Collection of different book reviews

Areas: History, Art, Tradition , Entrepreneurship , International Relations, Film and Environment

Literature Review, 2018

38 Pages, Grade: A



7 Marcher Bhason Keno Bishw-oittijya Sompod: Bangabandhu Muktijuddho Bangladesh by Harun ur Rashid

Book Review on The Green Pen: Environmental Journalism in India and South Asia by Keya Acharya and Fredrick Noronha

Putul Nacher Itikatha by Manik Bandopadhyay

Book Review of "Portrait of a Director: Satyajit Ray" by Marie Seton

‘Kumarjib ’ by Satyen Sen

Book Review on "Rickshaw Girl" by Mitali Perkins

International Relations and Bangladesh by Harun ur Rashid

Book Review of "Art and Life in Bangladesh " by Henry Glassie

Bengali Nationalism and the Emergence of Bangladesh: An Introductory Outline by F. Salahuddin Ahmed-29 ‘Youth entrepreneurship: how to start with ’ by Syed Rabius Shams-

UNESCO, Bangabandhu, and His 7 March Speech

7 Marcher Bhason Keno Bishw-oittijya Sompod: Bangabandhu Muktijuddho Bangladesh by Harun ur Rashid

How many political leaders who stirred the mind of people to sacrifice their lives for the welfare and emancipation of their motherlands do you know in the world history? Definitely, the memorable name of the father of our nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has the robustness to come into the front line of international spotlight as well as into your mindset because of his electrifying 7 March speech having been translated into several foreign languages. Last year, ‘UNESCO has added Bangabandhu’s speech to the Memory of the World register, recognizing its importance as part of the World Documentary Heritage' (“7 Mar speech becomes inspiration for world: FM”, The Daily Observer, 7 march, 2018).

I had, indeed, not found any commendable analysis on Bangabandhu’s 7-March speech until I read Harun ur Rashid’s “7 Marcher Bhason Keno Bishw-oittijya Sompod: Bangabandhu Muktijuddho Bangladesh” (Why is the 7 March Speech World Heritage Property: Bangabandhu Liberation war Bangladesh). Rashid, the present Vice Chancellor of National University, Bangladesh, has vividly and lucidly described Bangabandhu and comparatively analyzed his historic speech in such a way that any readers will feel a living picture of him is gently communicating with their souls. It is also crystal clear from the book that without the birth of our national father Bangladesh would not be independent and South Asian history could not be transmuted considerably.

However, the author has given prominence not merely to Bangabandhu’s speech and lifelong struggle to build our nation but also to this total politician’s thinking on education, his two treatises, his wife Fazilatunnesa Mujib’s mental support for his successes and appraisal leadership skills of his daughter Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina in the book. In the preface of the book, the writer acknowledges that the cover page of it is the idiosyncratic work of artist Hashem Khan (p.xi).

Before penetrating into the main theme of the book, Rashid has focused the historical backdrop for the emergence of Bangladesh. The subcontinent unilaterally ruled by Britain for approximately two centuries was a strategic playing ground for colonial powers. The author points out that the positive outcomes of the British rule here are intellectual explosion and the development of transporting system; however, the most negative impact is the creation of communal discord between Hindu and Muslim (p.16).

In 1947, colonial influence of Britain collapsed in this region, and, two states, Pakistan and India, were born on the basis of religious line. The Eastern wing of Pakistan was colonized by West Pakistan whose cruelty outstripped what Britain did to the citizens of its counterpart (now Bangladesh) in terms of economic, cultural, and political aspects. In this critical juncture, the debut of our national hero, Bangabandhu, was logical for his strong patriotic and nationalist fervor for the creation of a Bengali nation. Rashid rightly opines that Bangabandhu was a non-communal leader and a defender of syncrestic culture. This embattled leader dedicated his life in politics to achieve independence from Pakistan for he spearheaded the six point movement (popularly known as our Magna Carta) in 1966 amid the escalating sectional tensions and was imprisoned numerous times.

Following that, the author provides a comprehensive illustration and an appreciation of the epoch-making speech. After the landslide victory of Awami League under Bangabandhu in the 1970’s national election, the Pakistani rulers pretended not to render power to this leader. He understood the gravity of Yahya Khan’s conspiracy and on 7 March 1971 he gave his landmark speech with extraordinary tone to Bengalis. The speech which was delivered by Bangabandhu as an unwritten form concluded with “Our struggle, this time, is a struggle for our freedom. Our struggle, this time, is a struggle for our independence. Joy Bangla (p. 31).”

