This volume covers Professor Sobhan’s writings on the period and events leading to the emergence of Bangladesh. The papers were mostly written prior to the liberation of Bangladesh. The volume has been captioned, Milestones to Bangladesh, because these papers, read sequentially, take the reader along the inexorable path, from the failure of the Pakistan state to correct the injustice of disparity, to the failure to accommodate the demands for democracy and self-government within the framework of the nation, state of Pakistan.
Most of the writings in this volume were largely written by the author as journalistic ventures for publication in various newspapers or weekly journals. Only a few papers were written for academic publications. As a result, writings in this volume must be read not for their professional merit, but as attempts to capture the concerns which were current at that historical moment, which moved Rehman Sobhan sufficiently, to persuade him to project his thoughts before a wider audience. In his words, “My goal, as a popular writer was to both inform as well as influence a public audience which was witness to as well as participants in, the ongoing struggle for asserting a national identity for the Bangalis who eventually became citizens of Bangladesh.”
Writings in this volume traverse the journey to Bangladesh from the initial phase of the debate on two economies encapsulated within the state of Pakistan to its denouement in the emergence of two nations. The volume has to be read in its totality for the reader to grasp the underlying forces which drove the economic debates as well as political struggles of that time, which culminated in the emergence of an independent Bangladesh.