Webinar on “Identity Crisis, Liberation War and Our Literature” Held at NUB
A webinar titled “Identity Crisis, Liberation War and Our Literature” was arranged by the Department of English of Northern University Bangladesh on Sunday, June 21, 2020, at 8:00 pm. Professor Dr. Md. Anwar Hossain, vice-chancellor, NUB, joined the event as the chief guest.
The moderator of the session, Muhammad Jashim Uddin, assistant professor & head, Department of English, NUB, started the discussion stating how important a program like this can be when ‘Mujib Borsho’ is being celebrated by the whole nation.
The keynote speaker of the webinar, Mojaffor Hossain, writer & translator, Bangla Academy, said that one of the grounds on which the liberation war got its impetus was dealing with the conflict of identity crisis. The pre-liberation war conditions, e.g., partition of India in 1947, the language movement of 1952 set the foundation of a secular and an independent Bangladesh. While asked about the literary tradition of the country, he informed that since 1947, writers like Abul Fazal, Syed Waliullah, etc. have paved the way for the literary tradition of Bangladesh.
The chief guest, Professor Dr. Md. Anwar Hossain, vice-chancellor, NUB, said that our Bangali identity has evolved since 1947 when the people of East-Pakistan began to realize their position as second-class citizens in their own land. They started to identify themselves with the land, the rivers and the literature of their own and cherished for a revolution to liberate themselves from the cruel clasp of the Pakistani oppressors.
Then Mojaffor Hossain mentioned the contribution of post-liberation war writers such as Ahmed Sofa, Ahmed Sharif, Humayun Azad, Jatin Sarker, etc. in helping us understand our idiosyncratic Bengali identity with their intellect and philosophy. With the participation of writers across the country and through the inclusion of regional vernacular in their works, Bangladeshi literary tradition has got its identity for the first time. He further mentioned that historical books can be distorted but literary texts cannot be changed and they carry (within them) the authentic history of certain periods.
When asked by the co-host, Md. Maruf Hasan, senior lecturer, Department of English, NUB, about the present condition of the Bangali identity commenced by the liberation war, the chief guest replied that the Bengali identity has been dissolved for a period due to our negligence and obsession for Western and Indian cultures but by nourishing and promoting our own traditions, norms and values in all spheres of life we can reinstate our Bangali identity once again.