The 74th birth anniversary of legendary writer, lyricist, academician, playwright and filmmaker Humayun Ahmed is being observed on Sunday. Often regarded as one of the best writers in Bengali literature Humayun Ahmed is credited with revitalizing Bengali literature and is best known for his iconic fictional characterisations such as ‘Himu’, ‘Misir Ali’, ‘Baker Bhai’ and others, as well as for his ‘magic-realism’ based storytelling. Making the breakthrough in the Bengali litmosphere with his debut novel Nondito Noroke (1972), Humayun wrote over 200 fiction and non-fiction books, all of which were bestsellers in Bangladesh and are still popular among his readers. Read more: Remembering Humayun Ahmed on his 10th death anniversary Unanimously regarded as the bestseller author at the Ekushey Book Fairs during the 1990s and 2000s, the majestic litterateur received Ekushey Padak, Bangla Academy Award, Lekhak Shibir Award, Shishu Academy Award, Michael Madhusudan Padak, Bachsas Award and more, for his outstanding contributions to the Bengali culture and entertainment sphere. As a successful content-maker in television, Ahmed debuted with his drama 'Prothom Prohor' (1983) for Bangladesh Television (BTV). His successful journey in television continued with popular drama serials 'Ei Shob Din Ratri', 'Bohubrihi', 'Ayomoy', 'Nokkhotrer Raat', 'Aaj Robibar' and most notably, 'Kothao Keu Nei' for the character of ‘Baker Bhai’ played by eminent actor Asaduzzaman Noor. Humayun Ahmed also explored success as a filmmaker in the early 1990s and went on to make a total of eight films in his filmmaking career, each based on his own novels. Two of his films, 'Sjyamol Chhaya' (2004) and 'Ghetuputra Komola' (2012) were the official Bangladeshi submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in their respective releasing years. He received seven Bangladesh National Film Awards in different categories for the films Shonkhonil Karagar' (as scriptwriter), 'Aguner Poroshmoni', 'Daruchini Dwip' and 'Ghetuputra Komola'. Read more: Remembering Humayun Ahmed, a polymath par excellence Commemorating his life and legacy, family members and different organisations along with his admirers are set to observe Humayun Ahmed’s birth anniversary today. Humayun Ahmed’s widow and cultural personality Meher Afroz Shaon, alongside their sons Nishad Humayun and Ninith Humayun, began the day with admirers of the legendary litterateur at their house ‘Dakhin Hawa’ in the capital through a cake-cutting ceremony at 12 am. Himu Paribahan, a noted fan group of the eminent writer, has been observing his birth anniversary for many years. It organised a special procession where the members walked barefoot on the Dhaka University campus and placed floral wreaths on Humayun’s grave in Nuhash Polli, Gazipur, in the morning. Among other events, Channel-i will organise a daylong Humayun Mela at its Tejgaon office and theatre troupe Bahubachan will premiere its play ‘Ami Ebong Amra’, based on the famous book of Humayun’s ‘Misir Ali’ series, at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) at 6:30 pm. Meanwhile, the EXIM Bank-Anyadin Humayun Ahmed Literary Award 2022 was presented among the recipients, marking the eve of the 74th birth anniversary of Humayun Ahmed at Bangla Academy’s Abdul Karim Shattya Bisharad Auditorium on Saturday. Ekushey Padak-winning renowned writer Anwara Syed Haq received the award this year for her literary contribution to the country’s literature arena, while Mouri Morium won the award in the Young Litterateur Category which is awarded to under 40-year-old writers, for her novel ‘Fanus'. Read more: Humayun Ahmed: The Creator of Versatile Fictional Characters Agriculture Minister Mohammad Abdur Razzaque was present as chief guest at the ceremony, while State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid also joined the event as the special guest. Anyadin Editor Mazharul Islam, EXIM Bank Additional Managing Director Shah Md Abdul Bari and Meher Afroz Shaon spoke at the event, which was presided over by the EXIM Bank-Anyadin Humayun Ahmed Literary Award jury board President and eminent academician Syed Manzoorul Islam. Since 2015, the ceremony is being held annually on November 12, the day before the eminent litterateur's birth anniversary. So far, 14 young and senior writers have received the award till date.