Bangladesh loses a friend |
Blood passes away
Archer K Blood, a selfless well-wisher of Bangladesh, who had supported the birth of the country through his writings, died of cardiac failure in the early hours of September 3 in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA, family sources said. He was 81.
Blood, American consul general in the then East Pakistan in 1971 and author of The Cruel Birth of Bangladesh, left behind his wife, two daughters, two sons, many friends and well-wishers to mourn his death.
His funeral will be held in Fort Collins on September 17 and he will be buried with national honour at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, USA.
His love and respect for Bangladesh is reflected in his last wish, as he told his relatives, friends and admirers in the USA and elsewhere to donate funds to a charity foundation in Bangladesh instead of sending flowers and gifts to his family.
His book The Cruel Birth of Bangladesh is an account of the emergence of the country seen through the eyes of a sympathetic American diplomat in Dhaka since the devastating cyclone of 1970 to the Liberation War in 1971.
Blood glorifies Bangladesh's struggle for independence "as a statement of admiration for all those who in their own way helped transform a seemingly forlorn dream into bright, shining reality."
Before working in the then East Pakistan, Blood served in the US Missions as diplomat in Greece, Germany and Afghanistan.
He also held important desk positions in the State Department in Washington. After his term expired in Dhaka, he served the State Department in various capacities and became a deputy commander for international affairs in the US Army War College in 1974.
After serving two terms as chargé d'affaires in US Mission in New Delhi, Blood retired in 1992.
He was a diplomat in residence and professor of political science in 1982-90 and also a professor emeritus at Allegheny College, USA. He had a master's degree in international relations from George Washington University. He had served as guest lecturer at a number of universities and institutes in the US and has published several articles in different US journals.
Sammilita Sangskritik Jote in a condolence message said, "We're deeply shocked at the death of Mr Archer K Blood, a true friend of Bangladesh and its people."
Bangladesh cannot repay the favours Blood has done to it. We still remember with gratitude how fearlessly he spoke and wrote the truth against the ruthless Pakistani junta in 1971, it added.
The statement further said Blood proved his courage many times when he insisted on revealing the truth even though his own government was supporting the Pakistani junta for reasons of realpolitik.
It went on to say that people read with pleasure The Cruel Birth of Bangladesh, which reveals not only his scholarship but also his rigid adherence to truth.
Veteran freedom fighters Nasiruddin Yusuff, Shahidullah Khan, Habibul Alam, Bir Protik, Fateh Ali Chowdhury, Maj (retd) Akhter Ahmed, Bir Protik, Minu Huq, Shahudul Huq, Gazi Golam Dastagir, Bir Protik, Nayla Khan and Shahadat Chowdhury in a joint statement paid glowing tributes to him.
"We strongly believe Blood's family has the courage to bear this irreparable loss," the statement added.