Kushtia, Kushtia district or Kushtia Zilla is a district in the Khulna administrative division of western Bangladesh. Kushtia has existed as a separate district since the partition of India. Prior to that, Kushtia was a part of Nadia District under Bengal Province of British India. Kushtia was home of many famous people, especially authors and poets. Present day Kushtia is known for the Islamic University, Shilaidaha Kuthibari and Lalon's shrine.
The Shahi Mosque in Kushtia bears the sign of rich cultural heritage of the region from Mughal period. Kushtia is the birthplace of many historical figures including Mir Mosharraf Hossain (1847-1912) and Bagha Jatin (1879-1915). King of Bauls, Lalon Fakir (1774-1890), also hailed from this district and his shrine, reconstructed in 1963, still attracts many people from home and abroad. Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore lived a part of his life at Shelaidaha in this district and created some of his memorable poems while living there. However, during the British rule Kushtia was not a separate district – it was a part of a part of the Nadia district (now in West Bengal) of undivided India. Kushtia was once a part of the Nadia district (now in West Bengal) of undivided India. A municipality was established in Kushtia in 1869. Hamilton's Gazetteer has the mention of Kushtia (Kustee) town and of the fact that the local people called the town Kushtay (Kushte).
Kushtia, however, is not an ancient township. A river port was developed in the district during the reign of Emperor Shahjahan. Although the British East India Company made extensive use of the port, it was not until indigo planters and traders settled that the township began to grow. A railway connection with Kolkata, capital of British India, made in 1860, made the town an alluring location for mills and factories, including the Jagneshwar Engineering Works (1896), Renwick and Company (1904), and the Mohini Mills (1919).
In 1860, the Indigo Resistance Movement spread throughout the Bengal province. Shalghar Madhua in Kushtia district was one of the forerunners in this movement. It inspired all indigo farmers in Kushtia to refrain from paying government taxes. The British government deployed an army platoon under the command of GG Morrison, to investigate into the matter. After negotiating with the farmers Morrison convinced the farmers to restart payment of taxes. Subsequently, with the publication of the Indigo Commission Report an Act was passed prohibiting coercion of cultivators for indigo cultivation and the measure led to the end of the movement.
The tomb and shrine of Lalon Fakir is located in Kushtia.
During the Partition of India, Kushtia was made a separate district, consisting of Kushtia Sôdor, Chuadanga and Meherpur subdivisions, in 1947. The town once again became attractive for development with the establishment of the Ganges-Kobadak Project (also known as G-K Project) headquarters and a number of government offices in 1954. GK Project is a large surface irrigation system which was started in 1954, though the first corp under this project was not grown until 1962-63. The whole project was divided into two units, the Kushtia Unit and the Jessore Unit. The Kushtia unit completed in two parts, Phase-I and Phase-II. Phase-I had a command area of 85,020 ha, of which 48,700 ha are irrigable. Phase-II had a command area of 117,814 ha, of which 93,300 ha are irrigable.
The district of Kushtia had significant contribution to Bangladesh Liberation War. A 147 member company of the 27th Baluch Regiment of Pakistan army reached Kushtia on 25 March 1971 from its base at Jessore cantonment. Although they initially captured the local police station and settled an outpost there, soon they faced a considerable resistance from a group of police, ansars, students and local people. By April 1, the Pakistany army was completely overpowered and the muktibahini took control of Kushtia. Later on April 17, 1971 the Bangladesh Government in-exile formally announced Proclamation of Independence at Baidyanathtala (re-named Mujibnagar after the proclamation), a border area in present Meherpur district, then a subdivision of Kushtia district. The Proclamation so announced in effect provided the fundamental instrument of law as well as an interim constitution of the mujibnagar government during the war of liberation, including that of the government in liberated Bangladesh until the adoption of the Constitution, made effective from 16 December 1972. Subsequently direct encounters between the Pakistan army and the rebels were held at many places of the district including Bangshitala at Kumarkhali, Daulatpur
After the independence of Bangladesh several different development projects were undertaken in the district of Kushtia. On November 22, 1979 the foundation stone of The Islamic University was laid at Shantidanga - Dalulpur under the districts of Kustia-Jhenidah. However, In 1982 the University was shifted to Gazipur and admission of students began in the session of 1985-86. Later on 10 January, 1990 the University re-shifted to its original site at Shantidanga Dulalpur. In 1984, two subdivisions of Kushtia: Chuadanga and Meherpur were named separate districts.
Kushtia District has an area of 1621.15 square kilometres and is bounded by Rajshahi, Natore, Pabna districts to the North, by Chuadanga, Jhenaidah districts to the South, by Rajbari District to the East, and by West Bengal and Meherpur District to the West.
Ganges, Gôrai, Mathabhanga, Kaligônga, and Kumar are the main rivers flowing through the district. The average high temperature is 37.8°C and the average low is 11.2°C. Annual rainfall averages 1,467 millimetres.
