On September 2010 the Osmany Memorial Trust published the book “O General My General – Bangabir General Muhammad Ataul Ghani Osmany, Command-in-Chief Liberation War of Bangladesh, 1971” written by Lieutenant Colonel Dewan Mohammad Tasawwar Raja, the great grandson and direct heir of the mystic poet Dewan Hason Raja from Sylhet.
The 541-pages long book covers General Osmani's life in detail. It gives insight into General Osmani's upbringing, his colourful career within the Pakistan Army, his leadership during those dark days of 1971 and his brief political ambition in independent Bangladesh.
The book also contains testimony from those privileged to have met and/or work with Papa Tiger and the strong lasting impression he made on them.
Obviously, the varied accounts of Osmany's life and achievements are encapsulated in what is truly a paean to the late general. The author goes on a long trajectory to sketch and then flesh out the details of Osmany's background, both in terms of his upbringing and his education. For Raja, Osmany remains a true Bengali commander as well as a pragmatic commander. That last bit may not sit well with others who have observed Osmany. During the war, the commander-in-chief of the Bangladesh forces often drew attention to himself for his acerbic tongue and for his repeated threats, every time his views were opposed by others, to quit command of the Mukti Bahini. There is little question that eccentricities sometimes held sway over him. Despite his threats, though, he did not quit, but there are reasons to think that being the straightforward soldier he always had been, Osmany may have felt piqued by the reluctance of others to take his point of view without question.
The author certainly keeps such perceptions of Osmany out of his lexicon. His appreciation of the Mukti Bahini commander-in-chief brings to focus the overall impression that he made on people around him, especially on journalists, scholars and soldiers. In this work, Raja reproduces what they have to say about Osmany. You can safely include among them A. M. A. Muhith, Lt. Gen. J. F. R. Jacob, J. N. Dixit, Mohammad Ayoob and K. Subrahmanyam. The annexure to the book says much that has so far remained a matter of speculation about Osmany, particularly where his absence at the surrender of the Pakistan army is concerned. Indeed, the fact that it was General NIazi and General Aurora who affixed their signatures on the surrender documents has often set off a good deal of debate about the importance given to the role of the Mukti Bahini in forcing Pakistan to a defeat in December 1971.
..."O General My General" is a fascinating addition to the archive of Bengali history. It is a totality of a portrait of the War of Liberation which emerges from this study of the man who fashioned the military struggle against Pakistan.
In 2000 Lt. Col. Dewan Mohammad Tasawwar Raja also wrote “Hason Raja Shomogro” (Hason Raja’s Oeuvre) in dedication to the other famous son of Sylhet (and Raja’s great grandfather) Dewan Hason Raja.