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid on Monday said significant books in Bengali are being considered to be translated into Korean language and the translation department of the Bangla Academy will take necessary steps in this regard. The State Minister shared this information while attending the award giving ceremony of the "Ujan Book Review Contest 2021" for two translated books 'Korean Poetry' and 'Korean Story' as the chief guest. The two books were published by the publishing house Ujan, in collaboration with the Literature Translation Institute, Korea at the Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium of the Bangladesh National Museum in Shahbagh. Read: Poet Nurul Huda appointed Bangla Academy director general At the event, KM Khalid said that South Korea is a true friend of Bangladesh. After independence, South Korea extended its helping hand in rebuilding the country, and 2023 will mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and South Korea. He also added that South Korea is the third largest development partner of Bangladesh, with about 75,000 jobs filled by Bangladeshis at the Korean Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) in Chittagong, and about 20,000 Bangladeshis working in South Korea. Moreover, about one and a half thousand Bangladeshi students, teachers and researchers are pursuing higher studies at various levels in Korea’s world class education system. “Overall, South Korea is one of the leading development partners of Bangladesh,’ Khalid said at the event. Mentioning that Bangla Academy is an organization dedicated to the development of the Bengali language and culture established in the context of the Language Movement of 1952, Khalid expressed his hope that the academy would be able to fulfill its major objective. Read: 10 picked for Bangla Academy Literary Award Chaired by Director General of Bangla Academy Poet Muhammad Nurul Huda, the event was also joined by Lee Jang-Keun, Ambassador of South Korea to Bangladesh, as the special guest speaker. Chanda Mahbub, translator of 'Korean Poetry', Saraishwarya Muhammad, translator of 'Korean Story', poet Sohail Hasan Ghalib and translator Sheuli Fateha also spoke on the occasion. At the ceremony, KM Khalid also handed over the prizes to the three winners of the book review contest and ten selected participants.
Saturday marks the 93rd birthday anniversary of poet, writer and journalist Shamsur Rahman, widely regarded as a pivotal figure in Bengali literature from the latter part of the twentieth century. The Ekushey Padak winning litterateur was born on October 23, 1929, in old Dhaka in then British Bengal to Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury and Amena Khatun. The legendary poet’s birth anniversary is being observed through numerous events by cultural organisations. READ: Bangla Academy commemorates poet Shamsur Rahman’s 91st Birth Anniversary Marking the occasion, Bangla Academy will hold a solo lecture session on Sunday at the Academy's Poet Shamsur Rahman Seminar Room. Prominent researcher and poet Prof Khaled Hossain will present the keynote lecture at the event. Secretary of Bangla Academy AHM Lokman will deliver the welcome address, and poet Muhammad Nurul Huda, the director general of Bangla Academy, will preside over the function. Poet Shamsur's ancestral home is in Paratali village of Narsingdi district. After graduating with an honours in English literature from the University of Dhaka in 1953, he began his career as a journalist in Daily Morning News in 1956. He joined Radio Pakistan as a programme producer the following year and worked there till 1959. After his stint in Radio Pakistan, he returned to Daily Morning News as a senior sub-editor and worked there from 1960-1964. Before the 1971 Liberation War, Shamsur joined Daily Pakistan as an Assistant Editor in 1964. The newspaper was renamed Dainik Bangla after the Independence of Bangladesh, where he worked till 1977. READ: Poet Shamsur Rahman’s 13th Death Anniversary observed From 1977-1987, Shamsur worked as the Editor of Dainik Bangla and Weekly Bichitra. Widely revered as one of the most famous Bangladeshi poets, Shamsur penned 66 poetry books in his lifetime. He started penning poems at the age of 18, and continued till his death on August 17, 2006. His famous poem, 'Asad-er Shirt' was written during the mass uprising of 1969 led by Maulana Bhasani. During the 1971 Liberation War, he wrote a number of poems, inspiring the freedom fighters which were later published in his poetry collection ‘Bondi Shibir Theke’ (From Confinement in Enemy Territory) in 1972. 'Shadhinota Tumi' (Ode to Freedom) is one of his most inspiring poems, dedicated to the 1971 Liberation War heroes. He has authored other literary creations too, including short stories and novels. For his contribution in the field of Bengali literature, Shamsur received many prestigious awards, including Bangla Academy Literary Award (1969), Ekushey Padak (1977) and Independence Day Award (1991).
