About Jagannath Hall Alumni Association
Jagannath Hall is closely related to the history of the University of Dhaka. The first academic session started in the University on 1st July 1921. On the same day three residential hostels- Jagannath Hall, Dhaka Hall and SM Hall started beaming with the university, which was the first of its kind in the eastern part of the then undivided India.
There was special significance in naming the Jagannath Hall. The history of the University of Dhaka revealed that there were two feeder colleges- Jagannath College and Dhaka College as sources of post intermediate students to get admitted to the graduate level courses in the university, which means these two colleges were restricted from offering graduate level courses, limiting them educating up to intermediate level only. As recognition of this contribution, two hostels of the newly established university were named resembling those colleges- one ‘Jagannath Hall’ and the other ‘Dhaka Hall’. However, in its long walk into academe, Jagannath Hall has gathered many feathers in its cap, of which all the students, formerly and present, of this hall feel continually proud.
The former students of this residential hall have their conspicuous presence everywhere at home & abroad. Showing evidence of their merit, intellect and creativity, and overcoming the obstacles lying ahead, they have been distinguishing themselves by their extraordinary distinction home and abroad. This surprising glory is a welcome continuity in our memory and consciousness. We nourish it; we develop it; we receive inspiration and encouragement from it on our way ahead. We all resolve to uphold its dignity. And with this view in mind, we have formed Jagannath Hall Alumni Association. In a get-together in the ground of Jagannath Hall on 9 October 1998, on the occasion of Sharadiya Durga Puja, the former students expressed their unanimous approval in forming an organization. Exactly two years later on 9 October 2000, in a general meeting of the former students held in the auditorium of October Smrity Hall, Jagannath Hall Alumni Association, the first organization of former students of the hall in its 8-decade of history, actually came into being.
Students living at different periods of Jagannath Hall played significant roles in creating the background at different phases of movement for state language, autonomy & independence and the great war of liberation of Bangladesh. And for these reasons, the occupying military forces of Pakistan while conducted the infamous genocide in the name of 'the Operation Searchlight' on the mid night of 25th March 1971, first targeted this hall. On this dark night, the Dhaka University campus got soaked in blood of at least 57 teachers, students and staff of the hall, including the internationally renowned philosopher Dr. G. C. Deb and the then provost, prominent philanthropist and pundit Prof. Jyotirmoy Guhathakurata. A good number of students of Jagannath Hall took an active and heroic part in the liberation war of Bangladesh. Following this path to sacrifice, even in Independent Bangladesh, the students of this hall took determined strides in the progressive movement for restoration of democracy & free thinking. We have got our prospects open, due to them who participated actively in such activities, made many sacrifices or even laid down lives. They have been and will be the milestone in materializing our dreams of a vivid and vibrant of life.
The former students of Jagannath Hall, wherever and in whatever conditions they live, are all eager to reminisce about the days of pleasure and pain in their university life, and to seek advice and exchange experiences aimed at making the dream of a beautiful tomorrow a reality. In this regard, formation of Jagannath Hall Alumni Association has created an excellent opportunity. We expect that there will be further expansion and variation of its activities in coordination with other efforts to achieve the proclaimed aims of the organization. We wish to make a platform to move ahead together, and to keep it effective and dynamic.
Though the students of Jagannath Hall always play a pioneering role in education and other related activities of the university, we, however, are haunted by a feeling of sadness. We find small number of students of this hall have been appointed as teachers in comparison with the great number of them securing the front positions in graduation and post-graduation exams in different departments. There is hardly any remarkable presence of former students of Jagannath Hall noticed in the top directorate of the university, as well as at its Syndicate and Senate. Their representation in the teachers' forum and other representative bodies of the university either is very minimal or does not exist at all. The largest residential hostel though, it gets its many urgent requirements unfulfilled. This negligence found its pathetic end in the October Tragedy in 1985. Because of the unforgivable carelessness of the university authority, thirty-nine lives, or rather dreams, expired instantaneously under the collapse of the then Assembly Bhavan. Many injured students and staff have never got back their normal and regular life in its consequences. It is also noticeable that there are unwanted attempts always continuing to deprive the religious minorities of their due rights at educational institutions outside the campus and various other political and economic sectors of the society. Despite their distinction of merit and eligibility in higher study levels, they have to undergo manifold difficulties. They become the victim of ineluctable fate of agony, which often renders them helpless in the race of life. The students of Jagannath Hall never demand quota system to attain their exact position in life. They are not expectant of sympathy. They are just after the positions worthy of them in the politico-social premises, in the educational-cultural fields and other places of the social life in a Bangladesh achieved through shedding blood of three million martyrs. No individuals, but the society and state will receive the benefits if there is creation of proper atmosphere.
It is our utmost aspiration that the organized and coordinated activities of the former students of Jagannath Hall contribute to providing the required changes. Jagannath Hall Alumni Association aims at working persistently for the individual and family wellbeing, the prosperity of the country, the spread of education and the promotion of free thinking. We would like to create opportunities of individual and social participations and contributions. We desire to build a proud and noble motherland growing up through our toils, sweats, merits and creativities. We wish to see our human civilization more advanced. We want national development and, at the same time, a just, egalitarian and non-communal society. We are and will remain active in the process. Thus our dear Jagannath Hall, the shining wick of Dhaka University, will go along nourishing and upholding its tradition.