Durlov Kothok: Abul Mansur Ahmad | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 14, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:06 PM, April 03, 2017

BOOK REVIEW

Durlov Kothok: Abul Mansur Ahmad

Edited by Emran Mahfuz, this voluminous book reflects on the life and works of one of our nation's great thought leaders.

Abul Mansur Ahmad is one of the few great personalities to who Bangladesh, as a nation, is indebted for its liberation. This great writer, thought leader and political mentor was the intellectual mastermind behind the emancipation of Bengali Muslims from the clutches of British and Pakistani rulers. His writings were inspirations behind every nationalistic and ideological movement in the history of Bangladesh. 

However, in the recent past, the contributions of this great architect of our nation were about to be forgotten. Very few of this generation know about him. Recently, a young writer and publisher named Emran Mahfuz has come up with the initiative to discover this great personality. Emran's literary magazine called “Kaler Dhoni” published a special issue on Abul Mansur Ahmad. Unlike any typical magazine, this impressive book of 581 pages titled “Durlov Kothok: Abul Mansur Ahmad” edited by Emran Mahfuz has included a wide range of essays and commentaries on Abul Mansur Ahmad. The book was launched on March 18, 2015 on the occasion of Abul Mansur Ahmad's 36th death anniversary.

Besides these valuable articles, the book also includes a detailed biographical timeline of Abul Mansur Ahmad, his family tree, some of the rarest and historic photographs, list of all of his publications, some of his short writings, and a collation of newspaper reports and scholarly quotes on him. This massive book will enable us to delve into our momentous history thorough the life of one of our nation's architects. 

In the preface of the book, Emran says, “In the troubled time of 40s, 50s and 60s Abul Mansur Ahmad showed the nation the right path. To establish truth and justice, he was firm and uncompromising. This generation has a lot to learn from this great personality.”

In the contents, all the articles have been arranged in eleven chapters namely: literary reviews, reviews of his satires, political analysis, journalistic articles, life sketch, intellectual articles, religion and philosophy, legal rights, drama, memoirs and relevant information in the two enclosures. In these eleven chapters, the book has offered more than 75 articles by renowned scholars, researchers, litterateurs, his colleagues, comrades and beloved family members on different aspects of his life and works. 

In his article, Shirajul Islam Chowdhury says, “Abul Mansur Ahmad has done the difficult task of writing comedy and satires on the social anomalies. However, the strength of protest in his writing, under the cover of comedies, has shaken the throne of the oppressors.”

Throughout his life Abul Mansur Ahmad played vital roles in building a free and independent Bangladesh. While still a student, he participated in the Khelafot movement and Non-cooperation movement against the British Raj. For his contribution, he became a key leader of Muslim League after the emancipation of Pakistan in 1947. However, as the editor of the Daily Ittehad, at that time he started to write against the exploitation and oppression of the West Pakistani rulers. As a result, he was imprisoned by the martial law government in 1958 and got released in 1962. 

He then started to work as a political mentor of the budding Awami Muslim League and dedicated himself in writing. In 1966, he wrote the explanation of the historic six points and translated it into English as “Our Right to Live.”

After the independence, he continued his writings against social discrimination and injustice. This great personality breathed his last in 1979. 

It is very optimistic that a brilliant young writer like Emran Mahfuz has taken the initiative to re-discover this great scholar. This voluminous book should be studied by all those who want to know this nation's root and the true character of a nation builder. 

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