Today is the first death anniversary of late Ekushey Padak-winning playwright, theatre activist and TV actor Momtazuddin Ahmed.
This correspondent talked to a number of his contemporaries, including renowned thespians Ferdausi Majumdar, Mamunur Rashid and noted actress Dilara Zaman, who have shared their thoughts of Momtazuddin Ahmed and recalled his contribution.
Ferdausi Majumdar said, ‘I had good relations with Momtazuddin Ahmed sir. He often used to come to our home and always had lively discussions with us. He was a well mannered person who never misbehaved with anyone. He eloquently portrayed the plight of the marginalised people, human relations and others. His plays received huge response from the mass people.’
‘I acted in several of his plays and teleplays. One of my most memorable experiences was acting in his play “Kalo Briefcase”. He encouraged all to deliver their best performances and loved to experiment with new ideas. Playwrights like him aren’t born every day. He will live on through his creations,’ added Ferdausi Majumdar.
Mamunur Rashid recalled, ‘Though Momtazuddin Ahmed was senior to me, I had friendly relations with him. Everyone addressed him as sir but I used to call him Momtaz bhai. He was fond of my acting and always gave me valuable feedback. We always had lively discussions about theatre and acting.’
‘He taught and researched theatre. He practiced modern theatre in the country after the liberation war and enriched our theatre scene with his timeless creations. As he became old, his work was hampered by aging-associated diseases,’ added Rashid.
Dilara Zaman mentioned, ‘I acted in many teleplays on BTV with him. Back in the day, he used to live near my home in Azimpur. We acted in a few theatre productions together. His contribution to country’s theatre and small screen cannot be forgotten. His works should be preserved for the upcoming generations. I urge the young generation to follow in his footsteps.’
Momtazuddin Ahmed, born in 1935, took part in the language movement during his college days at Rajshahi Government College. On February 21, 1952, he was among the students who contributed to the erection of the Shaheed Minar at Muslim Hostel of Rajshahi Government College. He was imprisoned multiple times for his involvement in political activism.
He is mostly known for his satirical plays and columns exposing social and political anomalies. Momtazuddin Ahmed has written around 40 plays for stage, radio and television and directed several of them and acted in some of the most popular TV dramas in the 1970s and 80s.
Among his popular plays are Ki Chaho Shankhachil, Rajar Anusharer Pala, Hridoyghatita Byapar Syapar, Saat Ghater Kanakari, Bakulpurer Swadhinata and others.
He taught Bengali, Sanskrit and European drama in several nongovernment and government colleges for over three decades.
For his contributions to theatre and culture, he received Bangla Academy Literary Award (1976) and Ekushey Padak (1997). Besides, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy honoured him as one of the most outstanding playwrights in Bangladesh in 2008.
He passed away at the age of 84 in 2019.
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