Friday marked the 45th death anniversary of national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, widely revered for his limitless contribution to Bengali literature. To commemorate the life and works of the rebel poet, different organisations and institutions organised multiple programmes throughout the day. In the morning, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs paid its tribute to the poet by placing floral wreaths on his grave beside the Dhaka University Central Mosque. State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid Cultural Affairs Secretary Md Abul Monsur, Bangla Academy Director General Nurul Huda, Bangla Academy Secretary AHM Lokman, Kabi Nazrul Institute Executive Director Mohammad Zakir Hossain all paid tributes to the rebel poet. Also read: Chhayanaut's 4-day virtual tribute to Nazrul concludes Around 10am, a webinar was organised by Kabi Nazrul Institute, followed by a cultural programme. The online programmes -- streamed live on the institute’s Facebook page -- was joined by Khalid as the chief guest while Secretary Mansur and Kazi Nazrul's granddaughter Khilkhil Kazi were virtually present as special guests. Kabi Nazrul Institute’s trustee board member Sayeda Motahara Banu and Cultural Affairs Additional Secretary Manirul Alam also participated in the discussions at the virtual programme, presided over by the institute’s Executive Director Mohammad Zakir Hossain. Dhaka University also organised a virtual event at 10.30 in the morning. Presided over by Vice-Chancellor Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman, the programme was joined by National Professor Dr Rafiqul Islam. Bangla Academy is also slated to hold a virtual event on its Facebook page at 4pm, which will be joined by Khalid as the chief guest. The event will be chaired by Bangla Academy Chairman, National Professor Dr Rafiqul Islam, while Director General Nurul Huda will deliver the welcome speech. Professor Syed Azizul Huq will read an essay at the event, while Professor Khaled Hossain will participate in the discussion. Also read: Jaago Nari: Arnob's tryst with Nazrul geeti The country’s leading cultural institution, Chhayanaut will also stream an online programme, ‘Milone Birohe Nazrul’, on its Facebook group and YouTube channel at 9pm. Besides, several television channels, radio stations and online platforms will broadcast special programmes commemorating the life and works of Kazi Nazrul. Known and regarded as the ‘rebel poet’ for his iconoclastic and majestic literary creations, Kazi Nazrul was born in Churulia village of Burdwan in the Indian state of West Bengal in 1899. According to the Nazrul Institute, Kazi Nazrul wrote 2,600 songs, 600 poetry, three novels, and 43 articles in a career spanning 21 years before losing his speech. After the death of his father, Kazi Nazrul obtained a job as a caregiver and also worked as a muezzin at a mosque to support his family. At the age of nine, he had to drop out of school to join a Churulia-based professional ‘leto' company. He was introduced to Bangali and Sanskrit literature while working for the group. He returned to school a year later and enrolled at Matharun English School, but dropped out again in Class VI due to poverty. After a while, police officer Kazi Rafizullah took him in at his home in Trishal, Mymensingh, and enrolled him in Class VII at Darirampur School. Serving the British Army in 1917 as a soldier, Kazi Nazrul started his literary career within a few years. His cult-classic poem ‘Bidrohi’ (The Rebel) was published in 1921. A year later, he started a fortnightly magazine named ‘Dhumketu’ (The Comet). His nationalist participation in the Indian Independence Movement landed him in the hands of colonial British authorities on several occasions. While in prison, Kazi Nazrul authored the 'Rajbandir Jabanbandi' (Deposition of a Political Prisoner), and his creations later encouraged Bangladesh Liberation War. Freedom, humanity, love and revolution are the constant themes in Kazi Nazrul's majestic literary creations. He was against all sorts of religious, caste-based, and gender-based discrimination and extremism. He wrote short stories, novels and essays, but his songs and poems are his most critically acclaimed literary creations. He popularised Bengali ghazal melodies, and is noted for his liberal usage of Arabic and Persian terms in his writings. Kazi Nazrul created a new genre in music called ‘Nazrul Geeti’, a collection of 4,000 songs that he wrote and created the music for, many of which were recorded on HMV. In 1942, Kazi Nazrul began to lose his voice and memory due to an unexplained ailment. Later, a medical team in Vienna identified his illness as Pick's disease, a rare and incurable neurodegenerative disease. His family travelled to Bangladesh at the invitation of then Bangladeshi government and settled down in Dhaka in 1972. For his iconic contribution to Bangla literature and culture, Dhaka University awarded him an honorary post-doctoral degree in 1974. He was awarded Ekushey Padak in 1976. Kazi Nazrul breathed his last in Dhaka on August 29, 1976.
