The postal department has released a commemorative stamp on the occasion of the founding anniversary of ruling Awami League’s student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League which reads ‘4 January 2021, 73th founding anniversary of East Pakistan Muslim Chhatra League’.
The mention of 'East Pakistan' in the writing of the stamp has drawn huge flak from different quarters in the social media.
Post and telecommunication minister Mustafa Jabbar on Munday released the stamp at a programme in the capital's Dak Bhaban. The stamp has a picture of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Press Institute of Bangladesh’s (PIB) director general Zafar Wazed wrote, the word Purba Pakistan (East Pakistan) started to fade away from the name of Chhatra League after the election of 1970 and wiped out completely in 1971. But those who were leaders of East Pakistan era might continue that legacy in their heart. Their stance might get reflected in the postal stamp, which is bewildering. They might have also fear that their name would be obliterated if the word (East Pakistan) is wiped out
The minister, however, maintained that the truth of the history is reflected through postal stamps and it cannot be changed.
He asked the detractors to face the truth.
Mustafa Jabbar posted the picture of the stamp in his verified Facebook page while many people made comments criticising the stamp.
A Facebook user named Zesmin Islam Mohona wrote, “We are now independent Bangladesh. The word Muslim was omitted from Chhatra League long ago. What’s the reason of bringing back the word (East Pakistan)? Are we heading back to Pakistan?”
The minister refuted the comment writing, “Postal stamp reflects history. How factual it would be if we had written Bangabandhu founded Bangladesh Chhatra League on 4 January 1948? There is nothing communal in the word Muslim. Bangabandhu knew that it was necessary back then. He himself later omitted the word. Wasn’t we involved (with the politics of) East Pakistan Chhatra League? It’s an inferiority complex and crime to obliterate history. Face the truth.”
Another Facebook user named Zahidur Rahman wrote, “This is not a mistake, it’s audacity. A clear distortion of history. There is nothing to explain about it. No matter you are a freedom fighter or former leader of Chhatra League, what you’re doing now is contradictory to the spirit of liberation war. 30 million Bangalees lost their lives not for remembering East Pakistan. How can we perceive that you have not done it to appease the communal force?
Asked about the matter, Mustafa Jabbar told Prothom Alo that history cannot be changed in postal stamp.
“Bangabandhu founded East Pakistan Muslim Chhatra League on 4 January 1948. Is there any alternative to reflect the truth? There is a consistency in history. The word Muslim was omitted from the name of the East Pakistan Chattra League as part of that consistency of history. East Pakistan and Muslim was omitted later,” the minister said.
Chhatra League was founded in 1948 at Dhaka University’s Fazlul Haque Muslim Hall.