Bangladesh National Museum organised a programme to commemorate the recently demised poet-playwright Syed Shamsul Haq at the Begum Sufia Kamal Auditorium on Saturday.
Cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor was present as chief guest at the event with writer Hasnat Abdul Hye and poets Asad Chowdhury and Mahmud Al Zaman in attendance.
Poet Kamal Chowdhury presided over it while actor Afzal Hossain served as the host.
The programme, which began with a welcome speech by the museum’s director general Faizul Latif Chowdhury, screened a video clip of a speech that Syed Shamsul Haq delivered at a programme last year, celebrating his 80th birth anniversary.
Afterwards, the speakers talked about Syed Shamsul Haq’s illustrious career and contributions to Bangla literature as well as recalled their associations with him.
Asad Chowdhury hailed Haq as a ‘giant of contemporary Bangla literature.’ ‘Syed Shamsul Haq was deeply rooted in his tradition and, at the same time, aware of the contemporary currents of world literature,’ he said.
Hasnat Abdul Hye, in his speech, called Haq an ‘unparalleled’ poet-playwright of post-Tagore literature. He described how he developed a distinctive language in his writings.
‘While we all are products of our languages, or are born into a given one, few can mould their language as beautifully as Haq did and turn it into their own vessel,’ he said.
Mahmud Al Zaman described how Haq discovered new styles and modes of expression and evolved as what he called a ‘complete writer’ in his long career.
‘In the 1950s, Syed Shamsul Haq was one of the most promising poets, armed with a distinctive style to take Bangla literature to new heights,’ said Zaman. He also explained how Haq traversed with equal ease other genres of literature including short story, novel, play, lyrics and essay.
Asaduzzaman Noor, on the other hand, recalled his associations with the late poet-playwright and specifically talked about Haq’s contributions to theatre.
‘The few plays that we can boast about as being our own classics include several by Haq. His plays like Payer Awaj Pawa Jay and Nuroldiner Sarajiban will live as long as our theatre will,’ Noor said.
Syed Shamsul Haq died on September 27 at a hospital in Dhaka and was buried in his birthplace in Kurigram.
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