To mark the 128th birth anniversary of Shahid Dhirendranath Datta, Bangla Academy organised a discussion programme at the Seminar Room of Kobi Shamsur Rahman, Bangla Academy in the city yesterday.
Professor Shamsuzzaman Khan, director general of Bangla Academy delivered the welcome speech at the programme. Armoma Datta, granddaughter of Shahid Dhirendranath Datta reminisced about this great personality at the programme. Professor Shafiul Hasan read out a keynote paper titled "Ekagroo Deshbroti Dhirendranath Datta". Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman, also president of Bangla Academy presided over the discussion.
The speakers talked about his life, works and contributions. The discussants said that Dhirendranath was a secular and patriot by nature. He was a language movement veteran and freedom fighter. Doubtless, Dhirendrannath spoke for all Bangalees of the then East Bengal when he had forcefully yet respectfully demanded in 1948 that Bengali should be accorded the status of a Sate languages of Pakistan. Standing on a high moral ground by any measure, he took a courageous stand on the assembly floor by demanding a rightful place of Bengali language in the state affairs of Pakistan.
From the very beginning of his career, Dhirendrannath was highly active in the local community, and was a leader of the relief effort following devastating floods in 1915. He formed the Mukti Sangha, a welfare organisation, after becoming inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. His work in relief continued up to the Bengal Famine of 1943. Dhirendranath joined the Comilla District Bar in 1911, and continued to practice up until he was advised to give up his profession in favour of politics by his political comrade Chittaranjan Das. He joined the Indian National Congress from Mymensingh District and was first elected to the Bengal Legislative Council in 1937. He was arrested by the British rulers of India for his participation in the Quit India movement of 1942.