Lit Inside

Today is the 87th birthday of Syed Shamsul Haque

Publish: 02:30 AM, 27 Dec, 2021


Today is the 87th birthday of Syed Shamsul Haque, a prolific writer. He was born on this day in 1935 (December 27) in Kurigram. His father Syed Siddique Hussain was a homeopathic doctor. Mother Halima Khatun was a housewife.

Syed Shamsul Haque is one of the few who have elevated Bengali literature to the pinnacle of nobility. He is the only one who has found such an easy style in his own melody, tone, creation, and writing. Syed Haque has enriched the repertoire of Bengali literature by making significant contributions in almost all fields of literature. He dreamed of developing a non-communal Bangladesh in the spirit of the war of liberation through his sharp writing.

In recognition of his contribution to Bengali literature, he has received various awards including Ekushey Padak, Bangla Academy Award, Adamji Sahitya Award. Especially the emotions, feelings and disorders of the Bengali middle-class society have come up in his writing in very simple language.

In his novels like 'Nishiddho Loban', 'Nil Dongshon', 'Brishti o Bidrohigon', etc., Bengali-speaking readers found the path of self-discovery. He raised the issue of the demands of the liberation war in front of the people of Bengal by writing 'Payer Awaj Paoa Jay'. Through composing songs like 'Hai Re Manush Rangin Fanuser', he became the companion of illiterate people. In the sixties, seventies, and eighties, Syed Shamsul Haque wrote songs for films as well as screenplays for many films.

Syed Haque finished his school life in Kurigram. He passed the matriculation examination in 1950. After a disagreement with his father over admission, he moved to Mumbai in 1951 and worked for a while in a film production company. In the same year, his first story was published in 'Agatya' magazine. After graduating from Jagannath College, he was admitted to the English department of Dhaka University. However, he started writing in full force without finishing his studies.

Syed Haque, who was masterful in all fields of literature, lived for 81 years. He left for the land of no return on September 27, 2016. At will, he was laid to rest next to the Government College in his native Kurigram.

On this auspicious occasion of Syed Haque's birthday, there are various arrangements in Dhaka and Kurigram following the hygiene rules. An online discussion program has been organized by Bangla Academy. State Minister for Culture KM Khalid will be the chief guest. Poet Muhammad Nurul Huda, Director General of Bangla Academy will preside over the function.


Lit Inside

Rabindranath Tagore’s 161st birth anniversary today

Publish: 09:35 AM, 08 May, 2022


Today is the 161st birth anniversary of Biswakabi Rabindranath Tagore. The man who reshaped Bengali literature and music as well as arts of Indian subcontinent with contextual modernism.

On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Rabindranath, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have issued separate messages, paying rich tributes to the great poet, reports BSS.

The government has taken up elaborate programmes to celebrate the 161st birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore at national level on May 8 in a befitting manner.

The programmes were finalized at a meeting of National Committee at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on April 18 with State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid in the chair.

On the 25th of Baishakh in 1268 Bengali calendar, Rabindranath, the fountainhead of Bengali wisdom, was born at Jorasanko in Kolkata.

Nobody had influenced the minds of so many Bengali-speaking people before or after him. His influence has been compared, by many, to William Shakespeare in the English-speaking world.

This year, the main programme will be arranged at Shilaidaha Rabindra Kuthibari in Kumarkhali Upazila of Kushtia district with the theme 'Crisis of Humanity and Rabindranath'.

Jatiya Sangsad (JS) Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury will address the inaugural function as the chief guest at 2.30pm while Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Cultural Affairs Ministry Simeen Hussain (Rimi) will join as the special guest with State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid in the chair.

Secretary of the Cultural Affairs Ministry Md Abul Monsur will deliver the welcome address while Professor Sanath Kumar Saha will join the function as the commemorative speaker.

Deputy Commissioner of Kushtia will give vote of thanks while Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy will present a 30-minute cultural event.

Besides, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy has taken a three-day programme, including cultural functions and exhibition on artworks of Rabindranath, while a documentary on the poet will be screened throughout the month.

Apart from Shelaidah Kuthibari and the capital Dhaka, local administrations will arrange different programmes at Shahjadpur in Sirajganj and Patisar in Naogaon and Dakkhindihi and Pithavog in Khulna, the places where Rabindranath had memories, to celebrate the 161st birth anniversary of the great poet.

Marking the day, Rabindramela, discussions and cultural functions will also be arranged.

Cultural Affairs Ministry and Bangla Academy will publish souvenirs and posters on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Kabiguru.

All divisions, departments and institutions under the Cultural Affairs Ministry and Bangla Academy will arrange special discussions and cultural functions to mark the day.

