A book authored by Barrister Omar H. Khan was launched in the city on June 27, titled “Legal Stories of Life”.
The book contains solutions to real-life legal problems of people from various backgrounds on diverse issues, which the author has termed as ‘stories’. This book provides necessary insight, in sufficient details, into various problems encountered by the people of Bangladesh on a daily basis without any legal jargons.
The richly written replies to real-life stories make the book a very interesting read, promising to be an excellent resource to students, educators, young-lawyers and the people at large.
The book is divided into several chapters, namely, Commercial, Criminal, Employment, Family, Property and Miscellaneous.
Cultural Affairs Minister Assaduzzaman Noor presided over the launching program as chief guest while National Professor Anisuzzaman, who had written the foreword to the book, pre-eminent jurist and lawyer Dr Kamal Hossain, Justice Syed Reefat Ahmed of the Supreme Court, Barrister M Amir Ul Islam, senior advocate of the Supreme Court, and Swiss Ambassador Dr René Holenstein were present as special guests.
Assaduzzaman Noor revealed how he went to Law School at night for two years. Kamal Hossain, also one of the principal drafters of Bangladesh’s Constitution, shared how he and Professor Anisuzzaman would discuss Bengali legal terms while drafting the Constitution of Bangladesh.
Foreshadowing the contents of his book, Barrister Khan said that “I have found that there is a growing tendency in the society to disrespect law. Firstly, we do not know the law. Secondly, even if we know we don’t want to follow the law and thirdly, even if we want to follow the law, some do not have the faith on the legal system. Unfortunately, the youth who are the future of the country, are the majority of the people who are losing faith on the legal system. All media shows and publishes negative news, and the news about strict enforcement of law is never publicized. Even in the TV talk shows, whenever someone wants to talk about law, other stops by saying law is in book and there is no implementation.”
“As such the situation is worsening. There are many organizations in Bangladesh, which are working tirelessly in this regard. But their focused groups are mostly the victims. For example they work for destitute and oppressed women, child, victims of crime etc. the advocacy based groups are also focusing on the marginalized population and victims. So there is no effective activity that is going on to reach the people so that they know the law not as law but as part of life. By part of life, I mean, for example, to follow traffic rules, follow basic norms, not to harass collogues, not to harass someone on the street etc. this are basic matters and shall be part of life. Unless we adopt the ‘culture’ of respecting the basis norms and laws of the society we cannot move ahead as a nation.”
He believes that the traditional law books are either text books or legal practitioners’ reference book. Hence, those cannot reach the reader and they have no appeal to them.
“‘Legal Stories of Life’ has more than 130 real life stories from the life and a legal discussion about the same. A reader will read it like a story book. Every reader will have many stories matching with their life. The book has paintings and photographs to make it more attractive so that the reader never loses interest.
“As the book is in English it will have an educated readership, who will take on different important positions in the county in the coming days. If the educated youth do not develop a culture of respecting law where shall we stand in the coming decades. I also plan to reach as many as 5000 ‘organizations’, including universities, colleges, NGOs, Development organizations, libraries etc. with free copy of the book so that the same reaches as many hands as possible. The book is also available for sell in the market. From a lawyer’s perspective the book will immensely support the young lawyers to cater their clients with advice and opinions.”
Seven renowned painters of Bangladesh, namely, Rafiqun Nabi, Monirul Islam, Shahid Kabir, Jamal Ahmed, Rokeya Sultana, Mohammad Iqbal and Mustafa Khalid Palash have painted 7 paintings for the book, which also tells the story from an artistic point of view.
Moreover, nine photographs have been selected through a photography contest organized for amateur photographers on nine selected topics from the book. As such the book shall focus on legal stories not only through the theoretical legal write ups but also through the paintings and photographs.
The book is slated to be freely distributed to educational institutions, NGOs and business chambers. It is available on Rokomari, and also at all the prominent bookstores of the city.