An archaeologist-historian extraordinaire | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 11, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 11, 2011

An archaeologist-historian extraordinaire

Dr. Enamul Haque turns 75


L-R: Dr. Enamul Haque speaks at the programme. A scene from “Shurjomukhi Nodi”.Photo: Mumit M.

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Noted historian, archaeologist, museologist (founder Director General of Bangladesh National Museum) and poet, Dr. Enamul Haque is a man with a mission -- to promote and popularise the ancient and medieval art of Bangladesh and eastern India. He is also chairperson and academic director of the International Centre for Study of Bengal Art (ICSBA).
On October 9, this multitalented personality turned 75. On the occasion, Akrity (a dance academy) and Bangladesh Academy of Fine Arts jointly hosted a celebration at National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka.
Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Abul Kalam Azad was present as chief guest at the event. Niaz Zaman, Professor, Department of English, University of Dhaka was present as special guest. Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman presided over the programme. Eminent dancer Rahiza Khanam Jhunu delivered the welcome speech. Dancer Dolly Iqbal also spoke at the programme.
Friends, admirers and well-wishers greeted Dr. Haque with flowers, gifts and cards.
Among others, Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui; Golam Mustafa Khan, founder of Benuka Lalit Kala Academy; poet Ayet Ali Patwari; painter Syed Jahangir; dancer Golam Faruk and dance director Amanul Haque wished Dr. Haque on his birthday.
Professor Niaz Zaman said, “I was first introduced to Enamul Haque at the Nimtoli Museum. He collected Nakshi Kantha (traditional hand-embroidered quilts) for the museum as art pieces. He has written many books where he focused on Bangladesh's history and culture. Through his work he has generated international interest in our heritage. Haque has produced several dance-dramas as well. He organised the 9th Biannual International Congress on Bengal Art, held in Dhaka.”
Professor Anisuzzaman said, “We thank him [Dr. Haque] for all he has given us and wish him further success throughout the rest of his life.”
Dr. Enamul Haque said in his speech, “Dhaka National Museum is the third largest museum in the world. During my tenure, I renovated the Ahsan Manzil and I had tried my best to keep the antiquities and artefacts in public focus.”
The birthday celebration included staging of a dance-drama, titled “Shurjomukhi Nodi” -- featuring performances by Sadia Islam Mou, Kabirul Islam Ratan, Selina Haque, Abdur Rashid Shapan, Abdul Matin and Illias Haider. Abida Sultana, Syed Abdul Hadi, Subir Nandi, Mina Barua and Rafiqul Islam rendered the songs for the play. The play was written and directed by Dr. Enamul Haque.
Dr. Haque was born in 1936 in Bogra. He completed his bachelor's and master's degrees from Dhaka University. He earned a doctorate degree in South Asian Art and a diploma in museology from London. Dr. Haque is the first individual in the sub-continent to receive a degree in the field of museology. He joined the then Dacca Museum in 1962 and retired from Bangladesh National Museum in 1991.

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