Contents: Preface. 1. Quest for peace and harmony in South Asia. 2. Glimpses of history of Bengal in the modern period. 3. The emergence of Bangladesh : historical and cultural origin. 4. Some personal reflections on problems of nationalism and communalism in South Asia. 5. Nationalism and democracy of trial : the Bangladesh scenario. 6. Women's rights: perception and reality. 7. Higher education : trends and directions. 8. The early Urdu and Persian Newspapers of Bengal (1822-1835). Index.
"This is a compilation of articles written over last two decades by a renowned historian of Bangladesh, Professor A.F. Salahuddin Ahmed on topics relating to history, society and politics of the Indo-Pakistan-Bangladesh subcontinent which is now known as South Asia. The main contention of author is this that despite political divisions which took place in 1947 and 1971 the people of this vast region belong to "one indivisible civilization which is the product of over thousand years of historical development". It was due to the machinations of "certain vested interests, both indigenous and foreign" the common people had to pass through untold misery and suffering; and, these 'vested interests, even threatened their 'civilized existence'.
Professor Ahmed is of opinion that the destinies of the common people inhabiting this sub-continent 'are closely interlinked'. "They must", therefore, "learn to live together in peace which is essential for their development and progress." He made sincere efforts through these articles to promote greater awareness about the problems raised and to provoke "new thoughts concerning peace and understanding among the people of the three countries." (jacket)