Bangladesh is an account of a courageous man who has boldly faced every adversary which aimed to destroy him or his will to fight back. Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir was first jailed in 2002 for seven months, was made to starve and tortured by his political opponents. Subsequently, Dr. Alamgir was again picked up in the middle of the night by the military backed government’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on February 2, 2007, without any warrant or charges drawn up against him. He was jailed by the government and was at times put in solitary confinement. Alamgir explains that his ordeal was due to his refusal to testify against former Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina for charges they intended to draw up against her. However, other charges of corruption were drawn up against him and he was convicted by a ‘Kangaroo Court’ and sentenced to a total of thirteen years rigorous imprisonment. The 2007-2008 travesty of justice against a man of high integrity reveals the depth of cynicism to which powerful and corrupt people can sink in satisfying their greed. This is a book which should touch the conscience of the readers. It provides a deep reflection on the nature of cowardice and courage, and is enlivened by a pungent commentary on life and literature. Fortunately, during his confinement, Alamgir, organized to read several books, some of which have touched his soul and sharpened his judgment of human nature. The books reviewed by him include: Robert Harrises Pompeii; Dava Sobel’s Galileo’s Daughter; Anne Enright’s The Gathering; Craig Nelson’s Thomas Paine; Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfuz’s Children of the Alley; and Bangladeshi novelist Tahmina Anam’s A Golden Age. Alamgir’s book is a must read for those committed to fair and just world, a world where everyone’s dignity and rights are equally respected.
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