May 4 marked the 30th death anniversary of noted educationist and writer Abul Fazal. Fazal was born in 1903 in the village Keochia, under Satkania upazila of Chittagong. After initial schooling at a madrassa, he completed his BA from Dhaka University in 1928. In 1931, he did his BT from Teachers' Training College in Dhaka. He completed his Master's degree in Bangla Language and Literature from Calcutta University in 1940. Fazal initially began his career as an Imam before embarking as an academic. In 1941 he joined Krishnanagar College as a lecturer of Bangla. In 1943 he moved to Chittagong College from where he retired as a professor in 1956. In 1973 he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Chittagong University. In 1975 he joined the advisory council of the Government of Bangladesh as member in-charge of education and culture, and served in that position till 1977.
Fazal was a fearless and socially committed writer whose works reflect patriotism, secularism, and humanism. He was considered the conscience of the nation in his time. Though primarily a writer, Fazal participated in and led almost all intellectual and civil movements against the Pakistani autocratic regime. At the advent of the Bangladesh liberation movement, Fazal became a truly national figure guiding the progressive forces with courage and high morale.
Fazal imbibed a liberal mode of thinking, non-communal and secular, but at the same time followed a tradition of liberal Islamism that took deeper roots in the subcontinent.
His notable works are “Chouchir” (1934), “Prodip O Patongo” (1940), “Ranga Probhat” (1957), “Khuda O Asha” (1964) and others.
Fazal's contribution to Bangla literature earned him the Bangla Academy Award (1962), the President's Award for Literature (1963), the Adamjee Literary Award (1966), the Nasiruddin Gold Medal (1980), the Muktadhara Literary Award (1981) and the Abdul Hai Literary Award (1982). In 1974, the University of Dhaka conferred an honorary doctorate on him. He died on May 4, 1983 in Chittagong.
Compiled by Correspondent