Cérémonie de lancement de la version en bangla de l’oeuvre d’André Malraux, L’Espoir, Chittagong
Launching Ceremony of the Bangla version of The Hope,
André Malraux, by Mr Gurupada
Alliance Française de Chittagong, 19th of December, 2015
Speech of HD Sophie Aubert, Ambassador of France to Bangladesh
Dear Excellences, dear guests and dear friends,
It’s a pleasure for me to be present at the launching ceremony of the Bangla version of André Malraux’s famous book, L’Espoir.
André Malraux published this book in December 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, without knowing about its end, as war ended in 1939, and it ended by the victory of the Nationalists against the Republicans.
This war was a horrible and extremely violent war, which saw for the first time military bombings on civilians and extreme repressions from both sides against civilians, for their beliefs and ideas, for what they were.
Along with General Franco leading the Nationalists who became the Spanish Fascist regime, this war involved Hitler and the Nazi ideology, Mussolini and the Fascist ideology, but not only, as Staline and its militias were fighting there in order to eliminate the Marxist Workers party.
It also involved the International Brigades supporting the Republicans. The International Brigades which Malraux was part of were secretly supported by the French and British Governments whereas everybody was officially neutral, our Government arguing that neutrality would protect Europe from the war…
This war was the beginning of a savage civil war and almost four decades of dictatorship in Spain, but it was also the prelude to the Second World War.
Coming back to the book and the writer, André Malraux, as the author, was a novelist. But his novel is wavering between the real war and the artistic creativity of a writer who wants to demonstrate the triumph of the revolution without waiting for the reality.
As a freedom fighter, André Malraux fought against the Nationalists, struggling for his life and facing the atrocities of the real world made of human violence and barbarities.
As a politician and as an intellectual, he addressed many fundamental issues, such as the meaning of a war, such as the nature of fascism. He saw in this war the possibility of a global social revolution which was the Hope of changing the world for a better world, on behalf of ideas and humanity.
André Malraux’s commitment in Spain was equal to his commitment in Bangladesh in 1971, at that time the Eastern part of Pakistan.
André Malraux’s commitment in favor of the Bangladeshi cause contributed to impose a worldwide consciousness of the massacres in Eastern Pakistan.
André Malraux stood up in order to denounce the atrocities and barbarities the Bangladeshi people was submitted to, with a very strong and loud voice, whereas the world was keeping uninformed and silent, or even blind.
In 1971, André Malraux was an old man, and he was much older in 1973, but he came to Bangladesh, expressing that he saw the Hope for a better world through the eyes of the children he met here. For André Malraux, his travel to Bangladesh was a sort of accomplishment of his life.
Unfortunately, our world has not become a better world if we consider that we are still at war against human madness that we now designate as “islamist radicalism”.
In Paris, 130 people were killed last 13th of November, 422 people were injured, they were all innocent people from 20 nations were assassinated by this new form of militancy which are a threat for humanity, because they want to eliminate whoever and whatever is not “them”.
This radicalism represents the negation of humanity and the negation of civilization.
This is why we must stand up and protect our global heritage, as André Malraux did in the past.
Our heritage is very rich, made of our history, our way of life, what we are, what we speak and what we think.
Freedom of expression and creative freedom are what humanity must cherish and protect.
Through the Bangla version of this book, the Hope, thanks to Mr Gurupada, access to our literature is offered to Bangla speaking people.
Both our mother languages are part of our respective cultures and part of ourselves, but dialogue between cultures and civilizations through such experiences as the translation of a book is a marvelous gift that one culture can offer to another, in order to share views, experiences, perceptions and ideas.
I would like to renew my thanks to Mr Gurupada for his marvelous work and impressive and long standing involvement in favor of the dialogue between our two people and two cultures.
I thank you for your attention./.