Bangabandhu was eagle-eyed about the Cold-war politics; he strategically gave his speech and so was not regarded as an ultimate leader of secessionists. He took lessons from Nigeria's Biafra secessionist movement thwarted by the direct intervention of great powers (p.24). The author rationally shows that this speech contains all traits of the greatest speeches. This is because UNESCO recognized it as a part of the World Documentary Heritage.

Bangabandhu was a pure Bengali in every aspect and, returning from Pakistani custody, he took the lead of the war-ravaged country. He believed that to be a developed country the need of equal education for male and female is prerequisite. The author briefly has detailed his education policy but seems to eschew the discussion on the opportunities or barriers of the policy to be succeeded or failed.

The writer has discussed why Bangabandhu called for our second revolution in the beginning part of 1975. The objective of the revolution was a total change for the complete system during his regime. Unfortunately, he avoided from this agenda (P.60), yet Rashid haven’t given any causes of such turn of the tribune. The book holds the essences of Bangabandhu’s ‘Unfinished Memoirs’ and ‘Prison Dairy’ where Rashid has accentuated the strong personalities, family background, academic performance, and the beginning part of his political carrier through the leader’s autobiography in the former while Rashid has described that in the latter Bangabandhu’s prison days. The political giant was assassinated on 15 August 1975 by some military-turned political pigmies who expunged the core pillars of his political ideology.

It is true that a motivating person always remains behind every successful figure. Likewise, Bangabandhu’s wife Fazilatunnesa Mujib was such a woman who mentally helped him to be prepared for his mission. Rashid sturdily highlights the charismatic leadership of PM Sheikh Hasina who has given the country an international standing and for whom our state looks like a global citizen. The writer opines that since the homecoming period of Hasina our national aggrandizement has been ensured significantly (p. 88). This female leader proving her stunning leadership through obtaining many prestigious awards and statuses is now a role model to the world. From the strict senses, the absences of introduction and conclusion of the book refer that it is not well-organized.

Rashid has repeatedly used some information which does not sound reasonable; for example, he has mentioned and comparatively analyzed Bangbandhu’s historic speech with selected orators of a leading historian Jacob F Field’s book “We Shall Fight on the Beaches: the Speeches that Inspired History” in the third and fourth chapters. Moreover, if we look at the references, it is observed that Rashid has mainly taken information from his previously own- written books so the book suffers from diverse data. All these flaws make it intellectually fragile, in some context.

This book, by contrast, is free from biased information. It recognizes why Bangabanhu is ‘The Father of Our Nation’ and his daughter is ‘The Mother of Humanity’. I think this book is a precious gift for the burgeoning leaders of Bangladesh. Nonetheless, it should be read by all people of our country to know about the impartial contribution and struggle of the architect of this nation.

A New Entrant to the Field of Journalism

Book Review on The Green Pen: Environmental Journalism in India and South Asia by Keya Acharya and Fredrick Noronha

Haven’t read anything on green or environment protection? “The Green Pen: Environmental Journalism in India and South Asia” is perfect book for you. The book is written by renowned environmental journalists Keya Acharya and Fredrick Noronha. It is a collection of lot of write-ups by famous Environmental Journalists in India and South Asia including Late Anil Agarwal, Ardeshir Cowasjee, Ahmed Nafiz, Dionne Bunshe, Sunita Narain, Kalpana Sharma, Sahana Singh, Kunda Dixit, Richard Mahapatra, Nirmal Ghosh, Nalaka Gunawardene, Max Martin, Keya Acharya and Frederick Noronha which is a mirror of the changing nature of global media in the region and the dilemmas facing environmental journalists writing on this issue. Apart from essays from India, there are also brief contributions from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and the Maldives.

The book indicates to the readers that Global Environment is so much important and serious subject matter than the media actually looks at it. The book is arranged by ten parts including 35 essays reflecting the realities and experiences in environmental reporting, science, health and environment, wildlife journalism, water and sanitation, reporting on disasters, gender and environment etc. in South Asia. The dilemmas faced by environmental journalists in writing on a subject proves that it is a new entrant to the field of journalism. An essay by Dionne Bunshe, in which she writes that ‘almost every news story has an environmental outlook, because every human step has an ecological impact’. All the essays strongly represent that the media has not focused much on the issue of water, which is something necessary for the existence of human life. Sahana Singh points out that it is essential to Handle Water Woes with the same Urgency as a War.

The book is published by Sage Publications and this is the first book on environmental journalism in South Asia, and is a must read for environmental journalists and environmentalists. Interested readers can collect the paperback from SAGE, Amazon or Flipkart. Besides the electronic version is available at I think it provides an important yardstick for journalism in the region and a perfect resource for the future evolution of environmental journalism.

