Observing 100th anniversary of Khudiram's execution

Observing 100th anniversary of Khudiram's execution

After the deaths of her two children, a mother sold her third son at a price of three handfuls of khud (fragments of rice grains) to her elder daughter, Aparupa Devi, believing this ritual might save the boy. The child survived the apparent threat, but at the age of 18, nothing could stop him from sacrificing his life for the sake of his motherland. This is the story of Khudiram, the immortal hero from Agnijug.

August 11 marked the 100th anniversary of Khudiram’s execution by the British Raj. To mark this occasion, a memorial programme was held on August 10 at BIAM Auditorium. The event was organised by Ummey films, which is set to make a film on the brave hero titled Khudiram.

Adviser to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Rasheda K. Chowdhury, the chief guest at the event, formally announced the launch of the film. Eminent theatre personality Nasiruddin Yousuff presided over the programme while Dr. Anisuzzaman, noted litterateur Selina Hossain, filmmaker Soovash Dutt, Professor Dr. Israfil Shahin (Chairman, Department of Theatre and Music, Dhaka University) were present as special guests.

Habibur Rahman, producer, Ummey Films welcomed the audience. Director Nurul Alam Milki shared his thoughts on the film. Recitor Laila Afroz moved the audience with her rendition of the poem Bongeshwar (written by Manish Ghatak). Bongeshwar was another young revolutionist who died at the hands of the British police after almost two and half decades of Khudiram’s death.

A portrait of Khudiram

“After Khudiram was executed by hanging, The Empire, a contemporary leading English newspaper wrote ‘He was cheerful and smiling’ at the moment of his death. What an undying spirit the young man possessed! The spiritual power of a nation lies on how it treats its history. An initiative which is taken to present the story of Khudiram to this generation is a great task in this regard,” Selina Hossain said in her speech.

Dr. Anisuzzaman Said, “Khudiram was the product of a certain period that we know as the Agnijug. Similar characters are Prafulla Chaki, Binoy-Badal-Dinesh, Shurjo Sen, Preetilata, Kalpana Dutt who vowed to confront British imperialism. While there is controversy whether their way was right or wrong, their idealism and valour are unquestionable. Even Rabindranath Tagore, who did not support their philosophy, said that no one could deny the honour they deserve. Indeed, when we honour these heroes, we make a homage to their patriotism and self-sacrificing courage.”

Noted singers Mita Haque, Sharmin Sathi Islam and recitor Hassan Arif performed at the event. The classic, Ekbaar bidaye de maa ghurey ashi (made famous by Lata Mangeshkar) featuring the trial and sacrifice of Khudiram, was also played at the event.

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