Deputy Commander (and was Commander for few months) of eastern command of Mujib Bahini in the 1971 liberation war of Bangladesh.

From 1992, Mr. Choudhury was the Member-Secretary of the Coordination Committee for the Trial of the Killers and Collaborators of 1971, and closely worked with Shaheed Janoni Jahanara Imam.

After serving Dhaka University and some other universities of the world for 37 years, Professor Choudhury has been serving as the Vice-Chancellor of the World University of Bangladesh (WUB).

In personal life, Professor Dr. Abdul Mannan Choudhury is very satisfied individual. He is happily married to Mrs. Morsheda Choudhury who has been holding the position of Treasurer at WUB, since 27 July, 2003.They are blessed with three sons-one of whom one is an Assistant Professor in Dhaka University; the second one is a physician in one the leading hospitals in Singapore; and the last son is a 4th year student in Dhaka University. However, as a freedom fighter he had dream of serving the nation at a better position.

Professor Dr. Abdul Mannan Choudhury’s life at a glance:

1. Had a first class academic career even though he was involved in Education movements of 1962, Comilla University Establishment Movement of 1963, Six point Movement of 1966 (he was almost annihilated by point blank police fire while he was picketing on 7th June hartal in front of the old high court and Curzon hall juncture).

2. Elected member of the F. H. Hall Students Union.

3. Served as Secretary of the Commerce Association of Dhaka University.

4. Literary Secretary, General Secretary and President of the Shilpo-O- Sahitya Sangha consecutively.

5. Participated as an activist in the Eleven points Program of the Students Action Committee, 1969;

6 .Raised and read out the Resolution for Independence instead of regional autonomy on 3 March, 1971 on behalf of Dhaka university teachers.

7. Was one of the 128 signatories to press demand for stopping genocide in Bangladesh, 1971.
8. Editor of "Weekly Bangladesh", 1971.

9. Trainer of liberation war, 1971.

10. Was Deputy Commander and Commander for short period of Mujub Bahini, Eastern Command (Bangladesh Liberation Front,) 1971;Coordinator on behalf of Mujib Bahini in the Joint Command.

11. Participated in restoration of Civil Administration at Comilla on 9th December 1971;
12. Lecturer (Before the start of liberation war) to Professor, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh (37 years);

13. Academic Dean and Head of Department of a faculty and a department of Bayero University Kano, Nigeria.

14. Member-Secretary, Co-ordination Committee for the Trial of the Killers and collaborators of 1971.

15. Vice- Chancellor, World University of Bangladesh (WUB) at present.

16. Advisor of the Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the Jatiyo Muktijodda Council (at present)

Administrative Experience:

· Chairman, International Center for Collaborative Studies

· Director, MBA (Regular), HRM Program, University of Dhaka

· Director, Evening MBA Program, University of Dhaka

· Member, Evening MBA Program, University of Dhaka

· Chairman, Centre for Development and Institutional Studies, University of Dhaka.

· Proctor, University of Dhaka, 1987-89.

· Provost, Sir Salimullah Hall, University of Dhaka. 1989-1991.

· Chairperson, Department of Management, University of Dhaka. 1992-1995.

· Senate Member, University of Dhaka. 1992--2002

· Chairman, National Institute of Business Administration & Information Science

· Editor, Journal of Business Studies, Faculty of Business Studies, University of Dhaka. 1990­1992.

· Deputy Dean (Academic Dean) in Bayero University Kano, Nigeria. 1983-1984.

· Senate Member twice in Bayero University Kano, Nigeria. 1982-1984.

· Member, Editorial Board, Social Science Research Paper, Bayero University Kano, Nigeria. 1983.

· President, National Management Association, Dhaka, Bangladesh. 1996­.

· President, Dhaka University Management Alumni Association. 1996-­

· Member, Finance Committee, University of Dhaka. 1998-1999.

· Member, National Board of Drugs and Narcotics, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of Bangladesh. 1999.

· Member, Prison Reforms Committee, Ministry of Social Welfare, Government of Bangladesh. 1998.

· Chairman, Bangladesh Commerce Bank Ltd. 1998

· Chairman, Several Educational Institutions and Non-Profit Making Organizations.

· Member, Library Committee, Manchester Business School. 1974-1975.

· General Secretary, Bangladesh Society, Manchester. 1974-1975.

