The grave of Baul legend Ukil Munshi on the bank of the Betai River in Jainpur village under Mohongaj upazila of Netrokona has been lying without care. -AA
Though promise was made 11 months ago, the project to conserve the memories of Baul legend Ukil Munshi has been delayed due to indifference of the people concerned. The design of the memorial of Ukil Munshi has only been prepared.
While visiting the grave of Ukil Munshi at Jainpur village under Mohonganj upazila of Netrokona in Septemer, 2018, Sajjadul Hasan, Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), made a promise, as local people demanded, to preserve the memories of Ukil Munshi.
He assured locals that a memorial of Ukil Munshi would be set up, his grave and homestead renovated and a collection center established. It has been learnt that a proposal was sent to Netrokona Deputy Commissioner (DC) in May this year to acquisition 53 decmial land at Jainpur Mouza under Mohonganj land office.
The proposal was discussed at the pre-Ecnec meeting and it was asked to send the proposal again determining the price of land for formulating the DPP. But the project is now confined in dispatching letters.
Netrokona DC Moin-Ul-Islam said the project has not approved yet. The land acquisition will start after the project is approved, he added. Baharul Alam, grandson of Ukil Munshi, said, "Work has not started yet to protect the memories of Baul Ukil Munshi. I call upon the people concerned to start the work immediately."
Selim Ahmed, General Secretary of Ukil Munshi Smriti Sangrakkhan Parishad, said, Ukil Munshi put the Bengali folksongs to a new height. "He was close to the people of haor areas. The government should provide all-out support to protect the memories of Ukil Munshi," he said.
Md Rajimul Islam, executive engineer of Netrokona Public Works Department, said, The work of the project will start after the Ecnec approves it. Legendary Baul Ukil Munshi was born in a respectable Muslim family at Nurpur Boali village under Khaliazuri upazila of Netrokona on June 11, 1885. In his childhood, Ukil Munshi used to sing gheto gaan and gazal. Later, he remained immersed in Baul songs till his death. Bereavement was the main theme of his songs.
In later part of his life, Ukil Munshi lived with his family members on the bank of the Betai river in Jainpur village under Mohonganj upazila. He breathed his last on December 12, 1978.
---Indrojit Sarker, Mohonganj, Netrokona
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