A man of unbounded creativity | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 16, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 16, 2008

Editorial

A man of unbounded creativity

Selim Al Deen elevated our literature and theatre

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The death of Selim Al Deen brings to an end the career of a man whose contributions to the cause of literature and theatre in Bangladesh have been of an elevated kind. He belonged to that group of young men, back in the days immediately after the liberation of the country, who believed that a new ethos needed to be shaped in aesthetics. It was a constant enrichment of Bengali culture that these young men emphasised through their works. And Al Deen was one individual who believed that a nation's heritage was doomed to decline unless it was endlessly and periodically refurbished by new ideas.
The new ideas, one might add, that Selim Al Deen worked on, had their roots in his early years. He was not yet twenty when, having decided to be a writer, his articles began appearing in newspapers and journals. More importantly, his thoughts began to take concrete shape through the initial plays he began to forge out of his observation of the social scene around him. If that resolute stepping into the world of drama and writing took place in the 1960s, it was through the 1970s and 1980s that Al Deen solidified his position as one of the foremost representatives of cultural thought in Bangladesh. Plays like Kittonkhola, Keramat Mangal and Saifulmulk Badiuzzaman revealed the very large canvas on which he worked. His association with Natyachakra and Dhaka Theatre was a contribution that complemented the drama movement going on nationwide.
Selim Al Deen was, again, an individual who went beyond the call of writing. As a teacher of drama at the university he worked for till the end of his life, he passed on to the young men and women under his tutelage the essential idea that Bengali history was necessarily underpinned by an understanding of the lyrical quality of the nation's poetry and the hard, prosaic facts of the lives of the people of Bangladesh. His satirical expositions of the social scene said it all.
We mourn the loss of this worthy son of Bangladesh. He will remain an inspiration for all of us in our unending search for our soul. Our heartfelt condolences to the members of his bereaved family.

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