Book review: The Disclosure by Jamal Hasan


 Ansar Ahmed Ullah

 

The Disclosure is a work of fiction. The story follows Jahir Sarkar, a migrant from rural Bangladesh, who had come to live in the UK. The author skilfully provides a realistic insight into the life of the main character, Jahir Sarkar and his journey through the unpredictable path of life.

The author’s debut novel introduces a sense of mystery from the very beginning which builds throughout until the very end. We are presented with the light-hearted and entertaining narrative of a series of events in the life of Jahir Sarkar as hechases his dream and achieves success. However, underlying all of this is a darker and more troubling narrative, full of great sadness and tragedy. We encounter graphic descriptionsof the pain and the agony of families separated from their loved ones by harsh immigration rules especially the British Nationality Act 1981 that placed restrictions on foreign spouses joining UK partner particularly from the Indian sub-continent. The author, now retired, worked at Law Centres as an immigration law practitioner. While working he had heard hundreds of stories from his clients about their pain and frustration of being separated from their loved ones. These heart breaking stories inspired him to write this novel.

We are also made aware of the dark past of the 1970s and the 1980s when the Black and Asian communities in the UK were subjected to violent racist attacks. We discover how the British Bengali community mounted a formidable anti-racistmovement in East London in 1978 to win the ‘Battle of Brick Lane’ following the death of a Bengali garments worker Altab Ali. The author himself was an anti-racist activist and was one of the key organisers that led the protest against the racist killing of Altab Ali.

The Disclosure contains a number of plots and sub-plots. It describes the social issues surrounding conflicts between different religious and ethnic communities. The Disclosure gives a strong and convincing message that conflicts between communities are often engineered by politicians for their political agenda and that people from diverse backgrounds can live together in harmonyOne of the interesting aspects of the Disclosure is that it describes a fascinating rural culture of Bangladesh on the verge of being forgotten as modernisation takes place.

The final plot is about the unusual way of revealing one’s closely guarded secrets to all without causing any embarrassments.

The Disclosure is one of those books which will hook readersright from the beginning. The book is an enjoyable and exciting read. It definitely will make the readers feel good and will help them to escape from pessimism. The book was first published in Amazon as e-Book 2020 available at £2.30. The cover is designed by Imon Hasan.

(Ansar Ahmed Ullah: Journalist, Contributing Editor, Shottobani)

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