Cover Credit: Amazon

A Typical Tussle between Modernity and Rural Backwardness

Putul Nacher Itikatha by Manik Bandopadhyay

The Marxist Storyteller Manik Bandopadhyay (1908 -1956) was a dazzling novelist who enriched the basket of Bengali literature by his fictional works. His most writings notably deal with the existence of grief-stricken and wretched conditions in the context of rural Bengali people. Bandopadhyay shed light on the philosophy of Marx and the psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud in ‘Putul Nacher Itikatha’ (The Puppet’s Tale). That is why this novella is deemed to belong to the mainstream world literature. While it was published by D. M. Library of Calcutta in 1936, Bishwo Sahitto Kendro published it in 2011. In this novel, the author created an immortal character Soshi Doctor, the protagonist, who attempts to upgrade his native village through using his scientifically-cultivated mind on those relational, superstitious, and familial problems which intermingle with our societal vein.

Furthermore, this outstanding piece concerns about the individuals who contaminate the abstract society with their chicanery and devilry of mind. In one of his letters, Bandopadhyay wrote that this novel was a humble protest against those who tend to play with the lives of humans as if they were puppets. Its messages being very complex to conceptualize, it is very essential to moderately expand the summarized picture of the novel.

The story starts with a heart-touching, tear-jerking and mind-alluring description on the death of Haru Ghosh by thunder under a colossal banyan tree. The main character Soshi discovers the dead body of Ghosh when coming back his home by boat at dusk. He enters into his village with such a tragedy. Soshi is the son of Gopal Das, a business tycoon in Gaodia village. After becoming a Medical Doctor from an urban medical college, Soshi’s pastoral mind turned into a scientific one which clashes with the constructed practices of his village. In this aspect, the author portrayed the knowledge divide between rural and urban areas by the miracle change in Soshi’s outlooks. However, despite sudden wishes of Soshi to live in city oftentimes, he could not abandon his village for his gluing affection upon it to serve its dwellers.

Haru Gosh’s family plays a vital part in the novel. His son Paran is a sheer farmer whose wife is Kusum and whose sister is Moti. Kusum feels jealous to Moti as she assumes that Moti is more beautiful than she and Soshi is lovingly weak to Moti. Kusum endeavors to impress Soshi to satisfy her sexual appetite because of her ups and downs in conjugal relations with her husband. She goes to Soshi often and pretends that she is suffering from several diseases. It implies that Kusum wants to establish an extramarital affair with Soshi having no interest toward it for a certain time.

Yet, in the course of time, a change pierces the heart of Soshi to be accompanied with Kusum, but she denies directly. The novel, here, introduces reader community about a sudden change of a cryptically married woman who once madly wanted to get Soshi.

In addition, there are two crucial sub plots in this novel. One is the story of Jadab Pundit and another is between Jamini and Sendidi. Jadab Pundit with his wife died through morphine- induced suicide to safeguard his unconscious statement which is “I will pass away in the next Rath Festival”. He wanted to grab the superior position with his spiritual stance over Soshi’s modern and seasoned hands in medical treatments. People from not only Gaodia but also some neighboring villages gathered in his house and made it a sacred place. Only was Soshi able to explore the true cause of the death but he remained silent. Amazingly, Pundit died testate, leaving his entire estate to Soshi himself to build a hospital. This donation makes science triumphant over superstition.

The other (sub plot) is between herbalist Jamini and his wife Sendidi. Gopal Das arranged the nuptial of Sendidi with older Jamini. Nevertheless, Das maintained clandestine sexual relations with Sendidi. Yet, he could not escape the shrewd eyes of Soshi. Giving birth a son with the hidden love of Das, Sendidi unexpectedly died. From then, the direction of this novel enters into a mystical path. Surprisingly, Soshi’s father left home for Kashi with Sendidi’s son and never came back at Gaodia.

The writer, indeed, made some thrilling episodes reflecting those events in the outlooks of the leading character. He also used rhetoric, metaphors and charismatic expression to highlight Soshi in the entire novel. Bandopadhyay took Soshi in a situation to challenge the migratory proclivity of the educated section of people from village to city in the previous century. Kumud’s desires to Soshi as a sexual partner and Das’ erotically established affair with Sendidi hint the Freudian psychoanalysis regarding the dense and inner psychological orientation of human beings for love and sex. This novel also signifies the discernment of animals over the corpse of human being; for instance, “Getting the permanent silence of Haru Gosh, a squirrel climbed down from the tree at a time”. More importantly, it shows that all people except the hero of the lagging village are prisoners of destiny and superstition.

It is obvious that Soshi is a well-educated figure who investigates any social problems experienced by him but he acts like a passivist in lieu of a reformist. Although this novel generates huge conundrums in the minds of readers due to the number of characters and theoretical flavor, it is a valuable asset in Bengali literature.

