Mahadev Saha Honoured with Sa'adat Ali Akhand Award | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 13, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 13, 2011

Mahadev Saha Honoured with Sa'adat Ali Akhand Award


Mahadev Saha (right) receives the award from National Professor Kabir Chowdhury (middle). Tahmina Hossain, daughter of Sa'adat Ali Akhand, also seen in the photo. Photo: Mumit M.

Sa'adat Ali Akhand Sahitya Puroshkar (literary award) 2010 was conferred on eminent poet Mahadev Saha on January 11 at the Seminar Hall of Bangla Academy. Saha received a crest, certificate and a cheque worth Tk 25,000 as part of the award.
Shamsuzzaman Khan, director general of Bangla Academy, delivered a welcome speech on the occasion. Tahmina Hossain, daughter of Sa'adat Ali Akhand, poet Mahadev Saha and National Professor Kabir Chowdhury, spoke at award giving ceremony.
Shamsuzzaman said, “The academy chose Mahadev Saha for this prize for his outstanding contribution to Bangla literature and multi-dimensional talents.”
Saha was born on August 5, 1944 in Dhanghara, Sirajganj. The only child of Godadhor Saha and Birajmohini, Mahadev Saha completed his primary and high school education in his village. He started writing poetry at an early age. For higher education he attended Dhaka College, Bogra College and Rajshahi University. Shy by nature, Saha became an outspoken liberal intellectual in the 1990s against reactionary nationalism and religious fundamentalism in Bangladesh.
After receiving the prize, the poet said, “Sa'adat Ali Akhand served in the police department, but his literary creativity was admirable. I'm elated to have received this award as it's provided by a family very close to me.”
Literary critic and educationist Mustafa Nurul Islam, son of Sa'adat Ali, is my teacher, Mahdev Saha added.
“Mustafa Nurul Islam was also my advisor on my courses that gave me an opportunity to read Sa'adat Ali's writings thoroughly,” the poet continued.
Kabir Chowdhury said, “A poet is a warrior. Poets always fight for the people and their writings combat social evils like injustice and communalism. Mahadev Saha is one of our significant contemporary poets and he holds one of the topmost positions in our literary arena. His poems are subtle and sublime.”
Saha can be considered experimental -- in regards to both content and form. He has published around 92 books of poetry. Major themes of his poetry and writings include human relations, liberalism, romanticised uprising of youth and the appearance of and subsequent events in Bangladesh.
Other noticeable elements in Saha's poetry are solitude, love, yearning, the Liberation War, nature, hardship, secularism and equal rights. His style is unquestionably unique and evocative. His poems also have a ready impact with their uncomplicated approach. His words and verses articulate the sufferings of a lonesome soul and a mourning heart.
Sa'adat Ali Akhand is one of the notable authors of Bengal, in the pre-Bangladesh period (1930 to 1970). He was born in 1899 at Chingaspur village in Bogra. He went to Rajshahi Govt. College and then Kolkata University in 1933. The award was introduced by Tahmina Hossain (Ali's daughter) in 1990. The selection of the awardee and organising the award ceremony is carried out by Bangla Academy.
The award has been given to some many talented writers for poetry, short story, novel, drama, juvenile literature, essay and other genres of creative works. The award comes in recognisation of the writer's outstanding contributions to the literary field.
Though Akhand has not produced many literary works, he is considered to be one of the foremost fiction writers and essayists of Bangladesh.
Sa'adat Ali Akhand was a regular contributor for the monthly Shawgat and Bulbul. His writings focused on the history of Muslims and their social contributions. He has also focused on Muslims' varied dilemmas and their conflicts and superstitions.

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