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One of Three Founding Hall of DU - Shahidullah Hall

Online Desk | January 28, 2013

Shahidullah Hall of DU

Shahidullah Hall is a residential hall of University of Dhaka, established in 1921. Formerly it was known as Dhaka Hall. It is situated behind the Curzon Hall. It has a main building and two extensions. Only science faculty students are allotted here.

Shahidulla Hall was named after the famous linguist Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah. It was one of the three founding Hall of the university. The former name of the Hall was Lyton Hall. Then it was named as Dhaka Hall. Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah died in Dhaka on 3 July 1969 and was buried on the campus of Shahidullah Hall of the university. Then the name of Dhaka Hall was renamed as Shahidullah Hall.

Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah joined the University of Dhaka as a lecturer of Sanskrit and Bangla in 1921. His years at the university constituted the most important period of his life. During his teaching and research career there, he explored the origins of the Bangla language. In 1925, he was able to show that Bangla originated from Gaudi or Magadhi Prakrit. To pursue his doctoral studies, Shahidullah went to France and Germany in 1926. He studied Vedic Sanskrit, Buddhist Sanskrit, Comparative Philology, Tibetan and ancient Persian at University of Paris, and Khotni, ancient Vedic Sanskrit and Prakrit at Freiburg University in Germany. He received his doctorate from the Sorbonne in Paris in 1928 for his research on the distiches of the "Charyapada", the earliest extant specimens of Bangla language.

Dr. Shahidullah became principal of Bogra Azizul Huq College after retirement. He then rejoined the Bangla Department of the University of Dhaka as a supernumerary teacher and taught there for six years as departmental head and dean of the Faculty of Arts. Also, he taught part-time at the Law Department (1922-25) and the International Relations Department, as a teacher of French (1953-55). He also worked as head of the Bangla and Sanskrit Department of the University of Rajshahi (1955-58).

Shahidullah Hall is built in a complex that covers 5 acres of area. It has 3 major buildings that are used to be students residents. One three-story building that has been founded in 1921 is used to be called main building and other two five-story buildings are called extension-1(Ex-1) and extension-2(Ex-2) respectively. Currently Shahidullah Hall residents 1458 students. It has some additional buildings that are used as the provost office, library, reading rooms for students, canteens, mess, mosque and quarters for teachers, officers and clerks. It has a huge play ground and a pond inside the complex and also some shops with daily necessities.

Unlike any other university in India, the Dhaka University started as a new model University being a teaching cum residential university with the provision of the tutorial system. All students were required to be affiliated with one of the resident halls and the Provost and the House Tutors would be responsible for helping the students with their education. The organizers of the University had a high hope that the model University would develop as a great seat of learning. This was clearly reflected in the comment of Lord Lytton, the first Chancellor of the university. He said, in his speech at the first graduation ceremony, that, in his opinion, the University was Dhaka's greatest possession and, that the fame of Dhaka University would spread beyond the boundaries of Bengal.
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Dhaka University


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