Surely, this time-honored novella is colored with keen intelligence and wit, colloquial language, a neat narrative, a profound awareness of social malpractices, and a robust focus upon the continual conflict between city and village. A film was produced based on it in 1949. Honestly speaking, from the literary point of view, we will commit an intellectual sin provided that we attempt to get a towering understanding of the root fabrics upon the Hindu society of the 20- century without this one.

From Camera to Pen, From Film to Library

Book Review of “Portrait of a Director: Satyajit Ray” by Marie Seton

Satyajit Ray (2 May,1921 - 23 April, 1992) was India's first film-maker to gain international appreciation as a master, and today he continues to be stared as one of the world’s greatest film makers of all time. The book Portrait of a Director: Satyajit Ray by famous film critic Marie Seton looks at his work. Through the book, Marie Seton endorses and exposes myths about the life, idealism and total work of Ray.

The writer first met Satyajit Ray in Calcutta soon after he had completed "Pather Panchali" (1955). So, basically this 368 pages paperback is divided into three parts where the first part describes in the late ‘50s- a time when Ray has already done ‘ Pather Panchali’ which was the talk of the town in Cannes and the Golden Lion winning complement to the first film- ‘Aparajito’.

Then it turns into a flashback- many years- and indicates Ray as a young man who grew exceptionally tall as a fresh, who fell in affair with his cousin, his familial extraction: connected to the famous Rabindranath Tagore’s, his days in Shantiniketan where he picked up his first formal books on films from the library and effectively developed his sound interest in classical music. Amongst the memorable tastes from this part are the ones that touch on his ineptness as a young sketcher, his work as a graphic artist in an advertising firm that introduces him to the work of Cartier-Bresson and brings to him the gift of that journey to London and those ninety-nine films, amongst them De Sica’s ‘ Bicycle Thieves’, that would go on to be one of the turning points in his life and make him a real legend.

The second part of the book deals with Ray’s cinema. The part is divided by his work like the Apu trilogy, the Zamindaar films (Jalsaghar, Devi), the Tagore films (Charulata, Teen Kanya) and Ray’s own themes (Kanchenjunga, Nayak).

According to Amazon, Marie Setons classic study of Ray, the product of thorough research and a long and close association with the Ray family, is the most detailed examination available of Rays works musician, scenarist and director.

As the book was first published in 1971, it means that Ray’s important Calcutta trilogy doesn’t find a detailed mention. Indeed, his filmography till around ‘67 is covered in detail with an ending for the later films (since the book was republished in ’84 with this supplement).

Another point is the Tagore films talk more about the act of adapting longer works, selecting the cinematic parts from it, and uniting a script. Inside the chapter on ‘Kanchenjunga’ I feel that it is Ray’s greatest film with original screenplay and the first film in color. Besides, ‘Kanchenjunga’ is a covered work in terms of its narrative dimension that fit a rhythmical musical composition. The third part displays Ray at work- on sets, in editing rooms, over lunches with crew and cast.

I think Marie Seton has the biggest strength as a biographer of Ray beside of her biography of Sergei Eisenstein, Paul Robeson and Jawaharlal Nehru. The writer never calls him ‘ Manik’ like his other close friends did. Beside she almost always remains ‘Satyajit’ to her. Even today her book is one of the realest chronicles of the life and times of one of India’s greatest person. I think it’s one of the most authentic write up on the works of the great director. The book is now available in Rokomari. The important point is it can be a reference book for researchers and students of film and media studies.

Cover Credit: Goodreads

A Mind Enlightening Novel

Book Review of ‘Kumarjib ’ by Satyen Sen

The novelist Satyen Sen was the founder of ‘Udichi’ (a nation-wide cultural organization of Bangladesh) and an Adamjee Literary Award Winner. ‘Kumarjib’ claimed by Sen and many scholars is a historical novel, which portrays the story of 3rd century of ancient India and China from the Buddhist lens. Besides, it is undeniable that the quality of Sen’s narration is so extraordinary and imaginatively supple that the reader remains enthralled between its mind­blowing beginning and agonizing finish. The main character of the novel is Kumarjib whose father pundit Kumaryan took education from Vadrasen and transformed himself from Hindu to Buddha and devoted him to preach Buddhism as a monk.

But, in the course of time, having become a royal priest of Kuchi, he married Jiba, the king’s sister of the kingdom. Despite the fact that Kumarayn left home, Jiba successfully was able to make his son Kumaijib a distinguished religious scholar by the teaching of Buddhadatta of Kashmir. Though Kumarjib was by born a follower of Salistamba, he was influenced by his mentor upon Mahayana. Both paths are Buddhist-driven. In this regard, it is noticeable that Kumarjib succeeded to install the Mahayana in several states except Kuchi where he became, nonetheless, a royal priest.

