The lady who was arrested for honoring the Language Martyrs


Pratibha Mutsuddi actively participated in the language movement in 1952 while a sophomore at Chattogram College.

February 18, 2022, 08:30

Last modification: February 18, 2022, 10:35 a.m.

Pratibha Mutsuddi. Sketch: TBS


Pratibha Mutsuddi. Sketch: TBS

Women played a vital role in the language movement in Chattogram alongside men at a time when it was not easy for them to get out of their homes breaking down social barriers. One of them was Pratibha Mutsuddi, who went on to win the prestigious Ekushey award.

She was actively involved in the language movement in 1952 while a sophomore at Chattogram College. However, in 1948, as an eighth-grade student, she participated in protest rallies against Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s declaration that Urdu was the sole state language of Pakistan.

At that time, she was a student at the Mahamuni Edapali Institute in Raozan, Chattogram. Later, under the leadership of poet Mahbub-ul-Alam Chowdhury, she became an integral part of the movement along with other activists.

Regarding her participation in the language movement, she said: “I was a sophomore at Chattogram College in 1952. We learned of the barbaric attack in Dhaka on the afternoon of February 21. The students of Chattogram College organized a protest rally the next day against the incident in Dhaka.The protest continued for about a week.

“At that time, the number of female students was very low. Only 3-4 female students participated in these processions in Chattogram,” she added.

On February 24, 1952, all Chattogram students boycotted their classes and went on strike. On February 28, more than 1,000 students took part in a barefoot procession to commemorate the martyrdom of students in Dhaka. Pratibha Mutsuddi was one of the activists in the procession.

She was also involved in the movement after 1952. Her involvement in the movement intensified after she was admitted to the University of Dhaka. She was arrested in 1955 during a procession against the police in Dhaka. However, she was released after two weeks of imprisonment.

Recalling the incident, Pratibha Mutsuddi said, “I was busy with my studies because there was an exam in 1955. On the morning of February 21, I learned that the police did not allow students to go to the Shaheed Minar as restrictions were imposed. imposed on public traffic throughout the area.”

“After receiving this news, some of our students rushed to the Shaheed Minar. But the police wouldn’t let us in. At one point, the police suddenly attacked the students and arrested some of them, including me. We were first sent to Lalbagh police station and then to Dhaka Central Jail,” she added.

In the academic year 1955-1956, she was elected editor-in-chief of Women Auditorium in the election of the Central Union of Students of Dhaka University (Ducsu). She was also the elected first vice-president of Rokeya Hall in 1956-1957.

Pratibha Mutsuddi was born on December 16, 1935 in the Mahamuni village of Raozan, Chattogram. Her father Kiran Bikash Mutsuddi was a lawyer and her mother Shailabala Mutsuddi was a homemaker. His school life began at the Mahamuni Anglo Pali institutions in the village.

Pratibha Mutsuddi graduated with an Honors BA in Economics from the University of Dhaka in 1956 and an MA in 1959. She received her Bachelor of Education (Bed) from Mymensingh Female Teacher Training College in 1961. She started her career in 1961 in as director of Cox’s Bazar Girls. High school. She joined Bharateshwari Homes as a lecturer in economics in 1963, and was later promoted to assistant manager. She was acting director of the institute in 1965 and served as its director from 1967 to 1999 with great success. She currently works as an administrator and director of the Kumudini complex.

Pratibha Mutsuddi received the Ekushey Padak in 2001 for his contribution to education. She also received the Azizur Rahman Patwari Medal in 1987, the Ananya Top Ten Award in 1995, the Lion Nazrul Islam Education Gold Medal in 1997, and the Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellow Award in 1998.

An initiative of TBS-Nagad.


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