You missed a great afternoon, when Salil uncle read from his book, the Colonel who would not repent. About the death of Bangabondhu, Mujibur Rahman, the President of Bangladesh, and the history of this great but truly god-forsaken country. He mentioned about this book of photographs, by Kishor Parekh, which I am enclosing. Don’t read it if you have a bit of a sensitive tummy because there are very distressing photographs in here. But it’s not a big book, hardly 40 odd pages, but very powerful photographs, son. Sometimes photographs can be truly heart wrenching. Two of which I have written about before.
1. Bhopal: http://piquancy.blogspot.co.uk/2004/07/for-every-glance-behind-us-we-have-to.html. Here is the photograph in question.
2. Vietnam: http://piquancy.blogspot.co.uk/2004/02/chemical-warfare-is-not-all-hot-air-my.html. Here is the photograph
I have mentioned to you about my memories of this refugee issue, son. I was in Calcutta when this happened, hardly 4 years or so old, but I can still remember the cries of “phan de go” “please give me phan” echoing in the nights in the roads of Tollygunj which is a Calcutta neighbourhood…Phan is the water which remains after you decant the rice after cooking. People were so poor that they wanted that rice water. There were 10 million people who got into India in a matter of months, you cannot have an organisation which can handle this load of refugees so they were all in huge trouble despite all the help that the Indian government and civil society gave. Plus the second memory I have is of these refugees fighting over the garbage bins where people had thrown their left over food, fighting with dogs. Truly barbarian situation. Bangladesh is where our ancestors came from, son, so they are our people in a way. You are a Bengali and despite you not knowing Bengali, there are roots here. So you need to know because people who forget their history do not have a future. Remember what I told you about the Russian Georgian Girl? She said that you Indian/English people are lucky, you have a history to remember and be proud of.
So some of the photographs are really wrenching. People do not see this level of destruction, son. Why do you think I hate war? That’s why when people go all gung ho about war, I hate it. Absolutely hate it. Just saw a great cartoon, 2500 people died in 9/11 and 2.5million people died in wars which were launched because of 9/11. See? everybody has a reason to fight and kill, but when will it stop? We thought after the cold war, peace will break out but no, more and more wars have happened, and that’s why we need to stop people from fighting, starting with our own country, United Kingdom. Its stupid, its expensive and it creates havoc far beyond and for much longer than the people who did it will remember.
So read and weep for our compatriots, son. And think about not letting this happen again, as much as possible.
PS: Here are some of the photographs which were totally brilliant