Apart from that, When Chinese soldiers invaded the kingdom on the behalf of his opposition, instead of being murdered, he was taken in China due to his scholarly fame. Surprisingly, while his mother and uncle Charubrata reached China and eagerly requested him to go back Kuchi, he didn’t accept the proposal by saying that no country is special to me.

The book is rich in socio-political, economic, cultural, and Buddhist aspects of the great parts of ancient India and China. It renders to readers some crucial lessons. It demonstrates that disciples can be influenced through their mentors’ ways: Kumarjib and his father actualized the claim. Moreover, the acceptability of religious ideas is ignorable toward states, in realist sense. I contemplate Satyen Sen introduces a conflicting system to readers between religion and states’ interactions.

This system is rife today in the interactions of modern states. And, crisis can force people to seek the necessity of an erudite person as, during Kumarjib’s staying in China, citizens of Kochi felt the need of him.

Yet, disagreeing with his mother’s desire, Kumarjib proved that a knowledge vendor cannot be bounded in a state. This attitude of him strikes narrow-minded people. The novel unanimously recognizes the contribution of Jiba, a mother, who defeated all obstacles to make her son a learned person. This means a determined mind of a woman can often do something than that of a man.

Sen’s sincere use of true history, fascinating languages and charismatic expressions are well-articulated in the novel. For these, he deserves an outstanding place in literary circles. I strongly recommend it.

Less a Novel than an Inspiring Novella

Book Review on “Rickshaw Girl” by Mitali Perkins

Rickshaw Girl is a fictional story written by Mitali Perkins. The story takes place in a village of Bangladesh. The main character is Naima, a young girl who is skilled in painting alpanas. She lives with her mother, father, and younger sister. Unluckily, their family does not have so much money and females aren’t allowed to work outside. When Naima accidentally breaks her family's rickshaw by attempting to learn to drive it, she feels very guilty and becomes strong- minded to gather money to help her family at that moment.

She costumes herself like a boy and goes to find a job painting rickshaws to help her family make a living. In a turn of actions the shop owner ends up also being a woman and she teachers Naima that the times are changing and girls can earn money too.

“Rickshaw Girl” is less a novel than a novella. This book teaches many lessons to the readers mind. It establishes Bengali culture, teaches gender equality and there is a morality message that says you should try to cover your mistakes like Naima.

Mitali Perkins tells her deep understanding as an Indian woman, and writes the story in a way where people from her culture represent "good" typescripts, and there are no negative stereotypes. I think she highlights the self-confidence and fulfil efforts of a young girl who leads her family later by overcoming her troubles and situation with diligence.

It does not just represent a fighting spirit of a young girl, but it also tells a tale of a nation’s culture. The whole story features a charismatic plot, with an interesting resolution. The book is so pretty because of its unique black and white art. Furthermore, the illustrations are beautiful, and help to keep the child's attention. The book was chosen by New York Public Library as one of the 100 best children’s books of the last 100 years. The good news is renowned filmmaker Amitabh Reza Chowdhury will adapt this story for his upcoming film ‘Rickshaw Girl’. I think the book is a mirror of women empowerment that can create social awareness. I would fully recommend the book for children above 6 years old. The book is available in Amazon and Google Play.

Cover Credit: Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

A Reference Book for Researchers

International Relations and Bangladesh by Harun ur Rashid

After the cold-war, mankind has ever entered into a complicated world. Accordingly, to duly apprehend the global politics, we need to focus myriad of aspects. Harun ur Rashid’s International Relations and Bangladesh, in this regard, helps us relatively easily unravel the puzzlements of the present international political system with a robust focus on the crucial aspects of Bangladesh. Though the book was first published in 2004, this new version is the revised and updated edition of 2015.

The book investigates the salient events of global affairs between the 19- and the beginning part of the 21st century. It also paints a visage on Bangladesh’s strengths and weaknesses in regional and international arenas through politically strategic lens and describes her contributions to build a peaceful and prosperous world.

Rashid, a former ambassador of Bangladesh in the UN, Geneva, employs different schools of thought in international relations theory such as realism, liberalism, Marxism and constructivism to add scholarly flavor in his writing. This book is divided into four parts.

The part one demonstrates a brief introduction of the evolution of International Relations. Moreover, the author focuses on geopolitics and believes rapid developments of technology in the field of war have undermined the particular relevance of it. From the geopolitical landscape of Bangladesh, he claims that she has advantages on any ground war while her small sea frontage and tiny size of territory can act as disadvantages during armed conflicts.