Besides, a function will be held at Rabindra Sarobar under the supervision of Executive Director of Kabi Nazrul Institute.

All educational institutions across the country, including the capital, will arrange cultural functions, discussions, essay writing and poem recitation competitions to celebrate the anniversary.

Bangladesh missions abroad will also celebrate the day with different programmes in a befitting manner.

In those districts, where the day will not be celebrated in line with the central programmes, district administrations, local lawmakers, public representatives and dignitaries will celebrate the birth anniversary of Kabiguru in a befitting manner after forming committees.

The inaugural function of the national level programmes and other events will be telecast live on Bangladesh Television and other private television channels and radio channels. Bangladesh Betar will also broadcast the programmes.

Security measures will be beefed up in the areas of national level programmes and other programmes to avert any untoward incident.

Bangladesh Television and other private television channels and Bangladesh Betar will air special programmes highlighting the life and works of Rabindranath.

Besides, different road islands in all districts, including those where Kabiguru had memories, across the country will be decorated with banners, festoons and posters and digital displays will be installed at different spots and different programmes, including exhibiting photographs and artworks of Bishwakabi.

The youngest of 13 surviving children, Tagore, nicknamed 'Rabi', was born to a Brahma family of Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi at Jorasanko in Kolkata.

Rabindranath's novels, short stories, songs, dance-dramas and essays always speak about political and personal life of people.

Gitanjali (Song Offerings), Gora (Fair-Faced) and Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World) are his best-known works and his verse, short stories and novels were acclaimed-or panned-for their lyricism, colloquialism, naturalism and unnatural contemplation.

Author of Gitanjali, profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, Rabindranath became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.

Sometimes referred to as "the Bard of Bengal", Tagore's poetic songs were viewed as spiritual and mercurial.

His compositions were chosen by two nations as national anthems: Bangladesh's Amar Sonar Bangla and India's Jana Gana Mana. The Sri Lankan national anthem was inspired by his work.

The legendary poet breathed his last at his paternal residence in Kolkata on Sraban 22 of Bangla year 1348 (August 7, 1941).

Rabindranath Tagore   Birth anniversary  


Lit Inside

Book fair deadline extended

Publish: 12:44 PM, 27 Feb, 2022


The deadline for Amar Ekushey Book Fair has been extended. This book fair will continue till March 17.

State Minister for Culture KM Khalid told reporters at his secretariat office on Sunday (February 27th).

State Minister KM Khalid said, "We were in a panic about the book fair because of Covid, whether we will be able to start the book fair at all." At one point it was decided that the book fair would be postponed. Later, the Prime Minister directed to start the book fair from February 15. After the inauguration, the Knowledge and Creative Publishers Association, vendors and those associated with the book fair appealed to the Prime Minister to extend the time.

"We said at the time that we would consider increasing the book fair time if the infection continued to decrease," he said. In her inaugural address, the Prime Minister said the fair could be extended till March 17. But that depends on the situation. The good news today is that the Prime Minister has given her approval in the morning and the book fair has been extended till March 18.

Book fair   Date extended   KM Khalid  


Lit Inside

Amar Ekushey Book Fair starts Feb 15

Publish: 11:25 AM, 13 Feb, 2022


Hectic last-minute preparations for the traditional ‘Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2022’ is going on in full swing on the Bangla Academy premises here to welcome booklovers from February 15.

"With only a day in hand, people have been working all over day and night relentlessly to complete the preparation in due time . . . we’re hopeful about wrapping up all the major preparation to welcome booklovers as per schedule," told Jalal Ahmed, member secretary of the book fair management committee and director of Bangla Academy.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to open the book fair on February 15.

 A total of 800 stalls have been allocated for 500 publishers-organisations to exhibit and sell books in this year’s book fair, Ahmed said, adding that around 540 publishers-organisations participated in the fair last year.

This year the Amar Ekushey Book Fair, also known as a place of reunion of the writers-readers-publishers, which usually begins on the first day of February, will be held from February 15 to 28 due to Covid-19 situation.

However, there is possibility of extending the duration if the Covid-19 situation improves, said Ahmed.

 Some stall attendants said, "We are making our level best efforts to complete construction of the book stalls in due time though it is challenging to finish the work within short-time."

The fair will be held following Covid-19 health safety guidelines and none will be allowed inside the fairground without face mask and sanitizing hands, Jalal Ahmed said, adding, "We are thinking to make mandatory for everyone to show vaccine certificate before getting inside the book fair. But decision in this regard has not yet been finalized,” he added. 

He said there will be strict security arrangements in and around the book fair venue to avert any unpleasant incident. Every nook and corner of the 1.5 million square feet space of the fair venue will be under CCTV camera coverage, he added.

