Item Code: 147/bd-7
The Shaheed Minar ("Martyr
Monument") is a national monument in Dhaka, Bangladesh, established to commemorate those killed during the Bengali Language
of 1952 in the East Pakistan.
The oriental magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis) is the national bird of Bangladesh. It is a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of
the thrush family Turdidae, but now considered an Old World flycatcher. They are distinctive black and white
birds with a long tail that is held upright as they forage on the ground or
perch conspicuously. Occurring across most of the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia, they are common birds in urban gardens
as well as forests. They are particularly well known for their songs and were
once popular as cagebirds.
Magpie robins breed
mainly from March to July in India and January to June in south-east Asia. Males sing from high perches during
courtship. The display of the male involves puffing up the feathers, raising
the bill, fanning the tail and strutting. They nest in tree hollows or niches in
walls or building, often adopting nest boxes. They line the
cavity with grass. The female is involved in most of the nest building, which
happens about a week before the eggs are laid. Four or five eggs are laid at
intervals of 24 hours and these are oval and usually pale blue green with
brownish speckles that match the color of hay. The eggs are incubated by the
female alone for 8 to 14 days. The
nests are said to have a characteristic odour.
Sun behind Shahid Minar of the Language Movement.
National bird - Doyel (Dhyal) or Magpie-robin
Head of a Royal Bengal Tiger.
100 x 60 mm
Shaheed Minar of Dhaka, as rebuilt in 1972
On 21 and 22 February 1952, students from Dhaka University and Dhaka Medical College and political activists were killed when the Pakistani police force opened fire on Bengali protesters who were demanding official status for their native tongue, Bengali. The massacre occurred near Dhaka Medical College and Ramna Park in Dhaka. A makeshift monument was erected on 23 February by students of University of Dhaka and other educational institutions, but soon demolished on 26 February by the Pakistani police force.
The first Shaheed Minar, built on 23 February 1952. It was demolished by Pakistan Police and Army three days later.
The Language Movement gained momentum, and after a long struggle, Bengali gained official status in Pakistan (with Urdu) in 1956. To commemorate the dead, the Shaheed Minar was designed and built by Bangladeshi sculptors Hamidur Rahman in collaboration with Novera Ahmed. Construction was delayed by martial law, but the monument was finally completed in 1963, and stood until the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, when it was demolished completely during Operation Searchlight. After Bangladesh gained independence later that year, it was rebuilt. It was expanded in 1983. National, mourning, cultural and other activities held each year to mark 21 February, Ekushey or Shaheed Dibas (Martyrs' Day), are centred on the Shaheed Minar. Since 2000, 21 February is also recognised as International Mother Language Day.
The second Shaheed Minar, 21 Feb 1954
National bird of Bangladesh
This magpie-robin is a resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from Bangladesh, interior India, Sri Lanka and eastern Pakistan east to Indonesia, Thailand, south China, Malaysia, and Singapore. They have been introduced to Australia. The oriental magpie-robin is found in open woodland and cultivated areas often close to human habitations.
This species is 19 cm (7.5 in) long, including the long tail, which is usually held cocked upright. It is similar in shape to the smaller European robin, but is longer-tailed. The male has black upperparts, head and throat apart from a white shoulder patch. The underparts and the sides of the long tail are white. Females are greyish black above and greyish white. Young birds have scaly brown upperparts and head.
Magpie robins were widely kept as cagebirds for their singing abilities and for fighting in India in the past. They continue to be in the pet trade in parts of Southeast Asia. The magpie robin is the national bird of Bangladesh, where it is common and known as the doyel or doel (Bengali: দোয়েল). It is a widely used symbol in Bangladesh, appearing on currency notes, and a landmark in the city of Dhaka is named as the Doyel Chatwar (meaning: Doyel Square).
Doyel Chatwar, Dhaka