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Only the skeleton of once majestic Rangs Bhaban remains hours after Rajuk shifted the demolition drive into gear on Friday.

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Rajuk’s demolition worker puts hammer on the 8th floor of the building

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Rajuk’s demolition worker with hammer on the 8th floor of the building

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Try to save the glass sheet

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Many took pictures of the structure against the bright sunlight on their mobile phones.

Photo: Shehab Uddin, August 03, 2007

The once splendid Rangs Building, stripped off of its splendor as The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipokkho (RAJUK) started demolition drive beyond the fifth floor of the 22-storied building at Bijoy Saroni in the city on August 3, 2007 Friday morning amid tight security.  The demolition drive began a day after the owners of this huge building lost a long-drawn legal battle on Thursday, August 2, 2007 in the Supreme Court as a 5-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Justice M Fazlul Karim, delivered its verdict to demolish 16 floors out of 22 of Rangs Bhaban as it is situated in fly zone where about 6 floors allowed only.Another strong reason is to make a link road to reduce traffic in Bijoy Sharani area. The Govt. should acquire Rangs land including more than 100 lands back of Rangs Building. 

The “monument”  was built during the rule of the then President HM Ershad and later on raised up to 22nd storey at a cost of Tk 700 crore.
 

Meanwhile, fresh disputes arose between Rajuk and the building authorities on marking the ‘upper area’ for demolishing. Rajuk said they would demolish all the floors beyond 60 feet of the building while the building authorities said the Supreme Court ordered destruction of the upper 16 floors of the building.

 

RAJUK workers began demolition work stripping different floors of window panes by breaking glittering glass walls, inner side walls and other expensive interiors, from the sixth floor but the main structure was untouched. It will take at least three months to demolish the illegal Rangs Bhaban. Over 300 police and RAB personnel were posted at different floors and in front of the Bhaban with a view to maintaining the security in and around the Rangs Bhaban. Hundreds of curious onlookers gathered all around the Rangs Bhaban throughout the whole day while the demolition was continuing.

 Source: Internet. 

“You are the first one ever who asked me to sit on a palki (palanquin) though I am a wife of a palki porter. I have been living with palanquins for 16 years. Today a long cherished dream of mine is fulfilled,” Mayna Das sighs. What an irony!Like Mayna Das it is a treasured hope of many girls of our traditional Bangali society to be brought home of her beloved husband, by a palanquin, after marriage. But those days are gone. In modern society, with the advancement of technology, palanquins have become a thing of the past.These days brides go to their husbands’ riding on cars. However, the tradition is not dead yet. Palanquins are still used for carrying brides in remote Bangladesh. In Mathbari, a far-off village in Sundarbans, some people still cling to palanquins. The palanquin-porters are saving a heritage, a century-old tradition of the soil, for the sake of living their lives in a miserable way.There was a happy time for the porters when their earnings were good enough to live up. But poverty, lack of respect to these untouchables, illness and uncertainty are trying to eradicate the porters along with the tradition.As the porters are not in a sound socio-economic position the mode of their profession is changed. They used to serve as cobblers to earn some extra money. But the life is getting so critical that they are compelled to adopt other professions. Moreover they serve an additional role of entertainers in wedding ceremonies.palki_001.jpg

Asha, in bridal make-up, she knows very well that riding palanquin is only a dream.

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Jugal is getting water therapy in his house. He gets high fever when he was in bride’s house during work.

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“You are the first one ever who asked me to sit on a palki (palanquin) though i am a wife of a palki porter. I have been living with palanquins for 16 years. Today a long cherished dream of mine is fulfilled,” Mayna Das sighs.

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Palanquins are still used carrying brides in remote Bangladesh. All through their life palanquin-porters carried others brides except their own.

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Attempt to cutoff the tiredness

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Bride looks from a Palanquin.

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Kali Pada, one of the most elderly of porter family, old age does not allow him work as palanquin porter.

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Mayna Das gets some relaxations after lunch.

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Palanquin porter taking his cattle back home with the help of his wife.

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They are work as palanquin-porter not for food only….

(C) Shehab Uddin
June 2007

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