L-R: The artistes of Bonhishikha perform a choral rendition. Abu Zubair talks about his novel at the programme. Photo: Mumit M.
As part of the ongoing weeklong cultural and discussion programme of the Liberation War Museum, on the third day the museum organised a discussion on the English literary works on the Liberation War.
The discussion featured four books---“The Silent and The Lost” by Abu Zubair; “The Search” by Shaheen Akhtar; “Song of Our Swampland” by Manzu Islam; “Interview with a Birangana and 1971 (poetry)” by Tarfia Faizullah.
Four discussants spoke on the books. Abu Zubair, the writer himself talked about the novel “The Silent and The Lost”; Ashfa Hossain discussed on “The Search”; Professor Abdus Salim spoke on “Song of Our Swampland” and Dalia Ahmed recited from the “Interview with a Birangana and 1971”.
Abu Zubair said, “My writings articulate my clear perceptions, understanding and deep observations on the history of the Liberation War. Personal and social clashes as well as the various aspects of Liberation War are the prime themes in my writings. This novel is a life's work for me, and I hope Bangladeshi readers will enjoy it, both as a historical novel and a reference on the history of 1971.”
Ashfa Hossain asserted, “The Search depicts all existing modes and norms of society as well as representation and brings out the victims of war. The novel is about Biranganas of Bangladesh- women who were raped during the Liberation War in 1971. Her writings focus on women's regrets, needs and despair. As a writer, she takes a bold stand against any kind of religious fundamentalism in our society.”
The English translation of "Talaash" (The Search) was published by Zubaan in January 2011. Talaash is Akhtar's second novel, for which she won the Prothom Alo best book award in 2004.
Professor Abdus Salim said, “The incidents and characters of the book (Song of Our Swampland) give details as the Liberation War of Bangladesh progresses from early days to victory. It is not really a story told against the background of the Liberation War. It is rather a tale of an inner journey of the writer.”
After the discussion, Bonhishikha, a cultural organisation performed choral songs and Syed Shamsul Haq's “Payer Awaz Pawa Jae”, was staged by Kotha Abritti Charcha Kendra.