The part two of the book describes how despotic leaders and hostile international system triggered two World Wars and why the Cold War was inevitable for the ideological clash. Rashid opines the nationalist fervor of the colonized states gave the birth of new independent states in Africa and Asia through destroying colonialism. He argues that as states are mutually-interdependent with each other in the globalized period, no country can alone succeed to address traditional security and non-traditional security threats without multilateral institutions, the number of which has mushroomed. Hence, to preserve the peace of the world, International Institutions including the UN are immensely necessary.

Interestingly, the part three almost entirely underscores the emergence of Bangladesh and her political aftermath. Though Pakistan was born on the basis of the two-nation theory in 1947, for its step-motherly behavior toward its eastern provincial wing, Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) rose as a sovereign state in 1971 by the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. In the liberation war of Bangladesh during the cold-war era, Soviet-led bloc supported her but the US-led bloc opposed. Their strategic roles are well-articulated in this chapter. Since independence, Bangabandhu’s insightful directions are prevalent in the external relations of the state. Rashid’s appreciation on our country’s obligation to International Law creates a good national profile.

Global concerns upon environment, arms proliferation, human rights, and forced migration and displaced person have been precisely illustrated in the final part. Since environmental catastrophes are regularly occurring owning to human activities and natural causes, our survival is being jeopardized.

However, worldwide increase of refuges and Internally Displaced People is caused not only by natural disaster but also by war and human rights violation. The author points out that Bangladesh has been giving shelter Rohingya refuges since 1978 but in terms of her human rights records for women and minority groups the country draws huge criticisms. He proudly specifies an enunciation of Bangladesh regarding disarmament at the UN General Assembly: “Resources spent for the arms race should be directed to social sectors”.

Frankly speaking, the book reveals that however a small country, in addition to Bangladesh’s human power, fertile land, and homogeneity of race, her strategic geographic proximity with two great powers, India and China, and her shared history with the sub-continent creates prestigious values that bolster an envious place of the country in the global stage. The author in the entire book highlights certain cases of Bangladesh with some states.

I ponder this book suffers from the lack of analytical rigor in that Rashid attempts to highlight almost all spheres of international relations in mostly concise and factual fashion. His assertion on the irrelevancy of geopolitics in the 21st century due to the invention of high-tech weapons like missiles is not pertinent as it is observed that states are so far highly dependent on geopolitical factors to formulate their foreign policy for either war or trade, furthermore.

Nevertheless, this 564-pages book is a welcoming edition in the field of foreign policy of Bangladesh. The author efficiently utilizes a wide range and a rich body of historical data to buttress his reasons. The linguistic orientation in the book is so gripping that any reader cannot simply put it down if he or she once starts reading it. Primarily, the book is recommended for decision makers of foreign policy, national politicians, student, lawyers, and teachers because it renders a cornucopia of wisdom with regard to international politics and jurisprudence where the writer has contextualized the vital issues of Bangladesh.

Cover Credit: The University Press Limited

An Exceptional Artwork of Bengali Art

Book Review of “Art and Life in Bangladesh” by Henry Glassie

Have you read anything which massively represents the Bengali landscape and history, its artists and their work before? I think the book “Art and Life in Bangladesh” is an outstanding introduction of Bengali art written by Henry Glassie a popular folklorist and emeritus College Professor of Folklore at Indiana University Bloomington and published by Indiana University Press.

The 520 pages hardcover can be a great source of knowledge for foreign tourists as he introduces readers to the people of Bangladesh through their unique artwork. The author displays the potter's day to day life - from useful pots to joyful images of the Hindi deities - and sends us into the company of potters who are historians, poets, writers and philosophers.

The book ascends to the wonderful divine clarification of creative art provided by the sculptor Haripada Pal. In conversation with the artists who work the clay, Glassie learned their idea of art, and he applies it to other media, to weaving and shipbuilding, to painting, engraving, and brass casting. The book increases a comprehensive view of creation in Bangladesh, and it forms a stylish thought on life and work and the importance of artistic job.

Amazon says that the author is not content merely to survey Bangladeshi art; instead, he introduces readers to individual artists, allowing each of them to speak at length about his or her work. Photographs are liberally sprinkled throughout the text-if only some of them were in color. Perhaps with this book who has performed similar ethnographic marvels in books about Irish and Turkish art, will help promote a more positive image of this ancient land.

I think Henry Glassie clarifies that our art and everyday life are intimately linked. Besides Glassie portrays that life in Bangladesh is not easy but there is also a long and rich tradition of creative work, ranging from the potter's ability to amazing creations of painting, engraving, weaving, sculpture, metalwork, and many more.

