Dr. Dalem Chandra Barman a Unique Example of Simplicity and Honest Social Scientist

Hiren Pandit: During my student life, I met many dear teachers. Later, I took their lessons as students and completed my student life after finishing their respective institutions or passing through the door. In this short life, I have come to know many good teachers.

In 1986, I was admitted to the Department of Political Science at Dhaka University. In political science, we have very talented teachers. Among them were Professor Dr. Syed Maksud Ali, Professor Dr. Emajddin Ahmed, Professor Dr. Dalem Chandra Barman, Professor Dr. Mustafa Chowdhury, Professor Sardar Fazulal Karim, Professor Dr. Najma Chowdhury, Professor Dr. Borhan Uddin Khan Jahangir, Professor Dr. Shawkat Ara Hossain, Prof. Dr. Shamsul Huda Harun, Prof. Dr. Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan, Prof. Aminur Rahman, Prof. Sharifullah Bhuiyan, Prof. Dr. Harun ur Rashid and many others.

My academic journey led me to interact with many brilliant minds whose profound insights continue to resonate. Among them, Professor Dr. Dalem Chandra Barman stood out as a beacon of knowledge, a distinguished teacher, researcher, and the founding chairman of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at Dhaka University. He earned his Bachelor’s (Honors) degree in 1968 and Master’s in 1969 from the Department of Political Science, Dhaka University, before pursuing his PhD from the University of Rajasthan, India.

Significant contributions marked Professor Dr. Dalem Chandra Barman’s career. He began his teaching journey in the political science department of Dhaka University in 1974. He continued to serve as a professor in our department until 1999 and then took on the role of the founding chairman of the Peace and Conflict Department of Dhaka University. His dedication to education led him to ASA University, where he served as Vice-Chancellor until 2021.He was suffering from various physical complications due to old

age. On 5 June 2024 at 11:10 am, he passed away while undergoing treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University. He was 75 years old at the time of his death, and we have humble respect for the memory of Sir. Professor Dr. Dalem Chandra Barman was a frontline fighter of the ethnic minority rights movement—a dear teacher at Dhaka University. Dalem Sir used to take our African Politics class in Masters. He could easily mingle and cooperate with the students. He was incredibly polite. Sir’s home is Kaliakair in Gazipur.

I have been to ASA University many times, and it has been discussed many times. One day, I heard him saying to someone that perhaps the university’s registrar had come to consult about something. He ordered tea from an office colleague, saying to the registrar, “See, since the university gives me a car facility, the conveyance allowance, which is being given along with the salary, should be deducted.” he can give many such examples.

Sir was involved in many social and cultural organizations. He also served as the vice president of the Disabled Rehabilitation and Research Association (DRRA); I have been associated with it for a long time. Sir never took the travel allowance allocated for the executive committee meetings or the organization’s general meeting, saying that this money should be spent on developing disabled children. In today’s consumerist society, when we are all busy surrendering principles, ethics, and ideals, Sir can symbolize ideals for us. Your honesty has always impressed us; people like you are greatly needed in this society.

Sir was on the front line during the country’s crisis, domestic and foreign intrigues and independence, and the country and the motherland’s problems. He tried to organize everyone as a pro-independence intellectual against any conspiracy and purposeful activities against the government. Sir has a lot of research on tribals.

The thought of the country, the progress of the country, the spirit of the liberation war, and the relentless efforts to establish the rights of the disadvantaged communities of the society, including the ethnic people, really captivate us. He has led from the front whenever the nation faces various problems. Ramu in Cox’s Bazar, Nasirnagar in Brahmanbaria, Shalla in Sunamganj, the incident in Cumilla city, Santhia in Pabna, Gangachara in Rangpur, Rishipara in Jashore, etc., his heart cried equally. Sir was very popular among the university teachers and efficiently performed the duties of Chief Election Commissioner in Dhaka University Teachers Association elections.

He has understood our existing society and political reality with his heart and mind and has always tried to move our society forward. His varied experience, skills, honesty, and determination are the only things that support Sir’s progressive thinking. There was nothing to ask for in life, and nothing to get was satisfied with very little. This gifted teacher with non-communal, liberal, and humanitarian values always held the ideals of Bangabandhu and the spirit of the great liberation war. He was a decent, humble and humble man.

His numerous research articles have been published in various international journals at home and abroad. He believed that quality education is a prerequisite for building a humane society and that education that leads to human development by eradicating poverty and human poverty is essential for a sustainable knowledge-based society.

He believed that by being educated in quality education, the students would strive to achieve the goals of this country and would play a role in transforming the country into a middle-income country. He emphasized character building. He also said that Bangladesh’s vision is to build a knowledge-based society.

Our education system plays a vital role in the country’s socioeconomic development and empowering people by creating skilled human resources and moral values. Students should commit to building a poverty-free, happy, and prosperous nation. Our goal is to create a society where students take the opportunity to get quality higher education and use it to develop the country.

As a social scientist, Professor Dr. Dalem Chandra Barman used to think deeply about society and analyze violent incidents and gave us various suggestions on why violent activities are increasing in our society due to social crises. People are becoming cruel, killing people for trivial reasons: Brother beating brother, father beating son. The son is setting fire to the father. The mother is killing her daughter. This is a social crisis. People become killers only when there is social unrest, depression, and crisis of confidence. These violent behaviors are associated with overall social unrest. Incidents of familial violence occurring in our society are not united or collective violence in that sense.

These are personal conflicts that sometimes turn violent. Although these are personal, they cannot be separated from society in any way. Individuals are also part of society. People resort to arbitration if conflicts cannot be resolved individually. Society is the referee. So, to end these violent behaviors, we must look at our social system.

When there is a conflict between mother and son, we have to see if our mothers are fulfilling the social responsibilities assigned to them, and we have to see if the children are fulfilling their duties. Son attacked his father for not buying an expensive mobile phone. Our desires may be influenced by outside society.

Many also blame the role of foreign culture. He also believed that our children and teenagers could learn violence through foreign programs, cartoons, or games. Such incidents occur in society due to the lack of mentality to give concessions to the main petty interests. These occur even when social, cultural, and religious values and family ties are reduced. Earlier, people lived together in prominent families.

Yet these conflicts would have been less. Now, people are divided into small families. But it is also attacking loved ones for little reasons. To get out of this situation, emphasis should be placed on restructuring the institutional systems of social values. Social principles need to be restored for a crime-free society. Such social conflicts are not new. It was before. People usually react like this due to stress.

Our dear sir, this renowned teacher will be remembered for his outstanding contribution to promoting and researching political science, especially peace and conflict studies in the country and for peace in society.

The writer is an essayist, researcher, and columnist.

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