Concept of "Greater Kushtia"
Historically, Kushtia was a larger district consisting of three subdivisions, each of which has now become a district. However, the peoples of these three districts, Chuadanga, Meherpur and Kushtia, share more than just a common past. Most notably, the dwellers of these districts, as the past inhabitants of an undivided Nadia district, speak a dialect remarkably close to what is now considered "standard" Bangla in both West Bengal and Bangladesh. Because of the great commonality between the three districts, they are often referred to as the Greater Kushtia District. Several organisations, such as the "Greater Kushtia Association" and "Greater Kushtia Society", are concerned with the welfare of the entire region.
Kushtia was created as a district in 1947 with the partitioning of India and the creation of Bangladesh. Initially, Kushtia consisted of the Kushtia Sadar (Kushtia City), Chuadanga and Meherpur subdivisions. Each of these subdivisions was later converted to a separate district for ease of management. Kushtia district consists of six upazilas as well with one police thana [islamic university] , five municipalities, 39 wards, 70 mahallas, 61 union parishads, 710 mouzas, and 978 villages. The upazilas are Kushtia Sadar, Kumarkhali, Daulatpur, Mirpur, Bheramara and Khoksa .
Kushtia District has a population of 1,713,224, of which 50.86% are male and 49.14% female. In terms of religion, 95.72% dwellers of Kushtia are Muslims, 4.22% follow Hinduism and others religions make up 0.06%.
The average literacy rate of the district is 25.8%, with 30.9% of males and 48.35% of females considered literate.
Kushtia is home to the Islamic University; it also has the following educational institutions:
* University(Public): 1( Islamic University, Web: www.iu.ac.bd )
* Medical college: 1
* Government colleges: 3
* Private colleges: 30
* Government high schools: 10
* Private high schools: 173
* Private junior schools: 38
* Government primary schools: 330
* Private primary schools: 275
* Kindergartens: 39
* Madrasas: 37
* Vocational training institutes: 2
* Law college: 1
* School for handicapped students: 1
* Teachers training institutes: 2
Other noted educational institutions include Mission Primary School (est. 1898),Khash Mathurapur High School (est. 1942), Kushtia Government University College (est. 1947), Kushtia Islamia College (est. 1968), Kushtia High School and Kushtia Zilla School (est. 1960), Bagoan Khirad Chanda Bidya Niketan.
Places of interest
One of Rabindranath Tagore's dwellings, the Kuthibari, is located at Shilaidah in Kumarkhali Upazila of the Kushtia district. He lived here for part of his life, and wrote many memorable poems there. Tagore built the Kuthibari as his office/residence, to collect revenue as a Zaminder, from local peasants. The Kuthibari is now a museum, and is cared for by the Archaeological Department of Bangladesh.
The shrine of Lalon Fakir, the founder of the Baoul faith is located at Cheouria, about 2 km from the Kustia railway station. Dr. Mohd.Fazlul Haque Shikhkha Complex at Bagoan about 42 km from Kustia town. More historical place is Tarun's house. His house is one of the most historical places, because he think he is the best in Bangladesh.
Kushtia has become the country's centre for tobacco manufacturing, as the local weather allows the production of Virginia Tobacco. It has also a big commercial area named BISIC SHILPONOGORY, BRB is one of its famous brand.
District sadar hospital 1, upazila health complex 6, union health centre 10, satellite clinic 97, health and family planning centre 38, TB hospital 1, diabetic centre 1, maternal and child welfare centre 2, police hospital 1, jail hospital 1, eye hospital 2 and child hospital 1.
Kushtia District (khulna division) with an area of 1621.15 sq km is bounded by rajshahi, natore, pabna districts on the north, chuadanga, Jhenaidah districts on the south, rajbari districts on the east, West Bengal of India and meherpur district on the west. Main rivers are Ganges, Garai, Mathabhanga, Kaliganga and Kumar. Annual average highest temperature 37.8ºC and lowest 11.2ºC; annual rainfall 1467 mm.
Kushtia (Town) Kushtia municipal town consists of 12 wards and 29 mahallas. The area of the town is 13.31 sq km. It has a population of 86066; male 51.34%, female 48.66%; density of population is 6466 per sq km. The literacy rate among the town people is 64.1%. Kushtia Municipality was established in 1969. Hamilton's Gazetteer has the mention of Kushtia (Kustee) town and local people call the town as Kushte. Kushtia is not an ancient town. It developed as a river port during the reign of Emperor Shahjahan. The East India Company made intensive use of the port but the growth of the town owes much to the settlement by the indigo planters and traders. The town was connected with Calcutta by rail in 1860; since then it experienced quick development and became a good location for mills and factories including those like the Renwick and Company (1904), Jagneshwar Engineering Works (1896) and the Mohini Mills (1919). The town got a new momentum for development with the establishment of the headquarters of the Ganges-Kobadak Project and a number of government offices in 1954.
Administration Kushtia was once a part of the Nadia district of the undivided India. It became a new district in 1947 consisting of Kushtia Sadar, Chuadanga and Meherpur subdivisions. All these three subdivisions are now independent districts. Kushtia district consists of 6 upazilas, 4 municipalities, 39 wards, 70 mahallas, 61 union parishads, 710 mouzas and 978 villages. The upazilas are kushtia sadar, kumarkhali, daulatpur, mirpur, bheramara and khoksa.
