|Bengali Nationalism and the Emergence of Bangladesh
An Introductory Outline
A. F. Salahuddin Ahmed
ISBN 984 8127 02 X 1994 96pp 215x136mm HB Tk.150.00 US$20.00
In this book, Professor A. F. Salahuddin Ahmed, a leading historian of Bangladesh gives a brief analytical account of the growth of national consciousness in Bengal in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries particularly among the Bengali Muslims which led to the creation of Pakistan in 1947 and subsequently its break-up and the emergence of Bangladesh in 1971. Dr. Ahmed deftly analyses in historical perspective the different trends in Bengali social and political thought. He particularly highlights the remarkable transformation that had taken place in the Bengali Muslim psyche during the past decades. He explains how the Bengali Muslims in their search for cultural identity had been pulled by forces from two opposite directions. On the one hand, there was the pull of the past calling for upholding the Islamic traditional identity; on the other, there was the pressure for establishing indigenous Bengali identity cutting across religious and sectarian barriers. Particularly through the language movement of 1948-52 a new secular national consciousness was aroused which first led to the demand for regional autonomy and then for independence.
A. F. Salahuddin Ahmed was born in 1924 at Faridpur, Bangladesh. He obtained his B.A. Honours and M. A. degrees from the Calcutta University and subsequently A.M. and Ph. D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and London. His teaching career began in 1948 when he joined the Jagannath College, Dhaka as a Lecturer in History. Subsequently he served as Lecturer, Reader and Professor of History at the Rajshahi University, and later as Professor of History at the Jahangirnagar and Dhaka Universities. He was a UNESCO Cultural Fellow at the Kyoto University, Japan (1956) and Visiting Lecturer in South Asian History at the Universities of Pennsylvania and Chicago (1963). A leading historian,’ Professor Ahmed is the author of a number of books both in English and Bengali which include: Social Ideas and Social Change in Bengal 1818-1835, Bangladesh: Tradition and Tranformation, Bangaleer Sadhana O Bangladesher Muktijuddha, Bangladesh: Jatiyatabad, Swadhinata, Ganatantra, Itihaser Sandhaney, Bangladesh : Otit, Bartaman, Babhiswat.
Professor Salahuddin Ahmed was awarded the Ekushey Padak (Twenty-first February Medal) and the Independence Day Award by the Bangladesh Government in 1991 and 1999 respectively for distinguished contribution to the field of education. He has also been elected Honorary Fellow of Bangla Academy and the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
[Cover Design: Hashem Khan]