Famous film and stage director Nasiruddin Yousuff, also a freedom fighter, recently took to social media in order to clarify comments where he tagged legendary film director Khan Ataur Rahman as a “Razakar,” amidst acute criticism.
To validate his statement, Yousuff attached a number of documents to his post, including a cut out from an issue of Daily Pakistan from May 17, 1971, as well as other documents from Bangladesh Betar and the Information Ministry.
Yousuff, who earlier said that Khan Ataur would not have survived the liberation war if it wasn't for him, wrote: “Prominent filmmaker and music director Khan Ataur Rahman was not able to join the liberation war. The 55 think tanks and artists who had condemned the liberation war, tagging it as ‘an act of Awami League extremists’, unfortunately includes Khan Ataur Rahman as the 9th signee of the statement.”
Referring to the investigation report, headed by Dr Nilima Ibrahim in 1972, Yousuff also said that Khan Ataur was also on the list of people who helped broadcast Pakistani propaganda on radio and television at the time.
“It is undeniable that Khan Ataur Rahman is a great artist. There's no question regarding his creativity. His films, made before the liberation war, inspired us a lot. For example: Soye Nadia Jago Pani, Nabab Sirajuddoula. But his stance during the liberation war is questionable. He was a Pakistan supporter and that too was his political decision,” Yousuff claimed.
But then why did Yousuff save him? He answered: “I saved him because he was not involved in any anti-human activities, although he took part in programs on radio and television supporting Pakistan. Besides, Khan Ataur Rahman was an artist and I was unaware of his activities for 9 months. “
Nasiruddin concluded his post by saying: “Khan Ataur Rahman was a creative person but he failed to stand beside the country and its people in 1971. Personally, I've no complain against him. As an artist, I praise him but I can surely criticise his stance during the liberation war.”
Nasiruddin Yousuff is currently staying in the USA. He is expected to return to Bangladesh soon.