‘We must pledge to stand up to intolerance’ said, Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs. He was speaking as the chief guest at the book launch of ‘Racist Murder of Altab Ali’ edited by Nobab Uddin on Friday 5 May at the Osmani Centre, East London. The event was organised by Weekly Janomot and supported by Altab Ali Foundation as part of Altab Ali Day observations this year.
The book launch was chaired by London Bangla Press Club’s president Syed Nahas pasha and conducted by Janomot’s editor Sayem Chowdhury. Janomot’ s director Amirul Islam Chowdhury opened the meeting with Tower Hamlets communications officer Mahbub Rahman reading out book review by Md Sattar. Guests on the panel were Rushanara Ali MP, former MP Shofiqur Rahman Chowdhury, pro-liberation activist Sultan Sharif and Nadeem Qadir amongst others.
All the speakers said all our present achievements owes to the sacrifice of Altab Ali and the subsequent anti-racist movement that mobilised and united the entire community. Altab Ali’s murder was a catalyst that united the whole Bengali community. Nobab Uddin who compiled and edited the book said the large presence at the book launch will inspire and encourage him to do more work in future. His book both in Bengali & English will preserve community history and inform future generations.
Others who spoke at the event were Altab Ali Foundation’s vice chair Nooruddin Ahmed, Jamal Hassan, Ayub Korom Ali, journalist Ishaque Kajol, Musleh Uddin Ahmed and Press Club’s secretary Md Jubair amongst other activists. S U Ahmed Belal, Nurul Islam, Altafur Rahman Mujahid, Julie Begum of the Swadhinata Trust and Cathy Peters were introduced for their activism in the 1970s to 1990s.
Anti-racist poems were recited by Munira Parveen, Dilu Naser, Salauddin Shahin, Shahidul Islam Sagor and Touhid Shakil. Songs were performed by Mostafa kamal Milon.