UPL launches Samuel Jaffe’s book on grassroots activism in the Liberation War
In a live YouTube broadcast, University Press Limited (UPL) launched their book, An Internal Matter: The U.S., Grassroots Activism and the Creation of Bangladesh, written by Samuel Jaffe, at 7 PM on Saturday, January 15, 2022.
A panel of notable personalities graced the event: Dr Shamsul Bari, former Director of the United Nations (UNHCR); Katherine Dunham, Adjunct Associate Professor of Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP); Abul Hasan Chowdhury, former State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh; Dr A Qayuum Khan, freedom fighter and former Managing Director of Bureau Veritas Bangladesh; Julian Francis, Independent Development Consultant; and an independent scholar and the author of the book himself, Samuel Jaffe; along with UPL Managing Director Mahrukh Mohiuddin, and Jon Rohde, Senior Lown Scholar of Global Health and Population at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
In her opening remarks, Mahrukh Mohiuddin stated that with the publication of Jaffe's book, "it is a fresh start for, in UPL bringing them back, many accounts of the Liberation War that had been lost or gone out of print for some time".
"First and foremost, it is a story about an injustice and ordinary people responding to an injustice, which is the heartless and callous response of the United States to the plight of Bangladesh in 1971—the Nixon administration's response", author Samuel Jaffe explained.
"But on the other hand," he said, "it is quite a hopeful story, in that, in responding to the injustice, we saw many ordinary people coming together to try and support the country and its conception".
The author's initiative to write about this event was conceived during his postgraduate studies in International and World History from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, when he came across its mention in a book and felt compelled to conduct further research on it.
Dr Shamsul Bari remarked that the birth of Bangladesh is unique in world history in many ways. "One particular feature of that birth", he stated, "is that we were the first colonial country to be born after World War II by exercising our collective human rights".
"As the author named the Bangladesh movement in 1971 in the US, a grassroot activity, I had the opportunity to be a part of that activism. Samuel Jaffe has drawn an authentic picture of those activities", Dr Bari said.
Read more about the book on Daily Star Books' print issue this Thursday, January 20.