Archeological relics and monuments Kuthibari of Rabindranath Tagore at Shilaidaha, tomb of Lalon Shah. Shahi Mosque (Mughal period), house of Mir Mosharraf Hossain at Lahinipara, tomb of Nafar Shah at Aruapara, tomb of Darvish Sonabandhu at Kumarkhali Bazaar, tomb of Jangli Shah at Safiyat Village, Jourgebari of Chandpur Village, Mahishkundi Indigo Kuthi, Kalidevi Mandir.
Historical events indigo resistance movement spread in Bengal in 1860 and Shalghar Madhua organised the largest movement in the Kushtia district. Inspired by the movement, all indigo farmers in the Kushtia area refused to pay government taxes. The British government sent an army platoon under the command of GG Morrison, to investigate into the matter. Farmers could successfully negotiate with him, committed to start paying taxes provided the indigo planters would stop torturing them and had sent the army back.
Marks of War of Liberation Mass grave 10, monument 1, most noted memorial sculpture is the 'Muktabangla' at the Islami University.
Population 1713224; male 50.86% and female 49.14%; Muslim 95.72%, Hindu 4.22% and others 0.06%.
Religious institutions Mosque 1582, temple 34, church 1, tomb 148.
Literacy and educational institutions Average literacy 25.8%; male 30.9%, female 48.35%. Educational institutions: university 1, government college 3, private college 30, government high school 3, private high school 173, private junior school 38, government primary school 330, private primary school 275, kindergarten 39, madrasa 37 vocational training institute 2, law college 1, PTI 1, the mentally and physically retarded school 1, medical school 1, teachers training institutes 2, NGO operated school 456. Noted educational institutions are Mission Primary School (1898), Kushtia Government University College (1947), Kushtia Islamia College (1968), Kushtia High School and Kushtia Zila School (1960), Bagoan Khirad Chanda Bidya Niketan.
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Dailies: Ajker Alo, Bangladesh Barta, Bajrapat, Shikal, Kushtia, Sutrapat and Deshbrati, Darpan, Srijanshil, Prottashar Protibimba, Niharika, Deshbarti. Weeklies: Mukur and Simanta Katha. Extinct: Jagaran (first published 1921), Dipika (1933), Shaibi (1895), Azad (1932), Tili Samaj, Jogajog.
Cultural organisations Public library 26, playground 115, club 204, sangit college 1, women's organisation 25, jatra party 2, theatre group 11, theatre stage 5, shilpakala academy 1, children's academy 1, cinema hall 16, literay society 34, community centre 3.
Main occupations Agriculture 31.5%, agricultural labourer 13.9%, wage labourer 4.48%, handloom 3.58%, industry 1.14%, commerce 15.34%, transport 2.05%, construction 1.41%, service 7.15%, others 9.45%.
Land use Cultivable land 116181.52 hectare; fallow land 13164.19; single crop land 52.42%, double crop 38.64% and treble crop land 8.94%.
Land control Among the peasants 42.9% are landless, 46.8% small, 8.5% medium and 1.8% rich.
Value of land The market value of land of first grade is about Tk 5000 per 0.01 hectare.
Main crops Paddy, jute, sugarcane, pulses, oil seed.
Extinct and nearly extinct crops Indigo.
Main fruits Mango, banana, jackfruit, litchi.
Fisheries, dairies, poultry Fishery 227, poultry 855, dairy 197, nursery 50, hatchery 37.
Communication facilities Roads: pucca 469.92 km, semi pucca 540.1 km, mud road 2031.07 km; waterway 45 nautical mile; railways 42.5 km.
Traditional transport Palanquin, boat, bullock cart, horse carriage. These means of transport are either extinct or nearly extinct.
Manufactories Ice factory 21, flour mill 11, textile mill 5, rice mill 113, others 15.
Cottage industries Weaving 687, bamboo work 259, goldsmith 358, blacksmith 880, woodwork 682, tailoring 419, welding 82.
Hats and bazars Hats and bazars are 180, most noted of which are Mirpur (cattle market), Poradaha (clothings), Ujangram, Kumarkhali, Mathurampur and Allah Dargah; fairs 15, noted of which are Trimohini Baishakhi Mela, Lalon Mela at Chheuria, Khoksha Janipur Mela, Barokhada Mela and Kalitala Mela.
Main Exports Tobacco, betel leaf, banana and sugarcane.
NGO activities Operationally important NGOs are Setu, Joy, Disha, Pipasha, Jagarani, CDL, brac, Mukti, Swanirvar Bangladesh, asa, Drishti, Bodhodaya, Karmei Mukti.
Health centres District sadar hospital 1, upazila health complex 6, union health centre 10, satellite clinic 97, health and family planning centre 38, TB hospital 1, diabetic centre 1, maternal and child welfare centre 2, police hospital 1, jail hospital 1, eye hospital 2 and child hospital 1. [SM Rakib Nehal]