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Litterateur and scientist Qazi Motahar Hossain

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Hossain choose Dhaka College to take higher studies in Mathematics and Physics. In 1917 he arrived Dhaka and got admitted to Dhaka College. Here he found W A Jenkins (Physics), Wrangler Bhupati Mohan Sen (Mathematics), Bankim Das Banerjee (Mathematics) an

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17th-Aug-2018       
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Literature Desk :
Qazi Motahar Hossain was an author, scientist, statistician, chess player, and journalist. He had intimate friendship with Kazi Nazrul Islam and Kazi Abdul Odud.
Qazi Motahar Hossain was born on 30th July in his mother's village Lakshmipur in the district of Kushtia in 1897. His father was Qazi Gaohar Uddin Ahmed and mother was Tasirunnesa. He passed his childhood in his father's village Bagmara in Faridpur. He received his earliest education from his father and from the village primary school.
He entered Kushtia High School for Secondary studies. Among the teachers he specially recalled of Jyotindranath Roy and Jatindra Mohan Biswas. Hossain learnt Algebra, Geometry, conic section and Mechanics from Mr. Jyotindranath Roy. Mr. Roy introduced the Mechanics Course in the school solely for Hossain as he was the only student of Mechanics. In 1915 he passed Entrance from there.
After passing Entrance, Hossain admitted himself at the Presidency College, Calcutta for ISc course. There he was highly impressed by eminent teachers like Praphulla Chandra Ghosh (English), Mr Sterling (English), Prafulla Chandra Roy (Chemistry). But he transferred himself to Rajshahi College in the middle of academic year. Beside his studies Hossain showed considerable skill and interest in sports such as football, tennis etc. In 1917 he passed ISC from this College.
Hossain choose Dhaka College to take higher studies in Mathematics and Physics. In 1917 he arrived Dhaka and got admitted to Dhaka College. Here he found W A Jenkins (Physics), Wrangler Bhupati Mohan Sen (Mathematics), Bankim Das Banerjee (Mathematics) and others as teachers. In 1919 he was awarded BA (honors) from this College.
In 1920, he married Sajeda Khatun. They had eleven children together - Qazi Anwar Hussain, Jobaida Mirza, Sanjida Khatun, Fahmida Khatun, Mahmuda Khatun and others.
He passed MA in Physics in 1921 from Dhaka College under Calcutta University. Before his MA examination he got important help from Satyen Bose who came to Dhaka in 1921 as a student of Physics of newly established Dhaka University.
With the encouragement and stimulation of Satyen Bose he went to Calcutta to study Statistics. Statistician Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis had just established Indian Statistical Institute in Calcutta to introduce the new subject to Indian students. Hossain was taught the subject by Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis. In 1938 he got a Diploma in Statistics from ISI.
Qazi Motahar Hossain joined the newly established Dhaka University in 1921 as a demonstrator of Physics while he was a student of MA at Dhaka College. In 1923 he was promoted to Assistant-Lecturer. In 1948, Statistics M A was established with his own effort and he joined the department. He retired from Dhaka University in 1961. In 1964, he founded the Institute of Statistical Research and Training. From 1964 to 1966 he served as the Founder-Director of the Institute. He retired from the position of Director in 1966. Dhaka University appointed him as Honorary Professor Emeritus in 1969.
Qazi Motahar Hossain also showed unusual skill in the game of Chess. For seven times he was the All India Chess Champion. He took the lead organizing Chess in Bangladesh. He founded the All Pakistan National Chess Federation in 1969. After Independence he established Bangladesh Daba Sangha, which became the Bangladesh Chess Federation in 1974.
In 1920's and 1930s he became involved with 'Buddhir Mukti Andolon' (Freedom of Thought Movement) with his intimate friend Kazi Abdul Odud and others as a convener and editor of the organisation's official proceeding named Shikha.
After the liberation of Bangladesh in 1975 he became the National Professor of Bangladesh. Until his death in 1981 he decorated the position. He was a Founder Fellow of Bangladesh Academy of Sciences.
He died in Dhaka on 9 October 1981.
A postage stamp was published by Bangladesh Postal Department to respect his contributions.
Works: Shancharan (1937), Nazrul Kabyo Porichiti (Introduction to Nazrul's Poetry) (1955), Gonit Shastrer Itihas (History of Mathematics) (1970), Alok Bigyan (Optics) (1974), Nirbachito Probondho (Collected Essays) (1976)
He contributed to the implementation of logic, lucidity and simplicity of language and clarity in his writings. His first published book Shancharan was praised by Rabindranath Tagore.Bangla Academy has published his complete works in four volumes.
He had also given many speeches in many occasions and written many biographical notes. A collection of his eighteen biographical essays was published in 2004 under the title Smritikotha by Qazi Motahar Hossain Foundation. The foundation has also reprinted his Gonit Shastrer Itihas in the same year.
Awards: Bangla Academy Literary Award (1966), Honorary DSc from Dhaka University (1974), Nasir Uddin Swarna Padak (Golden Plaque) (1977), Swadhinota Dibas Purashkar (Independence Day Award) (1979), Mukta Dhara Shahitya Purashkar (1980).

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