1972: Arriving in Dhaka and meeting Sheikh Mujib

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Today, Jan 21, 2017, I will be deep in thought remembering the difficult journey I made from Kolkata to Dhaka all those years ago in 1972. Having been responsible, for many months, for coordinating the assistance for up to 600,000 Bangladeshis in over 50 refugee camps in the border areas of India, I set off… Read more »

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‘I am the government . . .’

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A visitor looks at a portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at an exhibition, “Chitropote Bangabandhu”, by Kiriti Ranjan Biswas at Shilpakala Academy on Sunday. Photo: nayan kumar

It is a day when we remember Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. But, then again, we reflect on him every moment of our lives. Forty five years after he came back home from incarceration and forty one years after his life was put to a sudden, tragic end, he remains the Druid in our lives, the… Read more »

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‘Gentlemen, I am alive and well . . .’

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The man rushed into the reception room of Bangladesh Betar, breathless and in a clear state of excitement. ‘Sheikh Shaheb ke paowa jachchhe na (Sheikh Saheb cannot be found)’, he said in a voice trembling with nervousness. Instantly everyone in the room — and it was close to the gate of the radio station in… Read more »

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1940 23 March: A conference of the All-India Muslim League, meeting in Lahore, adopts a resolution calling for the creation of independent states for Muslims in the subcontinent. 1946 16 August: Hindu-Muslim riots break out in Calcutta following a call for Direct Action by the Muslim League. Over four days, thousands of Hindus and Muslims… Read more »

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“See, I don’t have any money …”

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BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Sounds of cannon shots. I thought the war was over. But what was going on outside? I ran out of my room, one that I shared with Bhaia, and straight to my mother. “What’s happening, Amma? Isn’t the war over? Where is Abbu?” “It’s a 21-gun salute. For your birthday,” she said…. Read more »

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Memories of 1971, of a war

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File Photo

Soon after the historic election of December 7, 1970, I along with three of my classmates from Rajshahi Cadet College (RCC), went to Lahore to study there on “Inter-Wing Scholarships.” Historically, Lahore was the epicentre of politics in Pakistan. A prestigious academic institution, Lahore Government College was the seat of higher education for many sons… Read more »

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