Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Me in Canada and Book about Bangabandhu

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Saifullah Mahmud Dulal

Research work is as complex as it is difficult. Collecting especially scarce and accurate data is a daunting task. While collecting images, information, data, sources for the book ‘Bahirviswer Daktikite Bangabandhu’, it had to dive in the dark like a diver. The same experience happened in 1991 while writing ‘Sheikh Mujib in Shilpa Literatura’.

Commemorative postage stamps have been released from 13 countries of the world about our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. But it has not happened with any other world leader. What has happened is limited to postage stamps of respective countries.

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There is no record of this rare and important item, no collection i.e. philately. We do not have any official documents from the concerned ministry or department. For the past two years, while doing historical work, I have failed to seek information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, various embassies, and the postal department. For example, the postage stamp from Malaysia that I got from the website, I couldn’t find the information anywhere. Even contacting the Malaysian Post Department did not get a response.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology, Mustafa Jabbar, said – ‘I don’t have postage stamps of other countries. Not likely to be with the postal department either. I will tell you if there is. He also said that there is no possibility even in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

I am disappointed to be approached by high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ambassadors posted in various countries. Because, there was no coordination before or after the publication of these stamps, no specific project or plan. Stamps were published largely in isolation from personal interests of ambassadors and individuals. I have received a complaint that some ambassadors, without contacting the postal department of the country in which they are located, have designed and printed colorful postage stamps on their own initiative!

I think there may be more stamps from other countries apart from the book stamps about Bangabandhu. A lot of work has been done to celebrate Bangabandhu’s birth centenary. It is important to take the initiative of a museum in that context. I believe Bangladesh Postal Directorate, or Bangladesh National Museum or Bangladesh Shishu Academy can take this great initiative through the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology.

Incidentally, I am mentioning one more experience. The unfinished autobiography written by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is very rich and well edited. Translated into several languages, is and will be; In this case, to ensure that the translations are error-free or of international standards; I think it is necessary to have a ‘Bangabandhu research center’ for all those goals, that is, for the overall research of Bangabandhu.

After reviewing the manuscript in question, Sajal Ahmed, publisher of Kavi Prakashani, decided to make the book bilingual, finding the content interesting and important. In that context the English translation was presented alongside by the translator Bipasha Chakraborty.

Toronto, Canada

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