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Ami Sirajul Alam Khan: Ekti Rajnoitik Jeebonnalekho (I am Sirajul Alam Khan - a political biography)

Shamsuddin Peara

Published : Saturday, 18 May, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 3050
Reviewed by Anwar A Khan

Ami Sirajul Alam Khan: Ekti Rajnoitik Jeebonnalekho (I am Sirajul Alam Khan - a political biography)

Ami Sirajul Alam Khan: Ekti Rajnoitik Jeebonnalekho (I am Sirajul Alam Khan - a political biography)

It is a political memoir of Sirajul Alam Khan (SAK), a septuagenarian political philosopher, once a great student and youth leader since 1956, and a very powerful and outstanding organiser of our glorious liberation struggle to establish Bangladesh in 1971. His political guru was Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Founding Father of the Bengali Nation.

The corpus part of the book has contained 34 sections, the appendix part comprised 3 sections and the last part of the book has carried images of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani and the-then famed student and youth leaders - a book stands totalling 232 pages.

SAK was the co-traveller or charioteer of a dream of a few hundred thousand younkers of freedom fighting generation during 1960 -1970s to liberate the-then East Pakistan from Pakistan and establish Bangladesh as a sovereign and independent state. The writer was an integral part of this coeval for which he feels proud. They could clearly construe to live together with Pakistan was absolutely impossible. The-then most popular Bengali Leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman could fathom this bare fact long back and SAK like a student leader was on the forefront or avant-garde to fulfill the dream of establishing Bangladesh. SAK has that much of prowess that he was able to dictate or prescribe all speeches, declarations, decisions of Chhatra League (Students League) to put them into actions in consultation with Bangabandhu Mujib to establish Bangladesh.

The long road to freedom of Bangladesh was a journey full of rashness and hard knocks. SAK's primal intend was to unloose East Pakistan from Pakistan. He believes in socialism… His image, as depicted, on the cover page of the book, in appearance shows that he is a saint or a religious cleric or something like that because of his long ripe hair and beard, but in fact, he is a prodigy, an unusually gifted or intelligent personality; someone whose talents excite wonder and admiration in political philosophy, his depth of cognition in politics, political movements, his profundity in reading wide variety of books on many subject-matters of political movements, people's struggles for emancipation in countries after countries.

The book is full of the sort of details only of Bangladesh's liberation struggles and considering its unique combination of an expert political philosopher and a man who knows all the inside scoop (he had access to the inner gambit of Bangabandhu's politics for years, after all), the readers would be more excited to read the book. SAK is an uncrowned emperor of students' politics, a rare kind of political academic; his stylistic political abilities sometimes have given his sober analysis of a political tradition of Bangladesh.
Wonderfully written, lively, and energetic, the book has provided an illuminating guide to a host of contemporary issues, both practical and theoretical. Khan marches to the beat of no drummer; his analysis is invariably fresh and often remarkably creative. Theoretically sophisticated and empirically concrete, and serious, historical and contemporary of our times-always engaged, always pushing, always a surprise! His is a genuinely crossing the Bay of Bengal Ocean voice of sanity and hope, which should be heard on all sides of our shared pond. And Sirajul Alam Khan has shaped our world for establishing Bangladesh standing whole-heartedly on the spirits of Bangabandhu Mujib. As a political memoir, it is a piece of image-making, it is brilliant.

He saw injustice perpetuated by Pakistani rulers, he saw that government did not defend the indefensible, and he knew that he must act, spoke, and fought for better. His righteous sensibilities carried throughout the Freedom Struggles of Bangladesh, a persuasive, moving, and crucially needed account of resistance in those contentious times.
SAK is an intellectual and personal lodestar, an inspirational model of truly humane scholarship, an unmatched exemplar of one peculiarly attractive life-affirming form of human excellence and fullness of being in Bangladesh. When in 1960s under the inspiring leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Bengali people were trying to break shackles of the Pakistani rulers and establish a separate independent and sovereign state, Sirajul Alam Khan along with a young group of people began to work to liberate Bangladesh from Pakistan. They got Abdur Razzaque, Kazi Aref Ahmed… like astounding doers and dedicated younkers towards the cause of their own homeland. They set up a secret hole-and-corner 'Nucleus' and Bangladesh Liberation Force (BLF).

