Of Blood and Fire The Untold Story of Bangladesh’s War of Independence Jahanara Imam Translated by: Mustafizur Rahman ISBN 984 05 1423 7 1990 246p 215x136mm HB Tk.300.00 US$23.00
The year 1971 saw the eastern half of Pakistan (now Bangladesh) rise in revolt against the military regime of the country which had unleashed a reign of terror to crush the people’s demand for independence. There was indiscriminate killing, burning and looting of the unarmed civilians. An underground resistance movement spearheaded by students came into being to fight the oppressor. A ful-fledged war of liberation ensued. The breathtaking events of 1971 are faithfully recorded in the present volume. It is a first-hand account by the author who along with her son and husband took an active part in the struggle for freedom. She had herself witnessed some of the events. For the rest she gathered facts from authentic sources. Written in the form of a diary, -the book was originally published in Bengali. This English rendering of it now presents the story of Bangladesh’s war of independence to a larger audience.
Jahanara Imam born in a conservative Muslim family of Murshidabad (India) in 1929, received a liberal education. She held a Master’s degree in Bengali language and literature and a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Dhaka University. She has spent a significant part of her life as an educationist. She visited the United States in 1964-65 as a Fulbright scholar and again in 1977 under the International Visitors Programme at the invitation of the government of the United States. Mrs. Imam was a prolific writer. Among her outstanding works are "Another Life", an autobiographical account depicting the life of a Muslim conservative family in a rural society of West Bengal in the first half of the century, and The days of ‘71, which gives a graphic account of life in East Pakistan under the Pakistani military occupation. Mrs. Imam passed away in 1994.
Mustafizur Rahman (b. 1941) obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Science from Dhaka University in 1963. He joined the erstwhile Pakistan Foreign Service in 1964, served in a number of Missions abroad. In the Ministry he held the posts of Director, Director General and Chief of Protocol. He was Bangladesh’s Minister in its Embassy in Washington, High Commissioner to Malaysia and Ambassador to Burma. Thereafter he served as the Additional Foreign Secretary to the Government of Bangladesh and later as Ambassador to Moscow and Beijing from 1990 to 1993 and 1994 to 1997 respectively. Presently Mr. Rahman is working as Foreign Secretary to the Government of Bangladesh.