Birth Pangs of a Nation
Deb Mukharji
BANGLADESH: THE PRICE OF FREEDOM by Raghu Rai Niyogi Books, 2013, 116 pp., 1495
May 2013, volume 37, No 5

Not very long ago, Raghu Rai found a box containing rolls of long lost black and white negatives of photographs he had taken in 1971. They were images of refugees streaming across the border into India from East Pakistan and of the battles in December leading to the fall of Dhaka and the surrender of the Pakistan army. It is a remarkable coincidence that another photographer, Lear Levin had put away vast footages of 1971, until retrieved by (late) Tareque and Catherine Masud, to be resurrected as the epochal Muktir Gaan (Song of Freedom) after quarter of a century.

Raghu Rai’s images need no introduction. The hundred odd black and white photographs starkly depict the pain and the suffering of the old and the young as they trudge the dusty road to safety.

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