Published: 18:20, Aug 25,2019 | Updated: 22:52, Nov 07,2019



HOLIDAY Columns and Editorials of

Enayetullah Khan


This is the first volume in a three— part publication testifying to the time that was, as recorded by the author on the pages of Holiday between 1965 and 1975. The prologue by AfsanChowdhury, the introduction by the author, the epilogue by Dr. Ashok Mitra and the date and year-wise selection of the author’s articles and editorials relive that ‘best of times and worst of times’, with all the passion and the fury of an ideological era that painted nationalism in red.

The two other volumes, under preparation and soon to be out, capture two distinct subsequent periods: 1976—1990 and 1991—to date. Although the author had strayed into the corridors of power briefly (1 97 7—78) and diplomacy (1984—89), he continued his passionate affair with Holiday even from afar, the imprints of which were clearly recognisable on the pages of Holiday without his familiar by—line.



Barely out of his teens and still a student of Dhaka University Enayetuflah Khan started out as a cub-reporter in the Pakistan Observer in 1959. An early exposure to major assignments, along with inclusion in state entourages abroad, soon earned for him the coveted by-line — a distinction reserved only for veterans at that time.

Having done his Masters in Philosophy from Dhaka University in 1960, Enayetullah Khan stayed with the Observer till early 1963 and then hopped from one PR job to another in the East Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation, the State Bank of Pakistan and Standard Oil (ESSO). He founded Holiday along with some of his friends in August 1, 1965 and took full-time charge of the hard-hitting weekly in 1966. Since then he has not looked back in an adventurous career chequered by ban notices on Holiday in 1971, 1973 and 1975, incarcerations by the occupation army in 1971 and the post-independence Awami League regime in 1975 and subsequent elevation to the cabinet of the late President ZiaurRahman (1977—78) and to ambassadorship (1984—89). Later in 2003, he became the founder editor of New Age, a leading English language daily published from Bangladesh capital Dhaka.

In his student days he held leadership positions as general secretary of Ananda Mohan College Students’ Union (Mymensingh), member of Dhaka University Students’ Union (1958—59) and vice president of Dhaka Hall (now Shahidullah Hall) Students’ Union (1959—60). He was also the president of the progressive vanguard cultural organisation of Dhaka University and the country the SamskritiSangsad.

Enayetuilah Khan was at the forefront of the BuddhUibiNidhanTathyanusandhan Committee instituted on December 18, 1971 to investigate the murders of intellectuals and prominent members of the intelligentsia in the terminal days of 197 1 by the fanatic cadre of the Al-Bacir and Al-Shams — the killer wings of the Jamaat-E-lslami. (London’s Channel 4 made an investigative documentary on the pogrom in 1995). He was also one of the principal organisers of the Civil Liberties and Legal Aid Committee (1974) that defended and fought for the political victims of the infamous RakkhiBahini — the para-military instrument of repression of the post-Bangladesh regime; the Famine Resistance Committee of 1 974; the Farakka March committee led by Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani in 1976; and the Committee Against Communalism (1981).

Enayetullah Khan is perhaps the most quoted journalist of the country in the regional and international media. L

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