Noted author and educationist Dr. Zafar Iqbal described ‘Mujib Graphic Novel’, based on the unfinished memoirs of Bangabandhu, as an outstanding document of history.
He made this observation while unveiling the concluding ninth and tenth episodes of the graphic novel at the book fair on Saturday.
“Mujib Graphic Novel is an outstanding document on Bangabandhu. While it’s a must-read for kids, it should also hit the shelves of adults,” he said.
Terming the publication of the ruling Awami League’s research wing ‘Centre for Research & Information (CRI)’ as a great initiative, he said, “The kids who are yet to read big books will also be drawn towards this book due to its pictures.”
“When I was a kid, I found comics adorable. I think kids love to read comics. The Mujib comic has been planned to target them. It’s a big plan,” he added.
Eminent writer Anisul Haque, Mujib Graphic Novel cartoonist Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy and scriptwriter Siddique Ahmed were also present in the book unveiling ceremony organized in front of the CRI stall (number 735).
While graphic novels on political figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi are a common phenomenon, Mujib Graphic Novel is the first of its kind in Bangladesh. Starting its journey on March 17, 2015, seven years of efforts of a dedicated creative team of artists, editors, and scriptwriters finally culminated into success as the entire series is now available at the book fair.
Urging the publication of a compact single book combining all ten episodes, Zafar Iqbal said, “It has been seven years. They didn’t lose their patience. I observed that the quality of pictures improved with coming episodes.”
Praising the writer in Bangabandhu, he said, “The books written by Bangabandhu are outstanding. We say a lot of things about Bangabandhu. But what we rarely say is that he is a great writer. We all should read them.”
CRI trustees Radwan Mujib Siddiq, a grandson of Bangabandhu, and Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power and energy, are the publishers of Mujib Graphic Novel. Titled ‘Mission Panjab’, the ninth episode of the graphic novel sketched Mujib’s thrilling journey to Panjab where he met his political guru Huseyn Suhrawardy to form All-Pakistan Awami Muslim League.
The tenth episode, titled ‘On the Road to Freedom’, brought alive Mujib’s adventurous moves such as traveling by ship to Tungipara in disguise.
He hailed Mujib Graphic Novel as a great initiative to inform kids of the Father of the Nation, observing that generation after generation in this country grew up without knowing who Bangabandhu was and what he did for Bangladesh. This, according to Zafar Iqbal, is the biggest crime in the world history.
“When I came back to Bangladesh in 1994, I observed that the name ‘Bangabandhu’ was not uttered on television. I was shocked. The man who presented this independent country was virtually eliminated from the country,” said Zafar Iqbal, adding, “After Awami League came to power in 1996, I long with my wife bought a television, hoping that now we would be able to see Bangabandhu on television. He was shown on television indeed. Tears of joy rolled down my cheek.”
“That is why whenever there is something done on Bangabandhu, I pledge my support to that. I wish it every success,” he said, adding that seven years of efforts through Mujib Graphic Novel culminated into a success.
Echoing his tone, eminent writer Anisul Haque said, “Unfinished memoirs, prison-time diary and New China 1952 are the books that every Bengali should read. But, what about the kids who can’t read these big books? For them, the graphic novel is brought in by CRI, Radwan Mujib Siddiq or our Shibu Vai.”
He also urged sending these books to every house of the country so that children and youths read them and get inspired by patriotism.