‘Bangaleer Joy, Bangaleer Berthota (Victory of Bangalees, Failure of Bangalees)’, a book by little known author Dr Faizur Rahman Al Siddique, has become a new attraction for booklovers at Amar Ekushey Book Fair-2020 after the publication of its second edition.
The 86-year-old writer, also a former researcher and scientist of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) who received PhD degree from the University of Cambridge, came into the limelight when his photo standing in front of a book stall at the book fair went viral on social media on the second week of the fair.
The picture shows the man dressed in a shirt with a jaunty cap going past a book stall carrying three bags and a single book in his hand.
The people of all ages, especially the youth, were seen gathering in front of ‘Bangla Prokash’ pavilion that published the second edition of the book on February 20.
Talking to UNB, Sirajul Islam Rubel, a fourth-year student of Dhaka University who came to the fair with his friend, said they visited the book fair twice this year.
“But today we’ve come to the fair to buy Dr Faizur’s book as some of my friends already bought it and suggested me to do so. Though many new books are being published every day but quality books are very few,” Rubel said.
“More quality books should be published so that the young generation can know the history. I hope this book will help people know the history and culture of Bangalees,” he added.
Senior manager of Bangla Prokash Syed Mahfuzul Hossain said they have got huge response from the readers for this book.
“A lot of people, especially students, are thronging our pavilion only for this book. Every day around 400-500 copies are being sold,” he added.
Talking to UNB, Dr Faizur said Poroma Publications published 500 copies of his book in 2000 but the publication house did not publish it further.
“After failing to find a publication house, I have been printing 150 to 200 copies every year using a photocopy machine, and personally selling the books at the book fair,” said Dr Faizur, also a former director of Nuclear Science Research Institute (NSRI) under BAEC.
Expressing gratitude to the readers and writers he said, “I’m really grateful to the readers as they’ve warmly accepted my book though it’s not a new book. In the book, I wanted to highlight what we’ve achieved and what our failures are. A nation that does not know what mistakes it has made cannot develop. So, it’s essential to know our mistakes, too,” he said.
Born in 1934 at Charmaducharia village at Nawabganj in Dhaka, Dr Faizur Rahman Al Siddique completed his MSc degree and did post-MSc research in chemistry from Dhaka University and received PhD degree in nuclear chemistry from the University of Cambridge, UK.