On the occasion of the 67th death anniversary of historian, archaeologist, numismatist and antiquarian Nalini Kanta Bhattasali, Bangladesh National Museum (BNM) organised a commemorative speech at Sufia Kamal Auditorium on February 25.
Under the title “NK Bhattasali the Pioneer Scholar of Reconstructing the Medieval History of Bengal”, Professor emeritus Dr. AKM Yakub Ali, Department of Islamic History and Culture, Rajshahi University delivered the keynote paper. Professor emeritus Dr. Alamgir Mohammad Sirajuddin, former vice-chancellor of Chittagong University was present as the main discussant. M Azizur Rahman, president of Bangladesh National Museum’s Board of Trustees presided over the programme. Prokash Chandra Das, director general of Bangladesh National Museum delivered the welcome speech at the programme. Ikram Ahmed, chairman of Bangladesh Public Service Commission (PSC) attended as chief guest.
The discussants observed how Bhattasali’s contributions had gone a long way in clarifying many obscurities of the history and culture of ancient and medieval Bengal. During its formative stage, the Dhaka Museum was inseparable from Bhattasali, whose personal care and attention was essential for its growth and development. In his lifetime, Bhattasali wandered through the countryside, exploring, discovering, photographing and collecting objects and gathering information, organising exhibitions, and trying to create local interest and consciousness for the preservation of our cultural heritage.
Born to a Brahmin family of Bikrampur, Munshiganj district, he was the first curator of the Dhaka Museum, from 1914 to 1947. Through his works he generated international interest in Bangladeshi heritage. During his tenure, he introduced many novelties and tried his best to keep the antiquities and artifacts in public focus.