See Also:

About Author Hasanuzzaman Talukdar Shemul:
Hasanuzzaman Talukdar Shemul was born in 1989 in a prosperous family in Gopalganj, Bangladesh.
He completed his school graduation (HSC) from Dhaka Bigyan College then he joined Bangladesh Navy and was in service for two years at frigate BNS Osman, and at two BN Establishments namely BNS Shaheed Moazzem and BNS Titumir from 2006 to 2007. At present, he is continuing his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in World University of Bangladesh.
He is a good science fiction writer and also a wikiholic. He was an editor of a monthly youth magazine the monthly "Protishurity" during his school life in Shaheen Academy, Feni.
He is a new and very young columnist of the American Chronicle, Rant Burg, USA Today, Modern Ghana and etc.
Hasanuzzaman Talukder Shimul has a keen interest in South Asian affairs of different regional and development issues. He is very much enthusiastic to work on the issues of climate change, global warming and preventing regional environmental degradation.

Bangladesh: "Memorable 7th June 1966"

by Professor Dr. Abdul Mannan Choudhury

In every year 7th June comes and goes away following its calendar route. Every year Bangladesh Awami League observes the day. Many of people don´t know about the specialties of the 7th June. If this day did not come in our life we might be confused whether our freedom would come or not. The 7th June of 1966 did not come all on a sudden in the life of Bengalis and the significance of the day shall in no way be diminished.

I was the student of Fazlul Haque Hall of Dhaka University. My room number was 232. Public leader Abdur Razzak was the student of same hall of Dhaka University and he was the General Secretary of Student League. Late Antaj Ali of Satkhira District, Late Abdul Kuddus Makhon, Abdul Khalek, American citizen Sajol and Seikh Selim were the students of Fazlul Haque Hall. Late Fazlul Haque Moni, Sirajul Alam Khan, Ferdoush Koraishi Noor-A-Alam Siddik and Al-Amin used to come this Student Hall frequently.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman came to the front line after proclaiming his 5 points demands for Bengalis on the 5th February 1966. He had to suffer a lot for this. In spite of bearing so much suffering he visited whole Bangladesh with his 6 ponts demands. During this period, he was arrested many times a week. Finally he was permanently arrested for long time. At the same time maximum student leaders of student were also arrested. Pakistan Government was trying to finish and destroy Awami League and Student League. But a rural housewife provided with her maximum support to keep alive the party and she was Begum Sheikh Fajilatunnesa Mujib.

Sheikh Mujib ordered to observe Hartal on 7th June. One day Sheikh Moni and Sirajul Alam Khan came at Fazlul Haque Hall and we arranged a meeting, we discussed in detail and made plan to observe Hartal. But Pakistani Intelligence Force and NSF came to know everything. Finally in one night, police and intelligence force surrounded our Hall. Sirajul Haque was not so famous leader so he escaped easily but Sheikh Fazlul Haque was a famous student leader and General Secretary of Student League and also the nephew of Sheikh Mujib. So it was difficult for him to escape from the Hall. Finally we decided I would go to Agamsi Lane with him because everybody knew I was a good student. Selim Vi was with me. We helped Moni Vi to wear a fake dress to disguise himself and thus we easily escaped from the Hall in front of the police.

It was true that whole country was ready for a movement and it was proved on the 7th June 1966. As per instruction of Sheikh Mujib we were ready to observe the Hartal on 7th June. Most of the leaders were in jail. So few leaders observed Hartal on 7th June with general people. People chose the day for a change in their life. We completed our all preparations within 6th June. I had my duty with Razzak, Monir, Makhon, Sajol to stop the vehicles in front of High court. At morning I reached high court and start picketing. I set two buses on fire. Abdur Razzak Vi told me "we must keep it up to 8:00AM then it will be finished by Tokay (one type of street children)".

Suddenly Razzak Vi pushed me on the road but I did not understand why he did so. When I asked, he replied if he did not do it I might die as I was in the gun point of a police man. This moment helped me for getting a change and I promised that I had to save my country from Pakistan. At afternoon, police arrested me. Motia Choudhury came at Kurjon Hall in afternoon and she supported our mission. She inspired us. Many things I forget but some moments are not forgettable and the 7th June 1966 is one of them.

Vice Chancellor Dr. Abdul Mannan Chowdhury; Convener, Bangladesh Social and Historical Research Centre, Email:

Read Professor Dr. Abdul Mannan Choudhury´s Article by Bengali:

"Memorable 7th June 1966" (click here)

Bangladeshi Professor Dr. Abdul Mannan Choudhury, A "Live Defender" by Hasanuzzaman Talukdar Shemul

