Selina Parvin

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Selina Parvin
Born 31 March 1931
Chhota Kalyan Nagar, Ramganj Upazila, Noakhali District, Bengal Presidency, British India (now in Bangladesh)
Died 14 December 1971 (aged 40)
Rayerbazar Boddhobhumy, Dhaka District, East Pakistan (now in Bangladesh)
Cause of death Bayonet charge by Al-Badr
Burial place Azimpur Graveyard
Nationality British Indian from 1931 to 1947 East Pakistani from 1947 to 1971
Other names Manwara Begum
Occupation Journalist
Years active

Matron in Rokeya Hall (from 1959 to 1960)

As a teacher in Azimpur Baby Home (from 1960 to 1965)

A worker in Salimulla Orphanage (from 1965 to 1966)

Secretary to the editor in Weekly Begum (from 1966 to 1967)

Journalist in Weekly Lalana (from 1967 to 1971)
Parent(s) Moulvi Abidur Rahman (father) Mossamat Sajeda Khatoon (mother)

Selina Parvin (31 March 1931 – 14 December 1971) was a Bangladeshi journalist and poet.[1] She is one of the intellectual martyrs killed by Al-Badr[2] on 14 December, immediately before the victory after the 9-month-long war of independence of Bangladesh in 1971. This day later came to be commemorated as the intellectual martyr day. As a journalist she used to work for Weekly Begum, Weekly Lalana and Shilalipi.[1] She was buried in Azimpur Graveyard on 18 December 1971.[3]


Selina was born in Ramganj Upazila of erstwhile Noakhali District.[1][3] Her father Md Abidur Rahman was a teacher. When after World War II her father's house in Feni District was seized, the family had to settle back in village. Then 12-year-old Selina was a student in class six and skilled in writing poetry and stories. Due to the traditional conservative rural context she had to put an end to her schooling. At the age of 14 she was married against her consent and she refused to live with her husband. She wanted to study further but could not succeed in the matriculation exam. After 10 years they divorced.[4]


Selina Parvin took training in nursing at Mitford Hospital in 1957. She worked for some time as matron in Rokeya Hall in 1959 and joined the Azimpur Baby Home as a teacher in 1960. She worked for some time in Salimulla Orphanage in 1965 and then joined as secretary to the editor of Weekly Begum in 1966. In 1967 Selina Parvin joined the Weekly Lalana as a journalist. She then married a politician. She used to work with various periodicals and used to publish her own pro-liberation[2] periodical Shilalipi on an irregular basis.[4] She used the weekly's earning to help freedom fighters.[2] In Shailalipi, Selina Parveen used to publish articles by prominent personalities including Prof Munier Chowdhury, journalist Shahidullah Kaiser, Zahir Raihan and ANM Golam Mostafa, all of whom except Raihan became targets of Al-Badr.[2][5] Zahir Raihan left his house on 30 January 1972 looking for his brother Shahidullah Kaiser, but never returned.[6]


On 13 December 1971, like other intellectual martyrs, Selina Parvin was seized by members of the paramilitary force Al-Badr. Her son Sumon was only 7 years old.[7] She was brutally killed on 14 December and her dead body was later discovered in the Rayerbazar Boddhobhumy. A lone survivor of the killing testified to the court that being blindfolded, he heard a woman [Selina Parvin] screaming and begging Al-Badr men for her life, appealed to spare her as she had a kid and there was none to take care of him but her. But the brutal killers did not spare her. She was instantly killed by charging bayonet as narrated by the witness.[2][7] The lone survivor, who managed to loosen the rope with which he was tied and escaped, had described how three prisoners were tortured before being taken out to be shot. Among the victims, Selina Parvin was [later] found with two bayonet wounds, one through the eye and one in the stomach, and two bullet wounds.[7]

On 3 November 2013, Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, a Muslim leader based in London, and Ashrafuz Zaman Khan, based in the US, were sentenced in absentia after the court found that they were involved in the abduction and murders of 18 people in December 1971 – nine Dhaka University teachers, six journalists including Selina Parvin, and three physicians.[2][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Profiles of martyred intellectuals". The Daily Star. 14 December 2006. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Khan, Tamanna (4 November 2013). "It was matricide". The Daily Star. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Hossain, Selina (2012). "Parvin, Selina". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. 
  4. ^ a b স্মৃতি: ১৯৭১, Volume 4, Page 98, Bangla Academy, ISBN 984-07-3351-6
  5. ^ a b Chowdhury, Syed Tashfin (3 November 2013). "UK Muslim leader Chowdhury Mueen Uddin sentenced to death in Bangladesh". The Independent. London. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  6. ^ Ferdous, Fahmim (19 February 2013). "Zahir Raihan: Capturing national struggles on celluloid". The Daily Star. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c Hoque, Mofidul (14 December 2013). "Long Walk to Justice". The Daily Star. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 

Further reading[edit]