Ansar Ahmed Ullah Contributing Editor, Shottobani
London: Fidel Castro who had met Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in1973 said I haven’t seen Himalayas but seen Sheikh Mujib. In personality and in courage, this man is the Himalayas.
I remember at the Non-Aligned Summit in Algiers in 1973, Fidel Castro wanted to know security arrangements for Bangladesh and had asked Bangabandhu if he had dealt with those who had opposed the liberation movement. Bangabandhu had replied that question doesn’t arise as they are all my sons. Bangabandhu added I have brought back Bengali military personnels from Pakistan. They will work on defence including rebuilding the country. In response Fidel Castro said one day they will kill you. Following that meeting Bangabandhu was killed within two years said Abdul Gaffar Choudhury who was speaking as the chief guest at the book launch of renowned journalist Nadeem Qadir’s ‘Liberation War: The Untold Story’ on Friday 12 May at Micro Business Centre, East London.
Gaffar Chowdhury further said we still haven’t seen a comprehensive history of our liberation war but a distortion of history. Nadeem Qadir’s book is an important personal and political addition to our story of liberation. In this book, the writer has also lovingly mentioned Bangabandhu and his family members. In mentioning Ziaur Rahman he said this former president wanted to divorce his wife Khaleda Zia but was unable to do so because of Bangabandhu. This book will be a significant aid for any attempts to write a comprehensive history.
The book launch event was chaired by Janomot’s editor Nobab Uddin and conducted by Janomot’s executive editor Saiyem Chowdhury with Bangladesh’s High Commissioner Md Nazmul Quaunine as guest of honour. The book was reviewed by journalist Syed Badrul Ahsan of the Asian Age described Nadeem Qadir’s as a quest for truth. London Bangla Press Club’s president Syed Nahas Pasha said while there maybe debate with any new book it was a positive initiative. Journalist Ishaque Kazal who said this book is a story of a son’s 36 years long search for his father’s body and his affection for his mother. An emotional Nadeem Qadir spoke fondly of his father and mother and said many years have passed but he cannot forget his father. He mentioned his mother Hasna Hena as a brave person who unfortunately passed away in 1999. He added, ‘Everything I am today, I owe it to my Mum & Allah’.
The book was serialised in Weekly Janomot. It has 32 chapters, new information to many unanswered questions and the disappearance of Nadim Qadir’s father Lt Col Abdul Qadir father on 17 April 1971 who was taken away by the Pakistanis. Nadim Qadir discovered the grave of his father in Chittagong in 2007 and made arrangements to bring back his father’s body to Dhaka to bury him there. The book also mentions Ziaur Rahman who had said that there was no guarantee of a free Bangladesh therefore he didn’t want to involve himself with the liberation movement.
Patriotic songs were performed by Dr Shyamal Chowdhury and Mostafa Kamal Milon. The event was sponsored by Indian Fusion restaurant, Bisshobangla news portal and Faith printers.