7th June 1966: the Day of Ultimate Decision for Independence of Bangladesh

by Professor Dr. Abdul Mannan Choudhury

Western communities strictly believe that the number 13 is the symbol of misfortune and 7 is the symbol of fortune or good luck. Coincidently in the life the Bengalis, the number 7 has been clearly manifested as the symbol of good luck. Let starts with 1952. Everybody has little or more knowledge about this year. We get 7 from 52 (5+2=7). To speak the truth, the Bengalis cross the first step of liberation in ´52. Then comes October 7, 1958. General Ayub Khan, Head of the Pakistan Army, took the power by imposing military rules all over the country on this day. Many people comment about 7 October as "the starting of the ending". Military governance of Gen. Ayub Khan kept the Bengalis in a hard to breathe condition and this situation contributed to flourish the thinking of the nation about the liberty and a country with sovereignty. During this humiliated regime of Ayub Khan, Subedar Monem Khan created the ultimate record of inhumanity. Then Ayub Khan started the so called democracy. One of the breath taking events from 1958 to 1966 is collision of Pakistan with India and another is armed force attack in Kashmir and western part war. Eastern part of Pakistan at that time was fully unprotected. Many scholars and political thinkers thought if Pakistan could capture some more parts of Kashmir in the 17 days war of 1965, they would have come to a resolution by handing over then East Pakistan to India. Another event is to present 6 point demands. This six-point demands comprised of demand for democracy, demand for autonomy/self governance, proposal for running dual currency and dual central banking system, demand for controlling and using the foreign currency by the concerned region itself (i.e. East Pakistan would use and control the foreign currency which would be earned by the export of resources of East Pakistan). Proposals were also made in those demands regarding establishing the Headquarter of any one of the military forces in East Pakistan and creating a Para-Militia Force consisting of one hundred thousand soldiers. West Pakistan knew that the ultimate effect of those 6-point demands was the freedom of the East Pakistan. As a result they stepped for uprooting the six-point demands. They wanted to divide in the party of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and thus they tried to make all efforts go in vein. Even they started a propaganda that those demands were a part of CIA plan and those were against the expectations of the industrious people, farmers and laborers of East Pakistan. In spite of having so many uneven conditions Sheikh Mujib did not become hopeless. Ayub Khan and Monem found out their way for oppressing Sheikh Mujib. Subedar Monem declared that Sheikh Mujib would be in jail as long as he (Monem) would be in power.

At the first of 1966, 6-points demand was declared. After returning in Dhaka, Sheikh Mujib got approval for the 6-points demand from the party congress declaring it as "Amader Bachar Daabi (Demands of living)". From that day Pakistan Government started oppressing the Bengalis in the form of more exploitation, repeatedly arresting and jailing the people of East Pakistan. They pulled their steam roller of oppression and inhumanity throughout the country. Sheikh Mujib became stricter on the demands. But a fear attacked the people. Sheikh Mujib clearly portrayed the discrimination between east and west part of Pakistan through a story. This was as follows:

"A father had two sons. One was fool and another was shrewd and cunning. Before he died he left a blanket, a cow and a date-palm for his two sons and wanted to have distributed them equally. After the death of their father, the shrewd and cunning brother distributed them in such a way that foolish brother in his part had the front side of the cow, forepart of the date-palm and the right to keep the blanket in day-light". As a result the foolish brother got no drop of milk, no date-juice at all and had no utility of the blanket in cool winter night. The days were passing away and the foolish brother was gradually becoming clever. He demanded his proper portion to his shrewd and cunning brother. But he failed to get any benefit. Then he started to teach his brother a good lesson. At first he tied the mouth of the cow, then he spread barbs around the forepart of the date-palm and at last he watered the blanket in day-light till evening". Saying "What didn´t happen after that" Sheikh Mujib used to tell "let us see what will happen".

When the entire country woke up and people becoming rebellious against the discrimination, the central and provincial government permanently jail Sheikh Mujib on May 1966. At the same time, many leaders and workers of all levels of Awami League were being arrested and throwing into jail. Staying at jail Sheikh Mujib ordered the students and young leaders to continue their movement. After taking all preparation, hartal was declared throughout the country on 7 June. Though huge students were involved in this movement, participation from the young leaders and the leaders of the workers was very much limited. In fact, the leaders who controlled the workers movement were in favor of Ayub Khan and against the 6-points demand. But when a worker who threw challenge, was shot in broad day-light, the workers of Tejgaon burst for movement. Thousands of students and workers started movement and halted the country. Nobody saw this type of hartal ever before in this country. That day throughout the country at least 11 workers including Munu Mia and Abul were killed. In the same day attempt was taken to arrest and kill the rebellious people in many parts of the country. In the afternoon of that day, leaders of students took final decision at Kurzon Hall for liberation. In fact, another 7 helped the nation to proceed one step ahead for our liberation. Awami League secured the highest seats in the election of 7 December, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib delivered his liberal speech on 7 March, 1971, he declared the independence of Bangladesh on 25 March (sum of digits of 25 is 7) and finally we have secured our victory on 16 December 1971 (sum of digits of 16 is 7). It seems that these all are puzzles of the digit 7. But it is a matter of regret that very few people are aware of it.