Whereas taka notes of various denominations at the moment are simply obtainable, the launch of Bangladesh’s forex after independence proceeded with a lot issue.
When the Bangabandhu authorities got here to energy in 1971, they confronted a critical disaster. With out a recognised forex, it turned exhausting to conduct financial actions. For some time, Pakistani rupees stamped with a Bangladeshi seal have been used. Nevertheless it wasn’t sufficient.
In the identical 12 months, the Safety Printing Press of India was approached to print Tk1 and Tk100 notes on an emergency foundation, which have been lastly launched available in the market on March 4 1972.
These have been Bangladesh’s first personal cash. Commemorating the nation’s independence, the notes have been designed with the map of Bangladesh.
Round two months later, Tk10 notes have been launched, adopted by Tk5 notes a month later.
A brand new downside, nonetheless, arose some time later. Because the notes have been printed in India, they got here with safety dangers. Counterfeit forex started to unfold, elevating alarms in Bangladesh Financial institution. Appearing swiftly, the central financial institution scrapped the notes on Might 1 1973. The Tk1 word was cancelled a 12 months afterward March 30 1974.
On the time, one US greenback was price round Tk8. The federal government then determined to introduce new notes. The brand new notes could possibly be printed in any developed nation, together with the UK and america.
However what about its design? Who would take up the duty of designing a newly-independent nation’s forex?
A 3-member committee, made up of famed painter Zainul Abedin, Potua Quamrul Hassan and painter Qayyum Chowdhury, was requested to fee an artist for designing the brand new notes.
Qayyum Chowdhury was tasked with designing the notes, however because the work didn’t progress, an commercial was taken out in a neighborhood newspaper in search of one other designer.
At one stage, Quamrul Hassan heard of an artist from Charukola, Okay G Mustafa, who labored on the Safety Printing Press in Karachi as a designer. The seek for him started and ultimately Quamrul bought this man.
He instantly took Mustafa to satisfy the then governor of Bangladesh Financial institution ANM Hamidullah. It was there that Mustafa was given the accountability of designing the brand new notes.
Mustafa started by tackling two variations of the Tk5 word first. After two weeks, he submitted his designs to the central financial institution governor. Hamidullah was more than happy with the design and he confirmed it to the prime minister and the then first finance minister of Bangladesh Tajuddin Ahmed. Lastly, the designs have been taken to Bangabandhu himself.
In his memoirs, KG Mustafa recounted the day he offered the design to Bangabandhu. “Bangabandhu was overjoyed when he noticed the designs. Did you make these from overseas, he requested me,” Mustafa wrote.
On the identical day, Bangabandhu gave permission to print the notes and the contract for this was given to a British firm, Thomas de la Rue.
The design for the 2 5 taka notes started in February 1972 and it was printed in London by August. On February 4 of the subsequent 12 months, the 2 new notes of Bangladesh have been lastly launched.
And what was this charming design? On one facet was a portrait of Bangabandhu and on the opposite was the Adamji Jute Mill of Narayanganj. To the mill’s left was a jute plant.
For the opposite word, the artist depicted a blooming water lily and macrame jute hangers on the corners. In his memoirs, KG Mustafa talked about that each the notes had a floral sample, together with the safety sample within the background. Behind the forex worth was a wide range of conventional folks motifs of Bangladesh.
Mustafa then took about three months designing two Tk1 notes, two Tk10 notes and one Tk100 word. The Tk1 word sported a hand holding stalks of paddy on the entrance facet and the nationwide emblem on the proper on the again facet.
For the opposite model, Mustafa opted for a lady holding a bunch of paddy and the nationwide emblem on the opposite facet.
Each the notes have been barely darkish blue.
Then the 2 notes of Tk10 have been launched and ultimately the Tk100 notes entered the market. “The design of all of the notes mirrored the character of Bangladesh and public life, bearing the people traditions of the nation. There may be an English saying that ‘Foreign money of a rustic is the ambassador of that nation’,” Mustafa later stated.
Then got here the notorious August 15 1975. On that day, Bangabandhu and most members of his household have been killed throughout a coup within the morning on the president’s home in Dhanmondi-32.
Because the reins of the nation modified arms, the brand new order marked its presence by eradicating Bangabandhu’s photos from the notes. Every of the notes started to vary and the agricultural depictions started to vanish.
Model new notes started to enter the market one after one other. Denominations of Tk2, Tk20, Tk50, the newly-designed Tk100 and Tk500 signalled the start of a distinct period.
Paper notes weren’t the one manner of creating transactions. There have been cash too in use.
One paisa coin first got here to the market on September 15 1973, adopted by the 5 paisa coin, 10 paisa in 1974 and extra. The Tk5 cash would make its debut on October 1, 1995.
Alternatively, commemorative notes and cash have additionally been issued in reminiscence of varied historic occasions, together with the language motion, Liberation Struggle and for different momentous events and figures.
For instance, commemorative cash have been issued on necessary occasions together with Worldwide Mom Language Day, the Silver Jubilee of Independence, the a hundred and fiftieth start anniversary of poet Rabindranath Tagore, on the ninetieth 12 months of nationwide poet Nazrul’s rebellious poetry and rather more.
On the similar time, there are commemorative notes of various high quality marking forty years of independence, 60 years of the language motion and different occasions.
Within the current day, one other revolution is occurring by means of cell monetary companies corresponding to Bkash, which has unfold all around the nation. Bkash began its journey a few decade in the past in 2011 and has not appeared again since.
Cash can now be simply despatched to the remotest corners of the nation with the push of a button. Different corporations have begun following Bkash’s instance.
Whereas paper cash continues to dominate, a brand new period is being ushered in.