Journalist, litterateur Abul Kalam Shamsuddin

13 March 2020

Shahidul Islam :
Abul Kalam Shamsuddin (1897-1978), journalist and litterateur, was born on 3 November 1897 at Trishal in Mymensingh. He passed IA from Dhaka College in 1919 and was later admitted to Ripon College, Kolkata. Shamsuddin joined the Khilafat and non-cooperation movements. In 1921, he passed the Upadhi examination from Gouriyo Suborno Bidyayoton. The next year he joined the Daily Mohammadi as Assistant Editor. Subsequently, he edited the weekly Moslem Jagat, The Musalman, the Daily Soltan, the Weekly Mohammadi and the Masik Mohammadi. In 1936, he joined the Daily Azad, serving as its editor from 1940 to 1962. He was later appointed Editor of the Daily Pakistan, run by the Press Trust of Pakistan.
The Jalianwallabag killings in the Punjab made Shamsuddin politically conscious. Influenced by the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, he joined the Congress. In 1927, he became a member of the Muslim League. In 1942, he became the President of the newly established East Pakistan Renaissance Society and took part in the Pakistan movement. He was elected to the Central Legislative Council in 1946 from Mymensingh. In 1949, he became a Member of the Language Committee of the East Pakistan Government.
He renounced his Membership of the Legislative Council and Muslim League Parliamentary Party in protest at the killing of students on 21 February, 1952. He inaugurated the Shaheed Minar which was built in the yard of Dhaka Medical College Hostel on February 23.  
Abul Kalam was the author of several books, among them Porojomi Ba Onabadi Jomi (1938), Trisrota (1939), Khorotorongo (1953), Dristikon (1961), Notun China Notun Desh (1965), Digbijoyi Toimur (1965), Iliad (1967), Polashi Theke Pakistan (1968), Otit Diner Smriti (1968) etc.
His autobiography, Otit Jiboner Smriti, is a remarkable account about the society and culture of his times. He was awarded the ‘Sitara-i-Khidmat’ in 1961 and ‘Sitara-i-Imtiaz’ in 1967. In 1969, he renounced these titles in protest against the oppressive government policy. He received the Bangla Academy Prize in 1970 and the Ekushey Padak in 1976. n

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