Four writers received the Abu Rushd Literary Award
Sirajul Islam Chowdhury and Muhammad Nurul Huda with award winning writers at Abu Rushd Literary Award 2021.
Abu Rushd, the novelist and academic, was somewhat of a recluse. For almost a decade before his death, he avoided meeting-seminars and even chatting with friends. Four writers have received Sahitya Puraskar-2021, introduced in the name of this Nivratchari writer. They are Anwara Syed Haque, Wasi Ahmed and in the emerging branch, Papri Rahman and Mahmud Akhtar Sharif. The Abu Rushd Memorial Council officially handed over the award mementos, certificates and honors to them.
In the morning, an award ceremony was organized at the Ramesh Chandra Dutt Memorial Meeting Center of Chayanaut Culture-Bhavan. Dhaka University Emeritus Professor Sirajul Islam Chowdhury presided over the function as chief guest, former Finance Minister M Saiduzzaman. Ahrar Ahmed, Director General of Jnanataps Abdur Razzak Smriti Foundation, Educationist Fakhrul Alam, Social Worker Khushi Kabir, member of Abu Rushd Smriti Parshad were also present on the occasion. On behalf of Abu Rushd’s family, his brother-in-law retired army officer AR Mamun thanked him. The program was conducted by Kazi Medina.
Chief guest of the program M Saiduzzaman said, we had a close relationship with Abu Rushd. His presence inspired me. His literary work is an invaluable asset of Bengali literature.
Anwara Syed Haque won the award for her novel ‘Chokh’, published by Bhorer Kagaz Prakshan. Reacting to receiving the award, he said, “Though I am a psychiatrist by profession, I am primarily a writer. I have been writing since childhood. Although I had to study medicine due to the wishes of my family, I never strayed so much from writing. While I was working in a hospital in London, an article called ‘Golden Deer’ was printed in Bangladeshi paper. Abu Rushd wrote a discussion about that story in an English daily. It inspired me a lot. I was confident that I could write. Today I remember him with great respect. I am grateful to him for the light of hope he lit in me. He will live within me as a guide in my life.
Wasi Ahmed, who won an award for the novel ‘Barafkal’, said, “I write for relief and self-harm.” If that writing grabs the reader’s attention, that’s a plus for me. The same is true for receiving awards. It takes me a long time to finish a novel. But I finished ‘Icemill’ in just seven months. The work has been taken by the reader during the corona time. Thanks to the Abu Rushd Memorial Council for considering this book for the award.
Papri Rahman won the award for the novel ‘Nadidhara Residential Area’ and Mahmud Akhtar Sharif for the novel ‘Manush Haba Kalpanik Gao’. Bangla Academy will organize this award from next year.
Bangla Academy Director General Kavi Muhammad Nurul Huda, who was present at the awarding ceremony, said that Abu Rushd is one of our best translators. He translated Kazi Nazrul very well. He used to translate with such care, nothing could be omitted from it.
Sirajul Islam Chowdhury said in the president’s speech, Abu Rushd was a very personable person. But somewhat detached and serious. Those who met him know that he was a very sensitive and affectionate person. Today we are not only remembering him, but also honoring his literature by awarding awards in his name. Valuing literature has become very important for this period. Because we are falling into a situation where alienation, hatred, self-centeredness, profiteering are overwhelming us.
The academic also said, we have seen the development of technology, each of which has helped literature. But lately literature is undervalued. Ownership is responsible for this. Trade has become the mainstay of capital. Isolation among people has increased, which has become extreme in Corona. Literature is highly valued at this time. Literature connects people, brings them closer, refines feelings, connects them with history. Today this award is an expression of our loyalty and love for literature.
Abu Rushd was involved in teaching and writing since the forties of the last century. His first collection of stories is ‘Storm in Rajdhani’. The number of his works including stories and novels is not less.
Perhaps the readers of this generation do not know Abu Rushd as much because he stopped writing in the 21st century or before. His stories, novels or autobiographical works are not so easy. As a result, his name and works almost seem to have gone into oblivion. The guests called for the reprinting of this writer’s work to introduce him to the new generation of readers.