‘Cub reporter’ Manash Ghosh relives Bangladesh War 50 years on

“Bangladesh War – Report From Ground Zero” (Niyogi Books) is a riveting first-hand account of the liberation war written by former journalist Manash Ghosh. In fact, the author, then a mere cub reporter, had predicted the coming of the war as early as in January 1971 by writing an article in the Sunday Statesman titled ‘When Brother meets Brother’.

When the conflict started, he was one of the very few Indian journalists who covered the epochal event from the very beginning until the final surrender by the Pakistan military in Khulna on 17 December.

Fifty years on, crossing the mighty Padma River in a small rowboat still gives Manash Ghosh nightmares.

“I thank God Almighty and providence for saving me from sure death on that day too,” he said, “It also reminds me of the heroics that I was witness to of the ill-equipped, ill-clad, ill-fed muktijodhas and their irrepressible resolve to free their land from the exploitative clutches of the West Pakistani marauders.”

The highlight of this book is how Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, impelled by the ruling military junta’s highly exploitative and discriminatory policies pursued towards the Bengali population, evolved the Bengali mindset for waging a Muktijuddho for their independence with Indian help.

He also derives “great professional satisfaction” when he thinks of his “daring foray” into Satkhira and from there to Jessore town for spot reporting on the muktijudhdho. “I was the first foreign correspondent who achieved that feat and my reports from Jessore received not only national but also international attention. My Jessore reports for the first time let the world know the scale of genocide that the Pakistani military had committed even in district towns, besides the provincial capital Dhaka to suppress the Bengali revolt in East Pakistan,” Ghosh recalls.

Image courtesy of (Photo: Social News XYZ)

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