DHAKA: It’s a tale of a Royal Bengal Tiger transfiguring into a mewing white cat in front of the SAARC Fountain, one of the busiest points of the capital city.
The national animal of the country appeared in the city in January this year during the South Asian Games.
The Royal Bengal Tiger that has a graceful built with bright yellow coat and black stripes give it a royal look. Its ears are black on the outside and each of them has a prominent white spot on it.
When it came in the city, the tiger also had all these features. But, gradually, it started losing its colours--initially fading out and then totally getting erased.
Maybe, the monsoon rain is the culprit.
But, all will not agree. Should one only blame the rain? It could be the biggest question. When asked, Professor Mozaffar Ahmed told banglanews24.com.bd, “Undoubtedly it has diminished the royal flavour of our national animal. But still it is a small issue to me, when we all have already diminished the prestige of the country in many other ways.”
Art professor Hashem Khan wants to see it as an irresponsible action of the persons who set it at the city point.
He said to banglanews24.com.bd, “As it was built as a replica of the Royal Bengal Tiger to represent it to the city-dwellers and people visiting Bangladesh from abroad, it was the responsibility of the architect to ensure that colour will not be fade out by sun or rain.”
Professor Jamilur Reza Chowdhury said to banglanews24.com.bd, “I don’t want to make a comment on it. But I believe the SA Games organisers should be quizzed for this.”
During the 11th South Asian Games in Dhaka, a huge budget was spent in different areas. Among them a fat budget was allocated for the decoration of the city. From the airport to Bahadur Shah Park in old city different installations were set up. Two replicas of the Royal Bengal Tiger--one standing in a royal mood and another sitting in an idle gesture--were made under the supervision of 14 Engineering Brigade of Bangladesh Army.
Meanwhile, banglanews24.com.bd came to know that an advertising firm was given the work order by the Engineering Brigade to build the replica in the city heart.
When communicated, one member of the decoration group, on condition of anonymity, told banglanews24.com.bd that the replicas of the tiger were painted with fabric colour, which is not permanent.
Asked why permanent colours were not used, he said, “It is the bosses who know it well.”
Eminent artist Mrinal Haq, who also did some beautification works during the SA Games, said, “It was absolutely a casual work. They did not maintain any sense of responsibility in this work.”
The firm, with a view to saving money, hired a group of people from Savar and made the sculpture at a very poor cost, Mrinal informed.
He said, “We feel bad to see the replica and I think it tarnishes the image of the country. People who visit Bangladesh will misunderstand about the standard of our works.”
He went on: “By no means, such a replica could be set at a city centre.”
The advertising firm-- Bangladesh Publicity--set the tiger replica in January prior to the SA Games.
When contacted, Mizanur Rahman, proprietor of the Bangladesh Publicity firm, told banglanews24.com.bd, “We made it expending our own money and we are going to paint it again.”
Asked whether they followed accurate drawing and proper colour for the tiger, he replied: “We tried our best.”
Mizanur said there are many to criticize but a few to have the things done.
Mrinal Haq, who is also the architect of the horse cart in front of Hotel Sheraton, double horses in Minto Road, said as the effort was for representing Bangladesh, it was the duty of the firm to ensure proper drawing.
He hoped that “the replica will be immediately removed”.
BDST: 2200 HRS, AUGUST 6, 2010