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Abu Ishaque: A realist novelist

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Abu Ishaque achieved the position of Sub Inspector in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Islamabad during 1949-67. During his service life, he managed to be a graduate from Karachi University in 1960. His first books of stories \'Harem\' (1962) and \'Mohapotongo\' (

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10th-Nov-2017       
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Mahmuda Begum Sinthia :
Abu Ishaque (1926-2003), novelist, short story writer, lexicographer and playwright, was born on 1 November 1926 at Naria in Shariatpur. His father's name was Mohammad Ibadullah and his mother's name was Atharunnisa. Though his father was a businessman, he patronized cultural and literary work. For the sincere association with his father, he was grown up in a cultural sphere. From his childhood, Abu Ishaque was very eager to write poem and story. His poems and stories were published in the school's wall magazine, Provati. In 1940, his first story 'Obhishap' was published in the Nobojug when he studied in class IX. This publication mainly inspired him to be a litterateur. He Matriculated from Upasi Bijari Taraprasanna English High School with scholarship in 1942. Then he attended Faridpur Rajendra College. In this time, a monthly journal, Saogat and the daily Azad published his several stories. Then he passed Higher Secondary level in 1944. After that he could not continue his study because of his family's financial crisis. He had to stop study and in this year, he joined Supply department of a semi-government organization. Beside he started writing of his first novel 'Soorjyo Dighol Bari'. Though he finished writing of this novel in August 1948, it was published in a monthly newspaper, Naobahar in 1955 and later it was published as a novel in 1962 from Calcutta. He reflected the colonial effect of Bengal through an ill-fated family in the novel. The background of the novel is about the famine of '50, in Bangla year 1350 (1943 AD). A subversive famine visited this land and almost fifty lakhs people died of starving. The famine occurred because of man-made crisis under British rule. Moreover, in the novel Abu Ishaque expressed the conflict around the partition of India and Pakistan. The art of connecting stories, traditional songs and poems made this novel a remarkable one. In the novel, he wrote -
"The fruit of the sky's tree,
No bottom in the lake's water,
The strength of giant is gained by eating."
(Soorjyo Dighol Bari, 1955)
Later a movie was made by adapting this novel and the movie, 'Soorjyo Dighol Bari' achieved twelve national and international awards. The awards were National Award (1978), Bangladesh Cholochitro Sangbadik Somitir Puroshkar (1979), Ducart gold Award (1980) International Evangalial Association Award, International Catholic Association Award (Inter Film Award), 1980.
After the partition of India and Pakistan, Abu Ishaque achieved the position of Sub Inspector in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Islamabad during 1949-67. During his service life, he managed to be a graduate from Karachi University in 1960. His first books of stories 'Harem' (1962) and 'Mohapotongo' (1963) came out. Some of the short stories are included as parts of the syllabus of schools and colleges. 'Mohapotongo', 'Jok' and 'Obhishap' are his famous creations. Here, he showed human catastrophes in different form. Realistic thought was constant in his writing. After the Independence of Bangladesh, he came to Dhaka in 1973 and engaged himself in diplomatic positions of the High Commission offices of Bangladesh. He played a vital role for his country. He retired from the government service on November 1, 1984. Then his writings were published from Dhaka regularly.
The second novel 'Padmar Polidwip' was published in the literary paper 'Uttoradhikar' of Bangla Academy. It was published in 1986. The theme of the novel was different. The events of Bengal delta before British ruling were focused.
In 1988, his third and the final novel 'Jaal' was firstly published in an Eid magazine, Anondopotro. It was a detective story based on the author's professional experience. Next year, it came out as a novel after 34 years of the publication 'Soorjya Dighol Bari'. The life struggle of the people on the rising sand strips on the banks of Padma was presented in his spontaneous writing. The basic theme of Abu Ishaque's novels is about people's struggle for survival. Consequently, his novels demonstrate a kind of consciousness for human existence.
Abu Ishaque created Bangla lexica, 'Somokalin Bangla Bhasha Obhidhan' in 1993. He originated more than two lakhs adjective words for Bangla language. For his great contribution, he achieved 'Manik Mia Gobeshona Britti'. Even he made an English lexicon, 'The Dictionary of Quilified and Wedded Words'. These dictionaries are filled with the richness of his creation.
Abu Ishaque's only one drama, 'Joydhoni' based on great Liberation War of Bangladesh and autobiography, 'Smritykotha' were published in 2001. For his literary excellence, he was awarded Bangla Academy Award in 1963, Sundarban Sahitya Puroshkar in 1981, Bangladesh Lekhika Songho Padak in 1900, Ekushey Padak in 1997, Independence Award in 2004, and Shishu Academy Padak in 2006.
He died on 16 February 2003, at the age of 77. He was buried in the Mirpur Buddhizibi graveyard. His contributions to Bangla language and literature have made him eminent. n

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