Eminent people speaking at the publication ceremony of "Tajuddin Ahmader Chithi", a collection of 118 letters written to and by Tajuddin between 1953 and 1974, yesterday called the book an important record of the country's Liberation War.
"After 50 or 100 years, there would be no witness of the Liberation War, but this book like other documents would remain, to enrich our future generation about the history of our country," said popular writer Prof Muhammad Zafar Iqbal.
The book is edited by Tajuddin's daughter Simeen Hussain Rimi MP and published by Pratibhas.
Discussing the book, economist Prof MM Akash said 11 of the letters were taken from the preparation phase of the struggle for freedom before 1971, 89 from the nine-month of the war, and 18 from the post-1971 period.
The ceremony, held at Planning and Development Academy in the capital's Nilkhet, marks the occasion of the 89th birthday (on July 23) of Tajuddin Ahmad, prime minister of Bangladesh's exile government during the Liberation War in 1971.
Reading out a couple of letters, Akash said the letters not only gave a picture of the time they were written but also showed how Tajuddin, a person who preferred to remain in the backstage, evaluated himself.
Citing from a letter, written by Tajuddin, Akash said, "He hated flattery and did not shy away from praising even his enemies if they deserved it. Such characteristics have become rare in politics today."
Akash also read out two other letters, one written by then prime minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at 11:00am on October 26, 1974, asking then finance minister Tajuddin to resign from the cabinet, followed by Tajuddin's resignation written on the same date at 12:22pm.
"Through this, the brain and the heart (of the Liberation War) got separated," he said, referring to Tajuddin as the brain that gave directions and Bangabandhu as the heart which held Bangladeshis' yearning for independence.
Speaking as chief guest, Finance Minister AMA Muhith, who closely worked with Tajuddin as a bureaucrat during Mujib's regime, reminisced about Tajuddin's role as finance minister after independence.
Recalling their last meeting, on August 4, 1975, Muhith said Tajuddin had told him that the one-party government introduced by Bangabandhu would not bring any good for Bangabandhu; in fact it would be dangerous for all.
"And that's what happened," he said, referring to the tragic deaths of both the leaders a few days later the same year.
Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman chaired the ceremony, while writer Ahmad Mustafa Kamal also took part in the discussion. The book is priced at Tk 350.