Dr Maniruzzaman: Humble man of letters | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 13, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 13, 2010

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Dr Maniruzzaman: Humble man of letters


DR Maniruzzaman, a veteran linguist of the country, turns 70 on 15 February. A university professor, essayist, poet, folklorist and administrator, Dr Maniruzzaman has served at many institutions and performed many duties in fifty years of his working life. He has 18 books to his credit while eight other books edited by him have been received with acclaim.
Born in 1940, Dr Maniruzzaman spent his early childhood in different places of West Bengal. In 1947, when the Indian subcontinent experienced the greatest tumult in its history through Partition, he returned to his ancestral home at Adiabad in Narsingdi district. He completed his Matriculation and Intermediate in 1953 and 1957 respectively. He took his BA (Hons) and Masters degrees from Dhaka University in 1960 and 1961.
Dr Maniruzzaman joined the Bangla Department of the University of Chittagong in 1968 after having taught at different colleges. From the University of Mysore, he obtained a PhD in linguistics in 1979.
His books on language include Bhasha Shomoshya O Onyanyo Proshongo (1969), Diglossia in Bangladesh and Language Planning (1983) and Bhasha Tatto Onushilon (1985). These works certainly boosted his reputation. He has several books on folk research as well, notably Bangladesher Lokshongskriti Shondhan 1947-71 and Lokshahityer Bhetor Bahir. His books on literature are Nawab Faijonnesa, Shannidhye O Gourobi Smorone, Bangla Sahityo: Otit O Uttarkal, Sahityo Sangskritite Chattogram, Gosthi Potrika O Shamoyik Potro, etc.
In the creative fields of the literary genre Dr Maniruzzaman has contributions too. His volume of short stories, Purush Porompora, came out in 1970, in the early stage of his career and brought him some fame as a writer of fiction as well. He has authored two volumes of poems, Idaning Biponno Boro and Nodite Megher Chaya.
A very friendly, cooperative, punctual and sincere teacher, Dr Maniruzzaman is also a good orator. The few times that I have found him speaking in public, I found his comments very relevant and thought-provoking. He has been involved with many national and international organisations. Since the inception of the Bangladesh Literary Resource Centre (BLRC) in 2006, his presence as an advisor to the organisation has been intellectually stimulating. The young men and women who have had the good fortune to be his students will always relish the sight of the polite and humble teacher that Dr Maniruzzaman is.

Subrata Kumar Das is a writer, critic and researcher. Email: subratakdas@yahoo.com .

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