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In Memoriam

An undaunted voice

Published : Thursday, 22 June, 2017 at 12:00 AM  Count : 345
Imran Hosan

Remembering Ahmed Sofa
An undaunted voice

An undaunted voice

"A tiger doesn't lose sleep over the opinion of sheep", this maxim goes with the name Ahmed Sofa, who was one of very few writers having the courage to disclose the truth with majestic voice despite having an intense opprobrium. For the abundances of his literary creations, such as novels, poems, stories, translations and most mentionable critical essays, he is, till now, remembered by the literature lover.
Throughout his life Ahmed Sofa, a famous as well as a controversial writer of Bangladesh, dealt with almost every branch of literature, searched for an intellectual revolution not only in literature and politics but also for a knowledge-based society--- a society ploughed in each and every section of thoughts.
The scenario of post-independent society in education sector, scientific progression and Geist let him down, which he never expected as a citizen of an independent country. The outcome of higher education he finds out was extremely poor due to the lack of individual consciousness. He questioned the poor research from the students who are hardly concerned about its usefulness; rather plunged into their personal temporary benefits.
Surya Tumi Sathi (The Sun, my Companion, 1967) is his first novel. Among his novels Uddar (Rescue, 1975), Onkar (The Chest-note, 1993), Gavhi Brittanta (Accounts on Cow, 1994), and Ardhek Nari Ardhek Ishari (Half Woman and half Goddess, 1996) are notable.
Sofa kept his impression in poetry by gifting a lot of poems including Lenin Ghumabe Ebar (Lenin will sleep now), Jallad Samay (Time, the execution), Ekti Prabin Gacher Kache Prarthana (A prayer to an old banyan tree), etc.
Nihata Naksatra (Murderer Star, 1969) is his only volume of stories. He has the credit of translation of Johann Goethe's magnum opus-Faust, a tragic play and the greatest work of German literature, and also Bertrand Russell's agnostic writings.
The hopes of the general people along with their desire for salvation and emancipation are depicted very artistically by this undaunted peddler of dream. In his writing, he claims against the social injustice. Bengali Muslims formative period and intellectual progress are expressed in his writings- Buddhibrittir Natun Binyas (New exercise of Intellect, 1973), Bangali Musalmaner Man (The mind of the Bengali Muslims, 1976).
Ahmed Sofa was born on 30 June, 1943 in a poor family at the village of Gachbaria under Chadanaish Upazila in Chittagong. After completing his secondary and higher secondary, he took admission at University of Dhaka in Bangla Department, unfortunately, which he could not continue. He completed his graduation from a private one and started his PhD under Professor Abdur Razzak to whom he showed his gratitude in his famous essay, Yadyapi Amar Guru (He is still my teacher). He is also influenced by S. M. Sultan, a renowned painting artist.
In thirst of doing something greater, Sofa left his PhD unfinished and chose the path of salvation. He contributed articles to newspapers as well as periodicals. Moreover, he wrote on politics which was one of his concerns for the changing society.
Sofa's view on politics was, nevertheless, negative; rather he inspired the need of a strong political ground for the development of the society. He acted as the editor of many famous magazines as well. However, towards the later part of his life, his critical essays bring light on him, which dealt with society, culture and the politics of the country.
Ahmed Sofa was awarded Ekushey Padak (2002) after his death. His writings, however, brought a new horizon in Bangla literature. His attachment in founding Bangladesh Lekhak Shibir (Bangladesh Writers' Camp) in 1970 brought the liberal writers under the same roof in order to unite the cause of the progressive movement for the liberation of Bangladesh.
This fearless artist of Bangla literature left us on 28 July, 2001 after suffering Cardiac Arrest. He was buried in Mirpur Buddhijibi Kobarsthan. Astonishingly, he never engaged himself with family bond. His loss is the lost of a courageous voice- a voice which preaches the unsung song of humanity, untold poems of Bangladesh.

The writer is schooling with Department
of English, Chittagong University

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