In Bangladesh's politics, Sirajul Alam Khan is a living legendary figure and a mystifying character who loved to work very hard from backside. He has told the narratives of political movements of his own style and that has been captured in this book by Shamsuddin Peara, his longtime confidante, but now free from delusion. Many stunning events or upshots of Bangladesh's history which were unsung up until now are uncovered in this book.
It is a book which has depicted the narratives of verity of struggles of Bangladesh movements during the period of 1962-1971 in a pictorial lifelike manner. It has contained a full-strength of struggles spanning 9 years of organising, ideological and armed planning to liberate Bangladesh from the clutches of savage Pakistani rulers. It has also unveiled a terra incognita chapter of Bangabandhu Mujib's struggles taking leading light role and the undisclosed action mechanisms of Swadhin Bangla Nucleus (Independent Bengal Nucleus).

This 78 years old political giant is now on self-exile in the USA. He leads a very simple and honest life and his long standing struggles throughout his life were aimed at changing the lot of people in general. It is a book of account of how SAK has controlled the political events of Bangladesh during a particular important time of 1962 -1975 in Bangladesh's history.

During his internment in the years of 1963-65 by the Pakistani government, he read books of Greek philosophers - Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, European scholars and philosophers - Carlyle, Hume, Voltaire, Rousseau, Lock, the emergence of European nation states like the history Russian Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 after the World War-1, Marx, Angles, Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Plekhanov, Thucydides' Peloponnesian War, Hegel's German philosophy, Homer's Iliad and Odessey, Ebn Khaldun's Al-Mukaddima, Al-Beruni's books, Churchill's History of The English Speaking People,  books of socio-economic class  struggles of the ideologues like M.N. Ray, Mao TseTsung, Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh…to enrich his knowledge to apply it practically to reap political goals for establishing Bangladesh.
The book can be weighed and enumerated based on Bangladesh's one of the best, truth-based, intrinsic-valued and informative political history which has not bechanced before. Readers will find every page of the book speak ups the sequential outgrowth or seeds of Bangladesh's independence.

The Appendix Part of this book has carried interviews of ASM Abdur Rob, a veteran freedom fighter and a very close confidante of SAK, interviews with Shamlipi Shema in America and Shamsuddin Peara which have added more sappiness to SAK. Many unknown stories have thus been unfolded through these interviews. All these speak of the richness of the book in divulging many truthful events which were laid buried for a long time.   
The book can be counted as a milestone work in the annuals of Bangladesh's history. SAK is now on the twilight zone of his life. Let the state bestow ascribable honour to this undocumented burnished son of the land.
Still then, I must say SAK was not on the right path after Bangladesh was achieved. His split up with the country's Founding Father and the formation of a separate political party - JSD could be precluded by both Bangabandhu Mujib and SAK himself. Because of JSD, the newly born country encountered and suffered Brobdingnagian troubles which swayed throughout the country. Anti-liberation force and their confederates both at home and abroad got enormous opportunities to further ravage the whole country and Bangabandhu's government which finally resulted in brutal murdering of Bangabandhu and his family members in 1975.

The glorious achievements that we attained through our Liberation War and established Bangladesh in 1971 were stricken with the feet by the new self-declared shenanigan military rulers and their despicable mango-twigs. The country has then been running back-geared blanking out the supreme sacrifices of three million people while sacrificing the chastity of our three hundred thousand mothers and sisters. From 1966 till the time of today, the generation of people like us has witnessed events that rocked the country. The country has further been bleeding since 15 August 1975 unabatedly. SAK, JSD and its leaders cannot circumvent all these liabilities.

Had SAK and his true-blue lieutenants supported Bangabandhu's government whole-heartedly to build up the war battered country, the history of Bangladesh would definitely then have been positively different today.
The book is a comprehensive, accessible survey of the personal and political life and philosophy of SAK. Masterfully lucid and compelling; sure to be required reading in the SAK canon. What makes this memoir unique is that it oozes no balm to quell the raw pains that experience metes out to us all. He is a novel politician, original and of a kind not seen before.

The writer is a senior citizen, book reviewer, writes on politics, personalities, current and international affairs

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