The excitement and ethusiasm for the birth anniversary celebrations of Kazi Nazrul Islam, the national poet of Bangladesh, have been subdued this year too due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Tuesday marks the 122nd birth anniversary of the revolutionary poet, considered one of the greatest literary figures in the history of Bengali literature. To observe the glorious day amid festivities, several government organisations and different cultural platforms have chalked out separate programmes with cultural performances and discussions based on the life and works of Nazrul. Read: Chhayanaut's 4-day virtual tribute to Nazrul concludes Covid has led several organisations -- Bangladesh Nazrul Sangeet Sangstha, Kabi Nazrul Institute, Chhayanaut, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) and Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre (IGCC) -- to arrange the events virtually. Some chose to follow the traditional route. On behalf of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, State Minister KM Khalid placed a floral wreath on the grave of Kazi Nazrul on the Dhaka University campus in the morning. Office-bearers of Bangla Academy, Kabi Nazrul Institute, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy followed suit. Bangladesh Television (BTV) aired a recorded programme marking the occasion. The programme was later aired by several private news channels. Kabi Nazrul Institute arranged a discussion and cultural event in the morning, which was chaired by National Professor Rafiqul Islam, Chairman of the Kabi Nazrul Institute Trustee Board and the newly appointed Chairman of Bangla Academy. Read:Bangla Academy Director General Habibullah Sirajee passes away The event took place at the seminar hall of Kabi Nazrul Institute and was joined by Khilkhil Kazi, a member of the Kabi Nazrul Institute Trustee Board and granddaughter of the poet. The Institute will also air a documentary on the revered poet at 7 pm on its Facebook page. An hour later, Chhayanaut will broadcast a special cultural programme, titled Shantir Joy Hok, on its YouTube channel and Facebook page, featuring its noted performers. Similarly, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy is scheduled to stream a cultural programme live on its official Facebook page at 3 pm. Bangladesh Nazrul Sangeet Sangstha will stream a live cultural programme, titled Durjoy Moha Ahoban Tobo, on its Facebook page at 7 pm. Read: Jaago Nari: Arnob's tryst with Nazrul geeti IGCC is set to organise a special event, titled 'Nazrul Jayanti-2021: A Humble Tribute to Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam on his Birth Anniversary' with performances by renowned artists of India and Bangladesh. This event will be streamed live on its Facebook page at 7.30 pm. Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University (JKKNIU) in Trishal, Mymensingh, is organising a three-day virtual event to celebrate the birth anniversary of the national poet from May 25 to May 27, scheduled to be aired from its official Facebook page. Besides, other cultural bodies are observing the day with discussions and cultural activities across the country.
Journalist, researcher, essayist, poet, author, and columnist Syed Abul Maksud, till the very end a man of letters, breathed his last on Tuesday evening. He was 74.
Wednesday marks the 122nd birth anniversary of legendary Bengali poet Jibanananda Das, often considered the greatest poet of the post-Tagorian era for his contribution to Bengali literature.
Today is the 72nd birth anniversary of legendary writer, author, lyricist, academician, screenwriter, playwright and filmmaker Humayun Ahmed. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Humayun's birth anniversary is being celebrated by admirers and various organisations with limited programmes and virtual arrangements.
Friday marks the 64th birth anniversary of late Rudra Muhammad Shahidullah, a brilliant poet of love and protest in Bengali literature. He was born on this day in 1956 at his father's place of work, Amanatganj Red Cross Hospital in Barisal.