While his primary medium is pottery, the book also traces on rickshaw art, engraving, boat building, straw mat production and others handicrafts. It also explores the philosophy of rural people of our country and reaches depths of religious understanding (especially among the Hindu community); that many of us who lived in Bangladesh did not encounter.

The book is thick with in-depth looks at their aesthetic styles. These studies are merged into a larger chronicle about economic and social change across the Bangladeshi countryside as Glassie strongly represents that there will be a great opportunity of selling our handicrafts. The important point is it can be a reference book for researchers and students. I think Glassie's book is not a coffee- table volume filled with stunning images rather he shows Bengali art is the medium of Bengali culture. So, if you love Bangladesh, this book is must reading because it forces one to reveal on a range of important issues -the central one being a compassionate concern with what it means to be wealthy or poor in Bangladesh.

Cover Credit: Goodreads

The Tide of Nationalism in the Rise of Bangladesh

Bengali Nationalism and the Emergence of Bangladesh: An Introductory Outline by F. Salahuddin Ahmed

Nationalism is one of the most powerful political ideologies of the world and its wave still vibrates through the Indian subcontinent since the colonial powers had this country under its grip for an extended period of time. Professor A. F. Salahuddin Ahmed, an intellectual celebrity, in Bengali Nationalism and the Emergence of Bangladesh: An Introductory

Outline has depicted a vivid image of this ideology which at first divided India and then Pakistan. The full magnitude of Ahmed's intellectual work, though, is yet to be fully examined and understood.

Ahmed vastly underpins the Muslim Bengali nationalism. He points out how the harmonious orientation between Hindu and Muslim relations existed before the British took control of the region.

However, among Muslims of both the undivided India and the united Pakistan there was virtually no sense of unity. Because of the divide and rule policy of the British rulers, the Muslims were relatively backward than the Hindus because they could not readily accept the Western culture. Extreme Hindu nationalism and the biased behavior of the foreign administrators left Muslims remain right where they were and uneducated even.

However, the author argues that not before the last part of the nineteenth century, this repressed community felt a separate political consciousness due to the advent of some Muslim leaders such as Abdul Latif, Syed Ahmed Khan, Amir Ali and so on. Unfortunately, they were Urdu-speaking and would deliberately avoid standing with Bengali Muslims in the line. The English Empire's decision to divide Bengal generated a psychological tension between the two rival religious players as the Hindu-Muslim communal discord began to take effect sharply at that time.

The establishment of the Muslim League in 1906 was a milestone for the Muslims. It is historically known that Bengali Muslims did not get any space in the political arena of the Sub-continent until the rise of great minds like Sher-e- Bangla Fazlul Huq. Huq, in his political carrier, was a practitioner of secular politics, and yet participated both in Congress and in the Muslim League. In 1929 he established “All-Bengal Peasant and Tenant Farmers Party.”

After the end of British rule in 1947, two countries emerged -­India and Pakistan.West Pakistan and East Pakistan were combined into one country, which added a bizarre look to an already politically unstable scenario. The former exploited the latter ruthlessly in terms of social, economic, political, and cultural aspects. The writer claims that there was nothing common between the two entities other than religion and they held no brotherly bond when it came to language, common heritage, shared history, life­style, political values and so on.

Because of its discriminatory acts, the popularity of the Muslim League declined in the eastern part of Pakistan and so, the Awami League immediately was able to capture the mindset of the population of this region. From the 1952 Language Movement onwards, Bengali nationalism began to flourish and people of East Pakistan launched into a struggle to achieve independence. In 1971, finally, the East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) became independent through a bloody war prompted by the unique leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Father of our nation. But, after Bangabandhu's assassination, the military- turned rulers took an exclusive stance and transformed “Bengali nationalism” into “Bangladeshi nationalism” since the term “Bengali” would also include Indian Bengalis. Considering the Arab nation that spreads over West Asia and North Africa and which contains several countries with different political identities, S. Ahmed criticizes this move.

This thought-stimulating book is such an enjoyable read that any reader can easily comprehend the author's ideas. It also incorporates the actual contexts which introduced various socio-cultural changes in South Asia and at the same time recognizes that nationalism can be good for the repressed and underprivileged population.

In my understanding, the author has brought his nationalist elements from professor Benedict Anderson's most acclaimed book on the origin of nationalism, Imagined Communities. Strictly speaking, Ahmed uses some ambiguous ideas on nationalism; for instance, he believes that religion and language cannot be the basis of nationalism. But in reality it was language that inspired Bengali nationalism. Besides, he also seems to belittle the efforts of the Hindus by monopolizing the phrase “Bengali Muslim nationalism.”

Despite these shortcomings, this four-chapter slim book is a treasure trove for us to know our evolutionary identity and the birth of Bangladesh and its political aftermath.

