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Published: 2015-03-18 03:50:06 | Updated: 2015-03-18 03:50:06

Graphic novel 'Mujib' launched on Bangabandhu’s birth anniversary

The mingling of an artist’s imagination and real incidents has brought Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman alive in the pages of a four-colour comic book for children.

The Centre for Research and Information (CRI) published the 24-page book, ‘Mujib’, on the independence hero’s 95th birth anniversary, based on his unfinished autobiography.

The book was launched on Tuesday at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhanmondi by his grandson, CIR Trustee Radwan Mujib Siddique Bobby.

Sheikh Mujib was born on Mar 17, 1920 at Tungiparha in Gopalganj. Bangladesh emerged an independent country in 1971 following a long struggle led by him.

He began writing his autobiography at the bidding of his wife and comrades while being held in the Dhaka Central Jail in 1967.

But the work remained incomplete. Forty-four years later that unfinished autobiography was published at the initiative of his elder daughter Sheikh Hasina.

Radwan Mujib, son of Sheikh Mujib’s younger daughter, Sheikh Rehana, said at the launch that he had not seen his grandfather but had got to know him from the stories he heard of him from his mother and aunt. “When I was in school, many of my friends did not know my grandfather’s name. Teachers often forbade me to mention him.

This used to cause me a lot of pain. “Mother used to tell me to be patient. When I was older, I used to wonder how to familiarise those of my age with grandfather.”

This urge finally led to the publication of an illustrated autobiography of Bangabandhu with drawing by artists Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy and ABM Salauddin Subho.

“I am feeling very happy to hold this book in my hand today. It’s a great satisfaction for me to have been able to do at least this much for my grandfather,” said Radwan Mujib. Cartoonist Ahsan Habib said, “The publication of this book has given Bangladesh its first graphic novel.

“This is a big thing for us cartoonists.” He added that comics did not find a place in the children’s section of the Amar Ekushey Library run by the Bangla Academy.

“We were trying for their inclusion for a long time. Maybe, we will now find a niche, thanks to this graphic book on Bangabandu.”

He said there could hardly be a better way to present Bangabandhu to children. Cartoonist Rafiqun Nabi said not only will the book attract children but will also be useful for adults.

“But I have reservations about using the word ‘novel’ in this case. A novel would imply something fictional. But Bangabandhu was no fiction. He was real,” Nabi said. CIR Executive Director Sabbir Biswas, however, explained that it was a new term.

“None of us was there during Bangabandhu’s time. So we had to take the help of imagination to portray him. But the stories are real.

Hence the term ‘graphic novel’,” he said. The first part presents the background against which Bangabandhu began writing his autobiography, the stories of his birth, childhood, getting a pair of spectacles when still young, and his first jail term.

Another 12 parts will be published in stages narrating Bangabandhu’s experiences in social and political arenas and various aspects of the Bengali’s struggle for freedom. MP Tarana Halim and actor Sara Zaker, among others, were present at the book launch.

Graphic novel 'Mujib' launched on Bangabandhu’s birth anniversary

The mingling of an artist’s imagination and real incidents has brought Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman alive in the pages of a four-colour comic book for children.

The Centre for Research and Information (CRI) published the 24-page book, ‘Mujib’, on the independence hero’s 95th birth anniversary, based on his unfinished autobiography.

The book was launched on Tuesday at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhanmondi by his grandson, CIR Trustee Radwan Mujib Siddique Bobby.

Sheikh Mujib was born on Mar 17, 1920 at Tungiparha in Gopalganj. Bangladesh emerged an independent country in 1971 following a long struggle led by him.

He began writing his autobiography at the bidding of his wife and comrades while being held in the Dhaka Central Jail in 1967.

But the work remained incomplete. Forty-four years later that unfinished autobiography was published at the initiative of his elder daughter Sheikh Hasina.

Radwan Mujib, son of Sheikh Mujib’s younger daughter, Sheikh Rehana, said at the launch that he had not seen his grandfather but had got to know him from the stories he heard of him from his mother and aunt. “When I was in school, many of my friends did not know my grandfather’s name. Teachers often forbade me to mention him.

This used to cause me a lot of pain. “Mother used to tell me to be patient. When I was older, I used to wonder how to familiarise those of my age with grandfather.”

This urge finally led to the publication of an illustrated autobiography of Bangabandhu with drawing by artists Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy and ABM Salauddin Subho.

“I am feeling very happy to hold this book in my hand today. It’s a great satisfaction for me to have been able to do at least this much for my grandfather,” said Radwan Mujib. Cartoonist Ahsan Habib said, “The publication of this book has given Bangladesh its first graphic novel.

“This is a big thing for us cartoonists.” He added that comics did not find a place in the children’s section of the Amar Ekushey Library run by the Bangla Academy.

“We were trying for their inclusion for a long time. Maybe, we will now find a niche, thanks to this graphic book on Bangabandu.”

He said there could hardly be a better way to present Bangabandhu to children. Cartoonist Rafiqun Nabi said not only will the book attract children but will also be useful for adults.

“But I have reservations about using the word ‘novel’ in this case. A novel would imply something fictional. But Bangabandhu was no fiction. He was real,” Nabi said. CIR Executive Director Sabbir Biswas, however, explained that it was a new term.

“None of us was there during Bangabandhu’s time. So we had to take the help of imagination to portray him. But the stories are real.

Hence the term ‘graphic novel’,” he said. The first part presents the background against which Bangabandhu began writing his autobiography, the stories of his birth, childhood, getting a pair of spectacles when still young, and his first jail term.

Another 12 parts will be published in stages narrating Bangabandhu’s experiences in social and political arenas and various aspects of the Bengali’s struggle for freedom. MP Tarana Halim and actor Sara Zaker, among others, were present at the book launch.

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