• Tuesday, Nov 24, 2020
  • Last Update : 06:42 pm

The tale of Kayes Bhai, Jamalpur’s only living Language veteran

  • Published at 12:33 pm February 18th, 2019
web_Jamalpur-Language-Veteran
Kayes Uddin Ahmed is the only living Language Movement veteran in Jamalpur Dhaka Tribune

The 92-year-old veteran soldier said he has no one to look after him

The only living Language Movement veteran in Jamalpur is Kayes Uddin Ahmed. Locals fondly call him Kayes Bhai.

Old age has hunkered down the 92-year-old veteran soldier, yet he still dons his white panjabi, pajama and shawl, and listlessly wanders around the alleys in the city of Jamalpur.

He composes his own songs protesting exploitation, deprivation, injustice and corruption, and sings them himself.

Whenever there is a meeting by a progressive political party in the city, he will be there, sitting in the first row. If requested, he will also sing some of his self-composed songs onstage.

Kayes was a devoted supporter of Maulana Bhashani, the Islamic scholar and political leader. As he was deeply affiliated with politics, he never got married.

When asked about the Language Movement, Kayes becomes nostalgic. His words start to jumble up.

He said he had been a believer of anti-British sentiments. Therefore, he had been involved in the movements that were organized to throw the British out of the subcontinent.

After primary education, Kayes Uddin could not continue further in his studies due to financial constraints. His late father was Saim Uddin Sarker from the city's Beltia area.

He said: "We did not want any division in the country. However the division started when communal riots erupted in 1947, after partition of the country.”

"The Muslim League is a communal party, while we were in opposition to communalism, which is why we tried to save the lives of the Hindus," he said. 

In 1952, when Governor Muhammad Ali Jinnah declared the state language to be Urdu in Curzon Hall of Dhaka University, it gave birth to the Language Movement. Kayes also went to join that movement.

The men under whose leadership he joined the movement were: Tayeb Ali, Tasir Mokhtar, Haidar Ali Mallik, Nasir Sarker and many more.Kayes Uddin Ahmed is the only living Language Movement veteran in Jamalpur  | Dhaka Tribune

Protests erupted all over the country when Salam, Jabbar, Barkat and Rafiq were martyred, and later the government of Pakistan was forced to accept Bangla as an official language.

Kayes used to motivate Bangali people by singing songs about the Language Movement. He even went to jail for a year for composing songs against Ayub Khan, during the time when Pakistan's President Ayub Khan had declared martial law.

Now, Kayes lives in a store in Gatepar area in Jamalpur city. He recently injured his hand, but he has no one to look after him.

"I protested in the anti-British movement, even went to jail for the language of my country. However, no one even looks out for me now,” he lamented. "I didn’t even get married for the sake of my country, and now I have no one to look after me." 

83
75
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail