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Report on the seminar on Gangaridai organized by BARMS and other partners on 18th November 2014 at Dhaka
November 25, 2014, 10:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A seminar on Search for the Ancient Kingdom of Gangaridai: Evidence and Findings from Wari Bateswar, jointly organized by Bangladesh Archives and Records Management Society, PATA, Skal International and Dhaka Regent Hotel and Resort was held on 18th November 2014 at the Bangladesh National Museum. Honorable Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Mr. Rashed Khan Menon, MP was present as the Chief Guest and the Secretary for the Ministry for Cultural Affairs Dr. Ranjit Kumar Biswas was the Special Guest. It was attended by the members of BARMS, high government officials, historians, archaeologists, university students, journalists and tour operators.

Professor Sharif uddin Ahmed, President of BARMS in his address expressed that the principal theme of today’s seminar is concerned in rediscovering an important part of Bangladesh’s history. The problem associated with the subject is primarily the lack of historical records and documents. Thus he stressed the importance of the study of history and heritage of a country for its national confidence building and socio-economic developments. He particularly emphasized the need for preservation and conservation of historical documents and general management of government records as future sources of history. But for proper conservation and preservation of contemporary records and documents vital information may be lost and true history cannot be written thereby allowing the opportunities for vested interested groups to distort the past.

Mr Abdul Muyeed Chowdhury the former Secretary to the Government of Bangladesh and President of Skal International Bangladesh stressed that the study of history especially the study of archaeology not only enhances knowledge but also contributes to the economy of a country particularly through tourism.

The renowned archaeologist Professor Dr. Sufi Mostafizur Rahman presented his paper Search for the Ancient Kingdom of Gangaridai: Evidence and Findings from Wari Bateswar.

He elaborated his subject through various arguments and presentation of slide pictures of his excavation work at Wari Bateswar, Narsingdi, Bangladesh. From the archaeological evidence excavated from Wari Bateswar he concluded that the site is at least four thousand years old and the place may be identified with the famous ancient kingdom of Gangaridai mentioned by the ancient Greek and Roman historians and writers.

After his presentation the floor was opened for discussion. Many distinguished historians, archaeologists and academics put forward many counter arguments and questions regarding the paper. The eminent historian Professor Abdul Momin Chowdhury who was presiding over the seminar congratulated Professor Sufi for his excellent presentation but cautioned that further research and excavation works have to be carried out before coming to a final conclusion.

Dr. Ranjit Kumar Biswas Secretary to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs emphasized that it is essential that the state should make its utmost efforts to preserve its archaeological heritage and conserve the historical records and documents of the country. He assured that the Ministry of Cultural Affairs would do all it can to highlight the glorious history of Bangladesh and preserve its cultural heritage.

The Honourable Minister Mr. Rashed Khan Menon gracefully acknowledged that he has been much benefitted by the discussion in the seminar and promised that he would do his best to preserve and develop the historical sites and remains of the country so that tourism could be more promoted. He also emphasized that a nation’s history and heritage must be studied by the coming generation and told the audience that while he was the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Education he recommended that the study of history and heritage particularly of Bangladesh must be made compulsory in colleges and universities. He declared with pleasure that it has now being implemented by the National University of Bangladesh.

In the seminar there were a large number of university students and junior archivists who took part in the deliberations and showed much enthusiasm in the record keeping and record management and for preservation of historical sites and heritages of Bangladesh.

The seminar would go down a long way in the development of archival management and historical studies in Bangladesh.

Impression of the meeting

Impression of the meeting

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