Unveil the power of truth
Debate & Public Speaking Competition - 07
Feeda Hasan Shahed
It was an afternoon which was as ordinary as a regular afternoon. But little did I realize that it would soon turn out to be an extraordinary one followed by an enthralling evening.
I am talking of 30th April, Monday, when I went to TSC just for a normal visit only to discover that a mega event was about to start. While I was entering the auditorium being fully blank about the proceedings, I was wondering what might be there so special regarding such a colourful arrangement!
I soon found out. It was 'The Daily Star 4th Inter Hall English Debate Championship' and the 2nd Inter-University Public Speaking Championship '07 to be held one after the other.
What an occasion for me! I have loved debating since my childhood despite not being a debater myself. I enjoy all sorts of persuasive speaking that take place anywherebe in adda, seminar, TV whatever. So it was to my great interest that I just decided to stay till the end and watch the battle of minds by youngsters of the nation.
Indeed, the joyful debaters made a fabulous effort to arrange the entire program. When the function started I got deadlocked in the debate magic. The quality of speech-exchange from all parties made everyone mesmerized, I am sure.
The first final
At 2 p.m. started the first final of the Inter Hall Championship. In the World Format debate, four halls Mohsin Hall, F Rahman Hall, Kobi Jasimuddin Hall and Fazlul Haque Hall participated in a heated topic: 'This house believes that fundamentalism is a result of discrimination.' Mohsin Hall (Govt 2 team) outperformed the rest three to gain championship. Mehedi Kaisar of Mohsin Hall was adjudged the best speaker. The judges were Mohammad Asadullah (Ex debator), Mehedi Hasan Tamim (Ex-president Dhaka University Debating Society), Shamsur Rahman Parvez (Ex-vice president Dhaka University Debating Society).
I just had a feeling at that moment which I feel raising now. There are people who doubt the ability of Dhaka university students to speak English fluently with standard pronunciation. I guess they all would change their mind if they had watched the show. It was simply awesome!
The Second final
The second final started at 4 p.m. It was the 7th Inter-Hall Bangla Debate Competition in Parliamentary form between Begum Fazilatunnessa Mujib Hall and Masterda Surjasen Hall. Both teams performed well enough to influence me to be a stage debater right at that moment! Professor Syed Anowar Hossain of History Department from Dhaka University was the speaker and the judges were Nazmuzzaman Bhuiyan, Assistant Professor of Law Department, Dhaka University; Al-Mamun, ex-debater; Partho Sanjoy, ex-debater and RTV News room chief), Mehedi Hasan Tamim, ex-President of Dhaka University Debating Society, Shamsur Rahman Parvez, ex-Vice President of Dhaka University Debating Society; and A S M Atikur Rahman, Moderator of the Dhaka University Debating Society. The speaker Professor Syed Anowar Hossain made some funny remarks not being a professional speaker which made the audience alive. His allowing and disallowing of 'point of information' and 'point of order' created humor among the viewers. Government team Masterda Surjasen Hall became champion, and the best speaker was Anwar Hossain, parliament member from the government team.
Behind the curtains
At the end of the debates while results were being prepared, I went in the green room to fetch some information regarding the debate. I was received very warmly by the president of the Dhaka University Debating Society Rashedul Alam Rasel. Out of my curiosity I asked him several questions regarding debate and when, why and how he started. He replied enthusiastically, “I love debating, its my passion!” He added that he has been involved in debate because it is a way to build a logical society as well as a nation. He is greatly influenced because of the fact that debating is a motivating art. It's an artistic bridge to narrow the gap between two diverse beliefs. “Through debate one can learn to be tolerant which is needed in a democratic governance. Debaters debate having knowledge about society, politics, economics and culture and therefore debating is a practice of wisdom-cultivation,” he said.
Many think debating is a wastage of time and it hampers study. But he felt strongly that it's an integral part of a culture of a country.
