Rehman Sobhan along with guests at the book launching ceremony of his autobiography at CPD office in Dhanmondi on 9 April 2022
Prothom Alo

There’s a huge gap between policy making and implementing the policies. How a policy is implemented and to what extent is more important than the making of the policy. Journalists should investigate what is happening in actuality not what is on paper.

Noted economist and chairman of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Rehman Sobhan, made this observation.

Rehman Sobhan said it is a political responsibility to implement a policy once it is made because there are various people and interests involved and the policies have to be applied amidst them.

He made these remarks during the book launching ceremony of the second volume of his autobiography ‘Untranquil Recollections: From Dawn to Darkness’ at the CPD office in Dhanmondi on Saturday.

Rounaq Jahan, political scientist and a distinguished fellow at CPD moderated the programme, presided over by former finance minister Syeduzzaman. Dr Kamal Hossain, constitution expert and founding president of Gonoforum spoke at the event as the special guest, online.

Rehman Sobhan, recollecting his memories of Bangabandhu, mentioned that in the newly-independent country the planning commission used to freely give opinions on their own but Bangabandhu would take the final decision, taking political reality into consideration.

He added, Bangabandhu’s profound knowledge of political economy was in fact realistic. Tajuddin Ahmad was also knowledgeable on the subject. He said the teaching that context must be taken into account in case of policy making and he learnt that from them.

Noted economist Rehman Sobhan speaks at the book launch of his autobiography at CPD office in Dhanmondi on Saturday.
Prothom Alo

Among other discussants Abdul Bayes, former VC of Jahangirnagar University, Mahfuz Anam, editor of The Daily Star, professor Ahrar Ahmed, director general of Gyantapas Abdur Razzaq Bidyapeeth, Habibul Haque Khondker, professor at Zayed University of United Arab Emirates, Meghna Guhathakurta, executive director of Research Initiatives Bangladesh, professor Mustafizur Rahman, distinguished fellow at CPD and Mahrukh Mohiuddin, managing director at the University Press Limited (UPL), spoke at the event.

Regarding Rehman Sobhan’s new autobiographical book, Dr Kamal Hossain said it embodies a part of the history of the formation of the state of Bangladesh. Rehman Sobhan tread the academic and political spheres simultaneously and so he could relate these two worlds well, he added.

Moderator of the event Raunaq Jahan said there hasn’t been much research or writings regarding the immediate period after the liberation. She said this book can become a primary source in that sector.

Mahfuz Anam, editor of The Daily Star, remarked that the outline of how the plans of taking independent Bangladesh forward has surfaced in the book. He said a depiction of the warm relationship that once existed between politicians and intellectuals can be found in the book. Bangabandhu had asked guidelines for an exploitation-free socialist country from the professionals, he added.

Discussants at the event talked about various aspects of the book. Mustafizur Rahman, distinguished fellow at CPD said the book portrays the trilateral conflict among policy makers, politicians and bureaucrats that started right from Bangabandhu’s regime and was still present now.

The guests were informed at the programme that the third volume of Rehman Sobhan’s autobiography will also be published in the future.