Bangladesh is the offspring of three partitions: Banga Bhanga or the partition of Bengal in 1905, the partition of India in 1947 and the emergence of Bangladesh through a partition from Pakistan in 1971 after the war of liberation. The events surrounding these partitions traumatized generations of people. But while the first partition was annulled and the impact of the second was not long lasting, the third appears to have been the decisive one, for Bangladesh is fast approaching its fiftieth birthday. All these partitions, and the trauma and the disillusionment as well as the hope they created, have been the subject of intense reflection and debate. It was to analyze the impact the three partitions have had on our consciousness and creativity that a two-day conference on A Thrice-Partitioned Nation: Revisiting Bangladesh was organized by English Discipline on March 28-29, 2015. The program was honored by its three eminent key-note speakers of the event, Professor Syed Manzoorul Islam, Professor Fakrul Alam and Professor Hasan Azizul Haque – all three being the recipients of the Ekushey Padak. There were paper presenters from several Bangladeshi and Indian universities. Many important issues were raised by paper presenters at the conference: the effect of war and partition, the trauma of forsaking the homeland, nostalgia and memory of the land left behind, soul-searching for the causes of successive partitions, the disruption they caused in the lives of people, unexpected events such as the birth of the university of Dhaka, the fruitful ideas and ideals that led to the Liberation War of Bangladesh, its creative representations in the media and in literature and film, the visual arts, women’s narratives, etc. All these papers stimulated those present in the conference immensely and led to lively exchanges and question-answer sessions.
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