Mofidul Hoque wears many hats. He is a prolific writer, a publisher of books, a translator of books, a cultural pundit and many other things. I caught up with him the other day when he had on his curator’s hat for Dhaka’s Liberation War Museum. I went to see him on some matter but took the opportunity to get him to fill out my “five things interview” sheet - hastily typed minutes before I saw him. I threatened to put it up on this blog if it was remotely interesting, which it was bound to be, and he politely, but I guess a little reluctantly, agreed.

Mofidul and Spanish Brigade Mofidul Hoque in London earlier this year at my all time favourite piece of sculpture - remembering those who fell in the International Brigade fighting fascism in Spain . Taken with Nokia 6680.

For those of you who don’t know, the Liberation War Museum is an institution with potential to be of great societal value given the current circumstances in Bangladesh. As well as the preservation of relics and artifacts of the liberation war, the museum has an inspiring outreach and oral history program. If you are wondering about the circumstances I refer to above, let me quote Yvette Claire Rosser from her 2004 monograph “Indoctrinating Minds, A Case Study of Bangladesh: “…the history of the genocide, the bravery and camaraderie of the Liberation War of 1971 is in jeopardy of being obscured.” Yup. Correct. There has been a concerted attempt to induce a memory loss regarding those times. In this context, the LWM is a critical and essential project. Anyway here’s the “5 things interview” (answers received 27 February). Next time I see Mofidul Hoque, I will need to ask him what “neutrality in depicting history” actually means. Isn’t history a contested space?

Please describe the essence of the museum using 5 words.

a. Neutrality in depicting history
b. Intimacy
c. Generating Atmashakti, inner strength of the community
d. Pro-people perspective
e. Reaching out to young generation

What five things would you change about the museum?

a. Preservation and Conservation practices
b. Building a proper museum
c. Professionalism
d. Effective virtual museum
e. Institution building

What five things would you want to change in Bangladesh?

a. Delegation of authority to local government
b. Quality education for all
c. More opportunities to women
d. Heavy cut in defense expenditure
e. Electoral reform

If you had untold personal wealth what five things would you buy? (Ferrari is already included so no need to repeat).

a. Land for the LWM
b. Rural house with trees and pond, a place to meditate
c. Establish a rural school with modern amenities
d. Round the world travel ticket for two
e. Buy old and rare books

What five things keep you awake at night?

a. Ageing, end is not far away with only miles to go before I sleep b. The writings planned but not yet penned
c. Continuation of the publishing house in my absence
d. How to make LWM a permanent institution
e. Books not yet read