Today, November 10th 2017 marks the 30th anniversary of Noor Hossain Day. On this day back in 1987, Noor Hossain was shot and killed by Bangladesh Police while protesting against then Bangladeshi President Hussain Muhammad Ershad and his regime. Lt. General Ershad who was the head of Bangladesh Army, seized power through a military coup in 1982. Imposing Martial Law, he declared himself as the President of the nation in 1983.
Bangladeshi people could not tolerate this undemocratic move by the army chief and slowly but steadily a sentiment for pro democracy became widespread. To protest against the military regime, Noor Hossain along with others took on the street and eventually clashed with the Police.
Noor painted pro Democracy slogans on his chest and his back which was photographed by journalist and later on became one of many powerful symbol for Bangladeshi Democracy. On his chest the painted slogan was, “Down with autocracy” (Bengali: স্বৈরাচার নিপাত যাক) and on his back, “Let Democracy Be Free” (Bengali: গণতন্ত্র মুক্তি পাক).
Noor Hossain on November 10, 1987. Slogan Painted on his back in White Letters.
The long struggle for Independence & Democracy among Bengali people can be traced back well before the Indian sub continent gained it’s Independence. Political figures like Master Da Surya Sen, Chittaranjan Das, Syed Badrudduja, Subhas Chandra Bose, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, A. K. Fazlul Huq are some of many important individuals who played important roles behind the Independence of Greater India.
Highly motivated by the idea of Nationalism on post Indian Independence era, political leader like Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Tajuddin Ahmad, Syed Nazrul Islam also played a crucial role to bring Freedom & Democracy for the Bengali people. From British Rule to Independence of India, then establishment of Pakistan and eventually the Birth of a sovereign nation called Bangladesh was the outcome of Bengali peoples long struggle to achieve their Independence.
Although Noor Hossain was not a prominent figure in Bangladeshi politics but he represents the Bangladeshi people and their symbol of struggle for Democracy. Through this post, I remember this hero & martyr of Democracy with highest honor & respect. Peace.