A leader of Chhatra Dal central committee interrupted Gonoshasthaya Trust founder trustee Zafrullah Chowdhury when he spoke about BNP and Tarique Rahman during a meeting on ‘Aspirations and achievements in education: Education budget 2021-22’.
The leader gave Zafrullah a veiled threat, saying that they would not be responsible if anything happens in the future.
This incident took place on Saturday afternoon at the National Press Club’s Tofazzel Hossain Manik Miah Hall in the capital city. The meeting was organised by Education Reform Initiative (ERI).
‘Revelation comes from London’
Zafrullah Chowdhury, at one point while speaking as chief guest at the meeting, criticised BNP’s leadership. He said, “BNP has no wish to come to power. It needs the will and the interest to come to power. They have to think of where changes are to be brought about. This needs discussion.”
He said, “Today BNP is being run by revelations, and these revelations come from London. We see that in recent times no one can be found to be nominated for the elections. If the autocratic government is to be toppled, all must unite. BNP must bring about that change from within itself.”
‘I told Tarique to study’
Zafrullah said, “I have repeatedly asked Tarique to remain quiet for two years. If possible, he can study while in the UK. There are opportunities of studies there he can do.”
‘Who are you of BNP?’
Present at the meeting, Chhatra Dal central vice president Omar Faruk Kawsar interrupted Zafrullah, questioning, “Who are you of BNP? Why are you talking nonsense about BNP?”
Zafrullah replied, “No, I am no one. It is my right to speak in a democracy.”
Omar Faruk said, “You are no one of BNP, yet you are talking about our leader.”
Zafrullah responded, “Let me finish talking, understand what I am saying, then speak. I am saying this for your good. You all don’t understand what is good for yourselves.”
The Chhatra Dal leader replied, “No, no, we understand very well. Let us understand ourselves, you understand yourself. Don’t talk about our leader. Talk about yourself. You talk and then later if anything happens, we will not be responsible.”
Zafrullah responded, “Why will you be responsible?” Shortly after that the young man left the meeting, accompanied by four or five others.
‘Khaleda Zia frustrated’
Earlier Zafrullah had said, “If this autocratic government is to be overthrown, the biggest changes need to be made within BNP itself. Have you seen Khaleda Zia’s face? She is frustrated. BNP people perhaps don’t see that.”
About education, Zafrullah Chowdhury said, after taking away their democratic rights, this government has harmed the people the most by mismanaging education. They have completely destroyed it.”
‘Education sector faces endless damage during corona’
Speaking as chair of the meeting, former vice chancellor of Dhaka University Anwar Ullah Chowdhury said that allocation for the education sector was very low. This must be addressed. The more expenditure there is in education, the more investment there is in the sector, the more enriched it will be.
Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna said, it is declared that the education budget has been increased. But those are empty words. There is no priority given to education in this country.
Professor of political science Dilara Choudhury said, commissions have repeatedly been formed for education, but the commission's recommendations are never implemented. If education is destroyed, the backbone is destroyed. Then the ability to run the country is lost. And when there is no one to take the helm of the country, then outside forces easily take control.
While presenting the keynote, former state minister for education and ERI chairman ANM Ehsanul Haque said, in no country of the world has education been halted, other than in 14 countries -- four countries of Africa, nine of Latin America, and only Bangladesh in South Asia. Alongside economic damage, education is facing immense harm during the pandemic.
Also speaking at the meeting were Selim Bhuiyan, A Abdul Aziz, BNP vice chairman Shawkat Mahmud and others.