The fair will remain open from 2pm to 9pm from Sunday to Thursday and from 11am to 8:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

There will be three large entry-exit gates having sanitizing facilities as per the government’s instructions. There will be an entry-exit gate adjacent to Ramna Engineers’ Institute and other two will be near TSC of Dhaka University and opposite the Bangla Academy.

Meanwhile, publishers have demanded extension of duration of the fair as they are afraid of facing losses when the month-long book fair has reduced to 14 days.

Ahmed said a number of publication houses had to incur losses last year due to the pandemic situation.

“The publishers will face a big loss, if the book fair ends in 14 days as the cost will be the same like a month. We are hopeful that the book fair authorities will consider our concerns and extend the duration up to March 17.

Echoing the same views, publisher of Palal Publication Khan Mahbubul Alam said some commercial issues are connected with the fair though it is considered as a festival of Bengali booklovers. 

“In fact, the book fair is definitely a festival of awakening Bengali nation as well as a part of our culture, but it is also true that some commercial issues are connected with this traditional fair", said Alam, also the executive director of Academic and Creative Publishers Association of Bangladesh.

Ekushey Book Fair   Bangladesh  


Lit Inside

Ekushey Book Fair to start on 15th February this year

Publish: 09:58 AM, 01 Feb, 2022


Amar Ekushey Book Fair is a traditional book fair of Bangladesh which usually starts on 1st February, but it was postponed due to the increasing number of corona infection in the country. However, the book fair is scheduled to start from February 15 on some terms and conditions. At the same time the duration of the fair is being reduced to 14 days. Accordingly, the fair is scheduled to end on February 28.

This information has been known from the sources of Bangla Academy and Ministry of Culture.

According to the source, it has been decided to organize Amar Ekushey Book Fair from February 15 subject to certain conditions due to Corona. The decision has already been announced in a letter from Bangla Academy to the publishing houses interested in participating in the fair. The letter also asked them to prepare accordingly.

The head of a publishing house who received the letter said on condition of anonymity that they have been informed about the decision of the Bangla Academy to start the book fair on February 15. We are called to discuss this tomorrow, Tuesday (February 1).

In a letter sent to the publishers from Bangla Academy, it has been said that all the officers and employees of the academy associated with the book fair, including writers, publishers, vendors, stall workers are being requested to take booster dose as per the requirement of adults including vaccination.

The letter further said that a letter has already been sent to the Director General of the Department of Health for setting up a vaccine booth at the Bangla Academy premises to provide vaccines to those involved in the fair. Therefore, instructions were given to submit the list of names of publishers participating in the fair, all the people associated with the stall and the latest information about their previous vaccinations to the Bangla Academy in a short time.

In this regard, the director general of the academy, poet Muhammad Nurul Huda, said that it has been decided to start Amar Ekushey Book Fair from February 15. However, it has not been finalized yet. We will sit in a meeting tomorrow. Then the decision will be made.


Ekushey Book Fair   Bangladesh  


Lit Inside

Qazi Anwar Hussain is no more

Publish: 06:08 PM, 19 Jan, 2022


Qazi Anwar Hossain, creator of popular spy thriller series Masud Rana and head of Seba Prokashony, has died.

He died this afternoon (January 19). Qazi Anwar Hossain has been in Life Support since January 10. He died this afternoon.

His daughter Masuma Maymur said on a Facebook post that Qazi Anwar Hossain was diagnosed with prostate cancer on October 31 and was hospitalized five times. He also had brain strokes and heart attacks.

Qazi Anwar Hossain was born on 19 July 1936 in Dhaka. His father was Qazi Motahar Hossain a renowned scientist, mathematician and writer and his mother was Sajeda Khatun.

In 1963, he started his first press business in Segunbagicha. The first book of Segunbagan Prokashony, Kuasha-1, was published in June 1964. Later the name of the publication was changed to Seba Prokashony.

Seba Prokashony unveiled new horizons for paperback book publishing in Bangladesh. This publication has handed over to the readers the translations of all the famous novels of world literature at low cost.

In 1966, Qazi Anwar Hossain published Masud Rana's first book 'Dhonsho Pahar' under the pseudonym Bidyut Mitra. The book gained unimaginable popularity. After that Masud Rana became an icon for the younger generation of readers. More than four hundred and fifty books have been published in this series for more than half a century.

Qazi Anwar Hossain also used to sing. He was also a listed artist of Bangladesh Betar. He later left that job. He received the Bacchus Award for Best Screenplay and Dialogue in 1984. He also got Cinema Magazine and Zahir Raihan Film Award.


Qazi Anwar Hussain   Seba Prokashony