Taj Hashmi’s Stray Thoughts on his 70th Birthday

Today is 26th September 2017. I Just Turned Seventy (70) Today –

I am a transformer, always transforming myself to something new for the last forty-odd years. I graduated in 1971 (before the War on March 1) — had my MA in Islamic History from Dhaka University. Took a job at Chittagong University I(1972), moved to Dhaka University (1973), became a prolific writer in Bengali and English — wrote popular and research articles on Islam, Bengali culture, literature, music, history, peasant movements, class politics and class consciousness, agriculture, land system, Islamic reforms movement in Bengal etc.

Then in 1981 I went to Australia, did my PhD in Modern South Asian History at the University of Western Australa in Perth. I wrote a thesis on “Peasants and Politics in East Bengal, 1920-1947″ in 1986, which came out as a book (Pakistan asa Peasant Utopia, Westview Press 1992). This was based on five years of archival research in Australia, UK, India, and Bangladesh (I interviewed more than 50 people including Communist leader Moni Singh, famous writer Annada Shankar Ray, singer Hemango Biswas (Tebhaga activist), Tebhaga leaders Sunil Sen, Aboni Lahiri, Muslim League and Awami League leader Maulana Abdur Rashid Tarkabagish, Fazlul Huq’s lieutenant BD Habibullah (Barisal) and many others from upper and lower classes for my PhD thesis).

Then I taught South Asian and Middle East History at the National University of Singapore for ten years (up to 1998), then moved to Dhaka, became dean and professor of National Culture and Heritage at IUB, for four years (1998-2002). Meanwhile wrote two books, one in Bengali (Ouponibeshik Bangla, Papyrus Kolkata 1985) and Women and Islam In Bangladesh (Macmillan Press, 2000). Then started teaching comparative religion and Indian history at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver (Canada) for two years.

Then I did three years of adjunct teaching (gave slave labour) to Simon Fraser University (Vancouver), taught Islamic and Hindu Reforms in British India, Peasant Movement, Elite and Mass Politics, Indian Nationalism, Peasant Movement, etc. Then I moved to Hawaii, taught global and US Homeland Security, Counterterrorism, Women, Islam Islamic resurgence and terrorism for four years (2007-2011), as Professor of Security Studies at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS), a US military college in Honolulu.

Then finally I moved to Austin Peay State University in (since 2011), teaching hardcore Security Studies courses, criminology, Terrorism Understanding, Ethnicity, Religion and Terrorism/Insurgency/Nationalism, US and Global Homeland Security, Global Jihad and America, Crime Prevention etc.etc. Meanwhile I wrote another book, Global Jihad and America: The Hundred-Year-War Beyond Iraq and Afghanistan (Sage 2014). And now I am working on another book, “What Was Wrong with Bangladesh: A Historical Sociology, 1918-2018”. And I am also working on my Autobiography.

I am happy, and want to write more and more, and more. I just turn SEVENTY (70) today — a magic number to make one nervous and worry about death. NOT ME! I still believe Seventy is New Fifty! Hahahaha!

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