Hasina, Rehana receive copies of Bangabandhu’s autobiography

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana received the copies of an unfinished autobiography of their father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the country’s architect.

Mohiuddin Ahmed of University Press Limited (UPL) handed over the copies to the Prime Minister and her only sister Rehana at a simple ceremony held at PM’s official residence Ganobhaban.

The UPL published the autobiography in its original Bangla version titled ‘Ausamapta Atmajiboni’ and in English translation titled ‘The Unfinished Memories’.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who along with his family members except the two daughters was killed in a military coup in 1975, wrote the autobiography from time to time either in incarceration or outside till 1955.

His daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took the initiative to publish autobiography. “Once I had attempted to go through the diary but he (father) stopped me doing so saying I won’t be allowed to read the same during his lifetime. Read it after I die,” recalled an emotion-chocked Hasina amid pin-drop silence at the venue.

The autobiography also launched simultaneously in India and Pakistan. Renowned publishing houses Penguin Books in India, and Oxford University Press in Pakistan, have collaborated with the UPL to publish the book in the countries.

There will be an Urdu version of the book in Pakistan very soon.

The book will be available for Tk 525 and Tk 1,200 for the Bangla and English editions respectively. The deluxe editions are priced at Tk 650 for Bangla and Tk 1,500 for English version.

In his memoirs, Bangabandhu described the context of writing it, and then he takes readers back to the beginning of his ancestry, birth and childhood, days in school and college, and social and political involvements.

The book progresses to recount the historical events the great leader experienced standing at the forefront of famine, communal riots in Kolkata and Bihar, partition, politics of Kolkata-centric State Muslim Student League and Muslim League, post-partition politics in East Bengal till 1954, tyranny of the Muslim League regime at the state level and the centre.

The book also portrays the language movement, founding of Chhatra League and Awami League, formation of Jukta Front and its new government after winning election, riot at the Adamji Jute mills, discriminatory attitude of Pakistan central government and the Agartala conspiracy.

Describing her feelings, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said it was the autobiography of the Father of the Nation and was the property of his family members. “But, now it’s open to all. Anyone can read his diary.”

She said that the preface of the book was written by her while she was in the sub-jail during the army-backed caretaker government.

Hasina also said those who will read this book will know the real history of Bangladesh, many historical political events of the then Pakistan. “We’ve kept it as it is that was written by Bangabandhu. Not a single word has been changed,” she said.

She mentioned that there will be a publication ceremony of the book.

The Prime Minister also said some notebooks of Bangabandhu had lost and for that reason the readers will not be able to know the actual situation during the martial law in 1958.

The Prime Minister handed over the copies of the book to Prof Salahuddin Ahmed, Shamsuzzaman Khan, Prof Khairul Alam, Monirun Nesa Ninu and Abdur Rahman (Roma), who contributed a lot towards making the diary a book.

Sheikh Rehana handed over the book to Baby Moudud, a ruling party lawmaker.

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