Today marks the 121st birth anniversary of renowned litterateur, journalist and politician Abul Mansur Ahmad. On this day in 1898, he was born in Dhanikhola village of Mymensingh district.
To commemorate the day, Abul Mansur Ahmad Smriti Parishad will give away prizes among the winners of an essay competition on the eminent personality on September 7 (Saturday) at 4pm in Professor Muzaffar Ahmed Chowdhury Auditorium of Social Science Faculty Building at Dhaka University. At the programme, Prof Serajul Islam Choudhury, essayist Syed Abul Maksud, Prof Bishwajit Ghosh, Prof Mahbub Murshid, Prof Md Chengish Khan and journalist Kajal Rashid Shahin will speak with National Professor Anisuzzaman in the chair.
Abul Mansur Ahmad is one of the leading satirical writers of Bangla literature.
He also had an illustrious career as a journalist and a politician. In 1946, he was the founding editor of the daily Ittehad [in Kolkata]. He had earlier worked at daily newspapers Krishak and Navajug and many other periodicals.
An immensely successful politician, Abul Mansur Ahmad was the provincial education minister of Sher-e-Bangla AK Falzul Haq’s United Front government, and in 1957, he served as the commerce and industries minister of the central government led by then prime minister Hossain Shahid Suhrawardy. His contribution to the development of East Bengal through various initiatives, especially in industrialisation, is undeniable.
Among his famous satirical novels, “Aina”, “Asmani Parda”, “Gulliverer Safarnama” and “Food Conference” are notable. Two of his autobiographies are “Atma Katha” and “Amar Dekha Rajnitir Panchash Bachhar”, which while bringing out his own personal struggles, depict the historical and social challenges faced by the common people of that period.
His role in the initial days of Pakistan was extremely important in highlighting issues of the economic and cultural rights of the people of East Pakistan. He was one of the earliest proponents of Bangla being the national language of the country.
He had written extensively about the issues of national language since the beginning of the ’40s and also contributed actively to the Language Movement as the editor of Ittehad. Abul Mansur Ahmad was the author of the famous 21-point manifesto for the United Front in the 1954 election, which saw the demise of Muslim League from power and from the politics of East Pakistan. The manifesto was a historic document that first portrayed the political, economic, and cultural aspirations of the suppressed Bengalis.
As a result of his political activities in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, Abul Mansur Ahmad was jailed several times by the military administration of Ayub Khan.
Bangla Academy has published three volumes of Abul Mansur Ahmad’s collected works. A collection of memorial books on the renowned personality was recently published by Prothoma. Star Books has also published “Abul Mansur Ahmader Shreshtho Golpo”.