Literacy

Prof Anisuzzaman’s 84th birth anniversary today

Thursday marks the 84th birth anniversary of the Ekushey Padak winner late national professor Anisuzzaman, one of the most prolific and respected Bangladeshi academics.

Also an activist of 1952 Language Movement, professor Anisuzzaman was born on February 18, 1937 in Kolkata, West Bengal in the then British India.

Different socio-cultural organizations are organizing programmes in remembrance of the late professor throughout the day.

A biographical novel on the professor, titled ‘Anisuzzaman’, will be unveiled on Pathak Shamabesh at Shahbag in the capital on Thursday at 4 pm.

Siddika Zaman, wife of the late academician, will join the event as the chief guest, while Rabindra University VC professor Dr Biswajit Ghosh alongside Bangla Academy president Shamsuzzaman Khan and chairman of Bengali Department at Dhaka University Syed Azizul Huq will join the event as special guests.

The biographical novel is written by professor M Abdul Alim, Associate Professor at Dept. of Bengali, Pabna University of Science & Technology and the book was published by Student Ways.

National professor Anisuzzaman was part of what many consider Bengal’s Golden Age, which produced some of the most defining moments of its history. Till his last days, he was fully involved in teaching, research, writing, editing, attending seminars and conferences, interacting with people in different social and intellectual campaigns and more.

After shifting to the then East Pakistan from Kolkata after the partition in 1947, Anisuzzaman participated in the 1952 Language Movement as an activist and continued taking part in the other movements including the mass upsurge in 1969 and the Liberation War in 1971 as one of the intellectual architects, building the nation with his knowledge. He was also involved in the anti-autocracy movement in 1990.

Bengali language part of the Constitution of Bangladesh was adopted in November 1972, under his administration and guidance. He was also a member of the Kudrat-E-Khuda National Education Commission.

Recognized as one of the eminent academicians of the country, Anisuzzaman was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago (1964-65), a Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellow at the University of London (1974-75), and was associated with research projects of the United Nations University (1978-83).

He taught Bengali literature at the Universities of Dhaka (1959-69, 1985-2003 and 2005-08) and Chittagong (1969-85).

As a visiting fellow, he taught at the University of Paris (1994), North Carolina State University (1995) and University of Calcutta (2010), and a visiting professor at the Visva-Bharati (2008-09 and 2011).

In his esteemed career, he served as the chairman of the Trustee Board of the Nazrul Institute, an elected fellow of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh and has been the president of the Bangla Academy in two terms (1999-2002 and 2011-2018).

For his outstanding research on the history of Bengali literature as an academician, professor Anisuzzaman received Bangla Academy Literary Award (1970), Ekushey Padak for his contribution in education (1985) and country’s highest award, the Shwadhinata Padak for literature (2015), alongside many other international awards including the Padma Bhusan (2014), India’s third-highest civilian honour for his immense contribution in fields of Bengali literature and education.

Also a litterateur and a prolific writer, he authored many literary creations including Muslim Manos O Bangla Sahitya (1964), Munir Chowdhury (1975), Swaruper Sandhane (1976), Atharo Sotoker Bangla Cithi (1983), Purono Bangla Gadya (1984), Aamar Ekattor (1997), Muktijudho Ebong Tarpor (1998), Aamar Chokh (1999), Bangali Nari: Sahittye o Somaje (2000), Kaal Nirobodhi (2003), Factory correspondence and other Bengali Documents in the Indian Office Library and Records (1981), Creativity, Identity and Reality (1991), Cultural Pluralism (1993), Identity, Religion and Recent history (1995) and more.

Professor Anisuzzaman breathed his last at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka on May 14, 2020 at the age of 83.