For some years in the 1970s, the only publications in Burma that U Nu appeared on the cover of were propaganda tracts like Kyi Nyunt’s collected articles attacking him and U Law Yone for being in the pay of colonialists (above left). After his role in politics waned, so too did the state media interest, until he pretty much disappeared from view.
Now, Myanmar Thit magazine has published a distinguished-looking Nu on the cover of its January 2011 edition (above right). The cover feature includes articles commemorating Nu and his legacy, by Maung Nu, Dagon Taya and Nyan Maung Chit. It also contains a personal recollection by his daughter, Mya Than Than Nu. Other contents include a reproduction of his 1951 convocation speech at Rangoon University, a chronology of major events in his life, and a list of the many stories, plays and non-fiction works that he authored and published.
Whether or not the magazine marks Nu’s rehabilitation in the domestic media remains to be seen, but he is not the only historical figure waiting to be restored to a rightful place. His companion U Thant, the first Asian UN secretary general and one of the best-known Burmese of the 20th century, is another. Although Thant has not yet made it onto the cover of any recent serials (at least none of those received by the National Library of Australia) his grandson, historian Thant Myint-U was featured on the front of a recent edition of Weekly Eleven news.