|South Asia History Power Legitimacy - Bangladesh Perspective
translated by M. K. Alamgir
ISBN 984 8127 20 8 2005 160pp 215x136mm HB Tk.250.00 US$20.00
In our history, religion has been playing an important role. The history that we have been studying in this subcontinent since long was written from a communal angle. In politics of three countries of this subcontinent, religion has been an important factor. History as has been written and taught has built up a mindset subscribing to a notion that in this subcontinent the Muslims and the Hindus oppressed each other: depending on the time they were in governmental power. That is why in India the Hindu rulers, are attributed with greatness; in Bangladesh and Pakistan greatness is ascribed to the Muslim rulers. We never analyzed in depth to find out that in the state did not undertake extensive to convert people of one faith into another.
The history that we study in schools, impacts deeply our minds in such a way, that our personal characteristics and social behaviour come to reflect that. This quite often yields two happenings. One, we get provoked whenever someone says something contrary to the conventional notion ingrained into our minds: we do not accept new notion even if it is proved logically. Second, history as is, taught us antagonistic towards a person, a race, a country or a community, without a rhyme I or reason; conversely, we become used to paying homage or showering praises that emanate out of emotions instead of analytics.
In this book, translated into English from Bangla in original, Dr. Mamoon has shown his admirable capacity to see and separate the deeper meaning of events from the dark and the grey surrounding them as ingredients of historical change and development,
With more than 150 publications to his credit, Dr. Mamoon, at present teaches history in Dhaka University. For his free thinking and challenging writings, in 2002, he was incarcerated in jail allegedly for anti-state activities by the present government. Released by the Supreme Court, he continues writing as well as teaching and always striving to see things beyond the apparent. For him wrenching out the truth has been painful most of the time; but in giving a newer perspective and deeper meaning to things deemed usual and ordinary or end-products of normal course of events, his association with readers has always been rewarding.
Dr. Muntassir Mamoon is a recognized historian and author of the country. In this book, he has analyzed historical trends in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and introduced a societal approach for evaluating them. At the end, for all the three countries he had two remarks to make.
‘First, the non-secular communal tenets with their origin in the colonial past is preservative of parochial and vested interests to the detriment of societal change towards political freedom and equitable economic opportunities for all. Democracy, human frights and economic freedom cannot thrive if this trend is maintained, and a trajectory of statusquo remains pursuable ideals of both the rulers and the ruled. Second, the secular trend based on free thinking and aiming at ideals of democracy, political and economic freedom is the trajectory of societal change for progress and modernity. This is a trend that deserves support domestically and internationally for bringing out the best from and securing the most for everyone both as a change-agent and beneficiary of progress and plenty.’
He started by quoting from Maya Angelou; ‘History despite its wrenching pain cannot be unlived and if faced with courage, need not be lived again’. His analysis of events and trends of these countries, may encourage readers to take lessons from their histories to the end of avoiding the wrenching pain of mistakes made in the past and searching deeper meaning of the present propensities all but to prosper in freedom in years to come.
[UPL is the Distributor of this Book]