An institution or think tank should be developed in the country to conduct research on specific political issues, eminent citizens said yesterday.
The activities of such an institution can help solve many problems and provide answers to the questions prevailing in our country’s political scenario at present, they said at a book launch ceremony.
Gyantapas Abdur Razzaq Foundation organised the event at Bengal Boi, a bookstore and community space in the capital.
At the ceremony, Gyantapas Abdur Razzaq Foundation’s book “Samaj Rashtra Bibartan: Gyantapas Abdur Razzaq Gunijan Baktritamala”, a compilation of memorial lectures delivered by seven renowned personalities during 2017-18, was formally launched.
The seven authors are National Professor Anisuzzaman, Prof Serajul Islam Choudhury, Akbar Ali Khan, Rehman Sobhan, Rounaq Jahan, Badruddin Umar, and Hasan Azizul Huq.
The book was published by Bengal Publications.
On the book, National Professor Anisuzzaman said its defining characteristics are pluralism and diversity.
Badruddin Umar and Rehman Sobhan’s speeches are contrasting, while the thoughts of Prof Serajul Islam Choudhury and Rounaq Jahan offer differing views as well, he said.
“We could express our own thoughts [in different speeches] and that became the content of one book,” said Prof Anisuzzaman, adding that, “Such initiative makes it clear that we have to give space to freedom of speech.”
Addressing the ceremony, The Daily Star Editor and Publisher Mahfuz Anam said after the fall of autocracy in 1991, countrymen had thought that democracy has been restored.
“Now in 2019, what is the fate of the country’s democracy? Why is the National Parliament failing to take its institutional form?” he asked.
There are experts who have been working on these issues and of course there are university teachers and professors, he added.
However, alongside an institution should be there to conduct research on such subjects, he said.
He lauded different initiatives taken by Gyantapas Abdur Razzaq Foundation.
Echoing Mahfuz Anam’s views, renowned economist and scholar Dr Akbar Ali Khan, said if such an institution dedicates itself to do research on social issues then questions related to political issues will be answered as well.
Referring to initiatives of Gyantapas Abdur Razzaq Foundation which arranges programmes such as memorial lecture series and lectures on unpublished PhD dissertations, Akbar Ali Khan said if an institution like the foundation directly deals with political issues then there is a possibility that it will face controversy.
“In Bangladesh, wherever there is politics, there is division,” he added.
Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam Choudhury hoped that the foundation will dedicate itself to bring change in the society.
Bengal Foundation Chair Abul Khair, Gyantapas Abdur Razzaq Foundation Director General Prof Ahrar Ahmad, and Bengal Foundation Trustee Board Member Luva Naheed Choudhury also addressed the ceremony.