Cover Credit: AbeBooks

A Harmonic Manuscript for Young Entrepreneurs

‘Youth entrepreneurship: how to start with’ by Syed Rabius Shams

The journal book titled ‘Youth entrepreneurship: how to start with ...?’ is the new such kind of manuscript on the entrepreneurial network of Bangladesh which I had the change to go through. I find it is a helpful and earnest book for me, not the kind of books that I usually read or the science fiction, detective and thriller books the youth prefers. When I was reading the book, I could re-count my needs and the author’s thought. The author of the book Syed Rabius Shams is an Entrepreneurial Journalist. His articles and write-ups have published in many national English and Bengali dailies and online news portals.

The book marks out openly how to become a successful entrepreneur focusing Bangladesh perspective. It outlines how to tune an idea, where to start from, sources of funding and how to uphold a startup or initiative. Besides it also explains, with sufficient interpretation, day to day social media trends, Facebook uses, digital DNA & personal branding issues alongside entrepreneurial journalism in the country. The author portrays some need-based examples of effectively accelerating businesses by covering features on some young entrepreneur venture idea and their successful true stories.

The manuscript provides many a practical advice for the entrepreneurs in the making. Chapter three is completely for feature articles on various startups and some young entrepreneurs. Chapter four elaborates on the present style and realistic trend of entrepreneurs in the country in the form of news reporting.

Chapter five exclusively hints on the startup-related public communication works. It shows as examples how startups can be focused by media through various steps and proper methods.

There are seven chapters consisting of 52 articles in this book.

Comments from distinguished academicians, entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, and development activists along with articles from five aspiring writers have also been included in the manuscript. The book, published in association with the Center for Entrepreneurship Development (CED) of BRAC University contains 102 pages and the paperback copy of the book is available through popular online book portal

The book, board-bound and illustrated, provides all the information and knowledge required for a would-be entrepreneur focusing youth. The journal book is written in the light of the author’s own experience being a young entrepreneur. It is a lovely gift out of his entrepreneurship sense for the newcomer those who aim to become entrepreneurs and can be used as an informative text book for BBA students for covering entrepreneurship development course.

Being an entrepreneur holds multiple benefits to the individual as well as society. An entrepreneur not only contributes to personal well-being but also to social welfare by creating employment and taking role model leadership. So an entrepreneur knows the secrecy of the gradually developing a business venture. Rabius Shams himself is a Startup Founder and CEO of the communication venture name Ra’dia Inc. He is an MBA Graduate from Cardiff Met University, UK and a Pro Fellow of the U.S. State Department, a group study exchange of Rotary International and a cultural exchange programme of the British Council.

The learning of these inductions dynamically assists him to write on the series issue of entrepreneurship. The writer believes that digital media is considered as 'Lamp of Aladdin' nowadays. The combination of these two belongings via Youth Entrepreneurship and Digital Media is tangible in Bangladesh perspective.

It has given prominence on journalism as part of to give an idea on how reporting and public relations can influence in entrepreneurship in a broader surroundings. Some examples gave insight how press news looks like on entrepreneurship. Some youth development and professional fellowships related news are also included to see how those happen and how to grab up? The journal book first such in the country is ornamented with reflecting on real-life experiences rather than of academic and or theory based conversion. Most important thing is it’s a harmonic manuscript with real examples between entrepreneurship and digitalization. Rather, this book offers encouragement and empowers young readers to embrace Entrepreneurship through the new media presence in the present framework of Bangladeshi youth.

We, unfortunately, have a bitter reality and that is our attitude up is not to be an entrepreneur. We are keen to look for a job, being unfamiliar with other prospects, rather than upholding it, with the highest approach. Nevertheless the situation needs to be changed with upgrading global business. We have to create entrepreneurs, who will provide jobs for others, which would ultimately generate our economic growth strongly when we are on a course of being a middle-income country.

Definitely, the book could work as a guide. We know that dedication and inspiration are very important in entrepreneurship. So it seems, the book could steer for upholding a venture. This could be a distinctive perspective of storytelling on 'Youth Entrepreneurship' and also could be a good piece of reference for various pitches. My observation is that the book would be as evident to good use through nurturing the reader's innovation and encouraging them to be an Entrepreneur.

(The End)

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” -Marcus Tullius Cicero

Excerpt out of 38 pages


Collection of different book reviews
Areas: History, Art, Tradition , Entrepreneurship , International Relations, Film and Environment
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ISBN (Book)
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collection, areas, history, tradition, entrepreneurship, international, relations, film, environment
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Nasimul Islam (Author)Shuva Das (Author), 2018, Collection of different book reviews, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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