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     Volume 4 Issue 39 | March 25, 2005 |

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Book Review


Mahbuba Zannat

Within the span of 34 years of the Liberation War of Bangladesh many writers have attempted to keep alive the memory of the brutal, tragic and the glorious history of our much-craved for freedom struggle.

But freedom fighter Nurul Quadir has approached the subject with an added emphasis on authenticity and detail that makes his book 'Dusho Chheshatti Dine Shwadhinata' a valuable document.

The ninth edition of its Bangla copy Dusho Chheshatti Dine Shwadhinata, Mukta Prakashan published the Englsih version of the book "Independence of Bangladesh -- History and Documentary Evidence"-- with a view to reach a wider audience.

The history of the country's Liberation War is depicted here with photographs, documents and news stories published in different newspapers as well as paper cuttings, telegrams, publications and circulars of Mujibnagar Government of that time.

Comments of the world leaders during the war, activities of the Mujib Nagar Government, progress of the, circular of the Mujibnagar government and even the oath of the ministers of the then government make the book all the more intriguing.

The 27-chapter book starts with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's historic address at the erstwhile RaceCourse Ground on March 7. An ambassador of the Mujib Nagar Government during the Liberation War, Nurul Quadir has included his experiences, detailed information on the war's progress, how they looked for help, assistance and support abroad for the country's liberation.

Nurul Quadir, the representative ambassador of Mujibnagar Government portrays his visit to Afghanistan, Iran and Delhi, Goa, Mumbai in India seeking assistance for the country. Yet the book consists of 704 pages in Bangla version and 744 in English version is not like the diary of the war days or like a dull history book. Rather it seems like a movie, which comes alive through the pages.

A few interviews of significant personalities such as Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Enayetur Rahim have added to the authenticity of the book. Eminent journalist David Frost and Motiur Rahman have taken the interviews respectively.

The book also mentions the visit of Henry Kissinger, national security advisor of the then US President Nixon, role of China, lists of the 751 martyrs of the members of Bangladesh police force and the 742 awarded members of EPR force. Accounts of British journalist Simon Dring and the story of the youngest freedom fighter in 1971 Bir Protik Shahidul Islam (who did not know that he had been awarded Bir Protik title before 1973), are also included.

Bangladesh Etihash Parishad (a committee on the history of Bangladesh) nominated the book Dusho Chheshatti Dine Shwadhinata as the best book for the Bangla year 1406.

"At first I was apprehensive of the book's circulation" says the author, "but people have taken it seriously and shown great interest in it." "The first edition of the Bangla book was published in 1997, and after the hardship of about 10 years the English version has been published," he adds.

A couple of Dhaka University and Jahangirnagar University teachers have helped in translating the book and editors from home and abroad were also involved in editing to make the language come alive.

"The new generation will not exploit their merit, labour and time by thinking of the disputed subjects. They don't tell lies and don't even believe in lies," says Nurul Quadir the writer and publisher of the book. Quader plans to distribute the book in the United States, England and Australia. His aim will be to persuade expatriate Bangladeshis to introduce their children to books on the Liberation War so that they have a clear understanding of this momentous period in the country's history.

The 9th edition of the book 'Dusho chheshotti Dine Shawdhinata' costs Tk 2,000 while the English version 'Independence of Bangladesh in 266 days' is priced at TK 3,000.


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