Dhaka,   Monday 22 April 2024

The South Asian Times | সাউথ এশিয়ান টাইমস

The face of an indomitable spirit: Barrister Monwar Hossain

(A book review)

Jyotirmoy Nandy

Published: 10:36, 18 March 2024

The face of an indomitable spirit: Barrister Monwar Hossain

‘Audommyo Ek Monwar Hossain/An Indomitable MonwarHossain’is a Bengali-English bilingual book, compiled with the writings and comments of leaders and representatives from various sectors of society to depict the colourful and multi-faceted life and works of Barrister Monwar Hossain, “a famous lawyer, well-known social worker at home and abroad, former popular student leader, international human rights organiser and shaper of the Greater Chattogram DevelopmentMovement". This collection of write-ups, edited by Shahriar Khaled, a prominent singer, cultural and social activist was published in April 2022, from Kharimati’, a prestigious publishing house based in Chattogram. Exactly one year after, in April 2023, a second edition of the anthology, edited by the same editor, has been published by the same publishing house in an almost quadrupled volume.
In the first edition of the book, the list of authors and commenters included many leading personalities of Chattogram as well as Bangladesh in the fields of politics, education, journalism, art and literature, social service, etc. Among them were: Dr. Anupam Sen, an adviser of Bangladesh Awami League central committee, the VC of Premier University and a prominent sociologist; Mr. A. B. M. Mohiuddin Chowdhuryformer Mayor of Chattogram City Corporation and President of Chattogram Awami League; Mr. NurulIslam BSc, prominent industrialist, Awami League leader and former minister; Abdullah Al Noman, former Minister and BNP central leader; Mr. Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury, former mayor of Chattogram City Corporation; Professor Abdul Mannan, former VC of the University of Chattogram and Chairman of the University Grants Commission; Professor Shayesta Khan, former Principal of the Government Commence College; Professor Anwarul Azim Arif, former VC of the University of Chattogram and current VC of the Islamic University; Professor Imam Ali, VC of Banderban Government University;  Mr. M. Nasirul Haque, former chief reporter of Dainik Azadi; Helaluddin Chowdhury, bureau chief of DainikManabjamin, Mr. Nasiruddin Chowdhury, former news editor of Dainik Purbakone; Mr. Omar Kaiser, a poet and Chattogram bureau chief of Prothom Alo; Mr. Abu Musa Chowdhury, a poet and writer; Mr. Nazimuddin Shyamal, a poet and former President of Chattogram Union of Journalists; Ferdous Hassan, ex student leader and Chattogram bureau chief of ETV;  Hasan Akbar, Chief Reporter of Dainik Azadi; Abu Sufian, a former student leader and BNP vice president of Chattogram City; Mrs. Lutfun Nahar Leena, Barrister Hossain’s wife, a teacher and social worker; Mr. Syed Mohammad Manjurul Islam, the younger brother of Barrister Hossain; and others. Apart from these, three important sketches have been written in English by Zawad Hossain, the son of Barrister Hossain, and a student of LLM course at Warwick University in the UK; Mr. M. Ishaq Chowdhury, former president of Greater Chattogram Association UK and a prominent businessman in the UK  and Dr. Mian Rukunuddin Ahmed, former professor and director of the Department of Forestry and Environmental Science,  a former syndicate member of the University of Chattogram and Barrister Hossain’s childhood friend.
Monwar Hossain's migration to the UK, becoming a barrister there and his carrier as a successful lawyer practicing in London and his public welfare, providing legal services to  thousands distressed immigrants from Bangladesh, India and some other Asian and African nations and his great role as an international human rights activist, have been brought up in detail by HamidMohammad, a Bangladeshi journalist working in the UK, M. Ishaq Chowdhury, former president of Greater Chattogram Association in the UK, and others. Heartwarming pictures of his family life, which is not separate from his socio-political life, are presented in the writings of his wife Lutfun Nahar Leena, who is also ateacher and social worker and their son Zawad Hossain,and Mr. Hossain’s brother Syed Mohammad ManjurulIslam. We can also have some glimpses of his background and upbringing from his brief biography and a feature that shed light on the life, works and views of his father freedom fighter Dr. S. M. Nurul Huda. It was also important to know that  his two elder brothers were also freedom fighters.
Finally, there is a great need for such a compilation of write-ups on Barrister Monwar Hossain. In this book, not only an individual, but a whole city or region or country's history has been recorded. Because the one about whom this book is, he is not just an isolated person, he is an essential part of the collective. A wide publicity and promotion of the book is highly desirable.  A digital version of this book can be found at www.barristermonwar.com