Dhaka University Debating Society
Established in 1988, it is the only center-staged debating organization of the country. Every year on the last Friday of May, a new committee is elected through debate where the debaters try to prove their quality to be elected in the presence of the chief moderator Professor Dr. Syed Manzoorul Islam, country's renowned literary and art critic. The election debate is held in the American Electoral Debate Format.
The DUDS regularly arranges both English and Bengali discussion programs, debate festivals, and publishes a magazine named “PROTIBAAK”. Besides, every year it organizes debate-search programs with first and second year students, and 'NAFIA GAZI Inter-department, inter-hall, inter school and college debate competitions'.
To be a member of DUDS one can easily apply by collecting a student membership form and facing interview. The conversation was over, and to my pleasant surprise I was handed delicious snacks and a souvenir by Rasel. Readers may imagine how I enjoyed the prize giving ceremony with a loaded stomach!
The Prize Giving Ceremony
It started at six p.m. The prolific guests were Professor A. F. M. Yousuf Haider, the honorable Pro-Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University as the special guest; Mr. Mahfuz Anam, Editor of The Daily Star; Professor Dr. Syed Manzoorul Islam, Chief Moderator of Dhaka University Debating Society; Mr. A. S. M. Atikur Rahman, Moderator of Dhaka University Debating Society and so on.
The program was presided by Mr. Rashedul Alam Rashed, President of Dhaka University Debating Society. The guests gave their short speeches before giving away the prizes. The moderator Mr. Atikur Rahman made a proposal-mixed query to the Pro Vice Chancellor whether debate could be the part of the academic syllabus and added as a subject in the university.
Chief moderator Professor Dr. Syed Manzoorul Islam thanked the whole DUDS team for their excellent arrangement and wished all the success for the debaters in the upcoming future.
The Daily Star editor Mr. Mahfuz Anam, recalling his student life memory, said, “I debated here forty years back in 1967. TSC has its same glamour today as it had forty years ago.” He wished great success for the debaters and encouraged them to carry on with their spirit.
In his speech, the Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Haider described debate as a tool to flourish intelligence and ideas of the students. One can gain courage, concentration and increase merit through debate which helps him/her to grow as a creative person, he maintained. He then announced the winners names one by one.
Thus the joint collaboration of 'The Daily Star' and the University of Dhaka ended in an exuberant fashion leaving tens of hundreds mesmerized in awe.
The list of winners in different categories is as follows:
In the inter-university public speaking competition, twenty students from different public and private universities participated. The topic was: “Unveil the Power of Truth.”
1st position: Mehedi Kaiser from Dhaka University
2nd position: Walid Bin Quasem from Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology.
3rd position: Mofazzal Hossain from Dhaka University
The Bangla Barowari Debate competition had the topic: “Obhiman Noy Ar Shundor Jege Utho.”
Champion- Enamul Kabir from Haji Mohammad Mohsin Hall Dhaka University
1st runner-up Mofazzal hossain from Fazlul Huq Hall Dhaka University
2nd runner-up: Anindo Rahman from Bangobondhu Mujib Hall Dhaka University
The 4th Inter-Hall Debate Competition'07:
Champion- Government 2 Team Mohsin Hall Dhaka University Runner-up 'Government 1' Team: Fazlul Huq Hall
Best Speaker: Mehedi Kaiser 'Government 2' Team Mohsin Hall, Dhaka University.
The 7th Inter-Hall Bangla Debate Competition'07
Champion: Government Team Masterda Surjasen Hall
Runner-up: Opposition Team Fazilatunnessa Mujib Hall
Best Speaker: Anowar Hossain, Government Team Masterda Surjasen Hall.
As regards the overall performance of all debaters, Zia-ul-Huq Sheikh from Masterda Surjasen Hall, became the 'Debater of the Tournament in Bangla and Mehedi Kaiser from Mohsin Hall Dhaka University became the 'Debater of the Tournament' in English.
After the prize giving ceremony ended, I went to the green room again to take the winners' list where once again I attended another snacks-party! Despite my filled-in stomach, I once again obliged my hosts (why shouldn't I, come on). On my way home relishing an apple, I wondered why on earth I didn't become a debater!
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