An intrepid writer: A requiem for Munier Chowdhury
Munier Chowdhury\'s 91st birth anniv today
Munier Chowdhury's 91st birth anniv today
Martyred intellectual Munier Chowdhury was born in 1925 at Manikganj, Dhaka, and hailed from Noakhali. He was an educationist, thespian, playwright, literary critic and political activist. Chowdhury actively participated in the Language Movement in 1952 and was imprisoned by the then Pakistan government for his active role in favour of the independence of the country.
On the occasion of his birth anniversary, several cultural and social organisations will arrange different kinds of programmes in the city today. The events will feature discussion, poetry recitation, dance and music performances and drawing contest.
Chowdhury graduated from Dhaka Collegiate School in 1941. He attended Aligarh Muslim University and later studied English literature for his Bachelors degree and Masters at the Dhaka University. In 1954, he completed a second Masters degree in Bengali. While in jail, he assiduously studied Bangla language and literature, appeared at the MA examination in Bangla, and came out with a first class. In 1958, he obtained another Masters in Linguistics from Harvard University.
Symbolic drama "Kobor", was one of his notable works during his imprisonment. He is regarded as the pioneer of modern drama in Bangladesh.
Only two days before the end of the War of Liberation, he along with a large number of intellectuals were tortured to death by the Pakistani occupation forces and their collaborators (Al-Badr and Al-Shams) on December 14, 1971. His body could not be traced.
Some of his important literary works include "Raktakta Prantar", "Mir-Manas", "Ektala-Dotala", "Dandakaranya", "Chithi", "Palashi Barrack O Anyanya", "Tulanamulak Samalochana" and "Bangla Gadyariti".
Choudhury is survived by his wife Lily Choudhury and sons Ahmed Munier and Asif Munier. His second son Ashfaq Munier, a cinematographer, was killed tragically in a road accident in 2011. Ahmed Munier is retired and previously worked for UN missions in Africa. Asif Munier is a human rights activist and works in the development sector. Asif Munier was a founder member of Projonmo Ekattor, a human rights group in Bangladesh, which initiated the building of the Rayer Bazar Smriti Shoudho (Rayer Bazar Memorial) in Dhaka. This memorial was built on the barren land on which the Pakistani army dumped the bodies of the intellectuals after murdering them. Projonmo Ekattor also campaigns for the trial of war criminals of 1971. Asif Munier also runs his own theatre group, Bongorongo, through which Choudhury's plays are regularly enacted.
Today marks the 91st birth anniversary of martyred intellectual Munier Chowdhury.
The writer is a freelance contributor.