Tuesday October 20, 2020
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Home Photo Gallery Photo Features BURIGANGA: THE SADDEST URBAN ELEGY


Being a Bangladeshi student has certain clichés of its own. Those class work copies from our school-days had eventually evinced them all as we grew up. For all of us, sharing the same educational context, we literally owned ‘Dhaka is situated on the bank of river Buriganga’ for translation or as the introductory line for a paragraph on ‘Your Capital City’, I bet.

Then one fine morning of practical chores, we learn about the Port of Dhaka ‘Sadarghat’ - a new chunk to save in our info-folder. 

Located in the southern part of the city, Sadarghat is Bangladesh's busiest and a major river port on the Buriganga River. 

The busy bank of Buriganga handles approximately 53 million tons of cargo and 22 million passengers round the year. Formerly built as a place for landing of boats, launches and ships coming to Dhaka from other places, this port now facilitates communication mostly with the southern districts.

It shares a history dating back to 1610 when Dhaka was made the capital in during the Mughal Rule. The banks of the Buriganga, ever since then had been a prime location for trade, commerce and communication.

We use Buriganga for our every aquatic demand: communication, trade, commerce, pleasure trips, washing, bathing, cleansing, you name it!

But Buriganga is not all about the glorious past, luxury-launches or the utility packages to brag about. It has a dark side of even darker, blackened water taking a toll on human security. Even the river Kalapani near the border between Nepal and India is not even near to the black colored water as the name suggests!

Doesn’t this picture scare the hell out of you? If not, FIY, ironically Buriganga is not just used for bathing, washing etc purposes; it is the City's main source of drinking water! Now that should scare you! But, that did not come out of the blue but colorful black, you see! 

No doubt!  Walton refrigerator is the only suitable abode for Mermen and Mermaids. Buriganga is no offence, a death call for any delicate species alive (but humans of Dhaka).

Pollution of Buriganga River began in the Mughal period, since the sewage of the city used to be dumped into the river and the vicious water and sewage cycle continues till date!

Given no context, this picture would appeal to the senses of anyone! This should seem serene and soothing to any soul exhausted by the hot and humid weather these days. 

But, the context being the Buriganga, this is indubitably a catchy portrayal of being at peace with one’s conflict! 

However, if the water pollution in the Buriganga is still a myth, don’t get butthurt with Trump’s claim on Global Warming to be nothing but a myth! I, would therefore, second his claim!

Photography: Kazi Salahuddin Razu
Story: Bushra Farizma Hossain

About Artist
album artist
Kazi Salahuddin Razu

Kazi Salahuddin Razu is a Photo/multimedia journalist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, represented by Pacific Press Agency (Philippines). His works have been published nationally and internationally and exhibited. He is currently doing his internship as a multimedia journalist in Daily Star.