Osmany Museum Honors a Freedom Fighter
The Osmany Museum, also spelled Osmani, in Sylhet, Bangladesh, was founded to honor the country’s most renowned freedom fighter. General M.A.G. Osmani was born Mohammed Ataul Ghani Osmani on 1 September 1918. His name would become synonymous with bravery and courage and his legacy blankets Bangladesh. With the Osmani International Airport and the creation of the Osmani Museum, his spirit can still be felt in all corners of Sylhet.
General Osmani started his rise to fame in 1939 when he joined the Indian Military Academy. In 1940, he entered the Indian Army as an officer and was promoted to Major after serving in Burma, in 1942. His promotion to Lieutenant Colonel happened in 1947 while in the Pakistan Army and by 1956 he became Colonel and deputy director of military operations. Osmani decided to retire from military life in 1967 but under the Mujib government structure, Osmani was brought in as Commander in Chief of the Bangladesh Armed Forced in 1971.
With the independence of Bangladesh, came the title of General and in 1972, Osmani once again terminated his services with the military and moved on to become the Minister of Shipping in the Sheikh Mujibur Rahman cabinet. General Osmani became instrumental in fighting for democracy and opposing the one-party government system. On 16 February 1984, General Osmani passed away in London after losing the fight against cancer. He was flown back to Bangladesh to be buried with full military honors, next to his mother.
His family home, which lies in ruins, and the pond that was dug by Osmani himself, draws many visitors and tourists, but it is at the Osmany Museum where his life can be seen in color. Founded in 1987, the museum pays respect to this liberation war hero by displaying breathtaking works of art relating to his struggles and by exhibiting personal items, photographs and military gear used by Osmani, to remind the public and educate visitors about this remarkable man. Walking through the Osmany Museum honors the sacrifices and strength of General Osmani, and gives admirers a place where they can be close to their liberating champion and retrace his life and the significant moments in the history of Bangladesh.