Shib Narayan Das, designer of Bangladesh’s first flag, says he is in distress

  • Sumon Mahmud and Moinul Hoque Chowdhury,
    Published: 2020-07-05 00:43:02 BdST


Shib Narayan Das, the man who had designed the first flag of Bangladesh just before independence, is passing his days in misery while many of his associates, now ministers, are flaunting the flag on their cars.

Down with breathing complications, Das resides at Monipuripara in Dhaka with his wife and a son, who has lost the ability to work in an accident

Das says he is suffering from a cycle of illness. “I am alive, in distress. That’s all,” Das told over the phone on Saturday, declining to comment further.

Asked what he thinks about the golden jubilee of independence next year, he sounded frustrated.

“I have no feelings. What feelings? Only living life in hardship. I have nothing to wish for,” Das said.

A Cumilla native, he was a leader of Chhatra League when he designed the flag at the then Iqbal Hall, now Shaheed Sergeant Zahurul Haque Hall, at Dhaka University on Jun 6, 1970.

The first flag designed by him was hoisted on the campus on Mar 2, 1971. It had a yellow map of the new country in a red circle symbolising the sun on a green background.

After the Liberation War, artist Quamrul Hassan redesigned the flag by dropping the map.

Das had said he had put the map to indicate that it was East Bengal, but it had made the flag complex to recreate and raised the risk of distortion.

Speak Out, an organisation based on social media that is raising funds for Das, says he is struggling to pay rents and buy daily necessities and medicine.

Sumaiya Shamsuddoha, the organisation’s senior manager, urged the government and all others to step forward with help for Das.

Money to Das can be sent via mobile financial services bKash, Nagad and Rocket to 01766523124.