Today is the 103rd birth anniversary of novelist and short story writer Sheikh Azizur Rahman, popularly known as Shawkat Osman.
Family members of Osman will observe the day through a memorial programme which will be held at Sufia Kamal Auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum at 5:30pm today.
Shawkat Osman was born at Sabolsinghpur under Hughli district of West Bengal in India in 1917. He passed MA in Bangla in 1941 from Calcutta University.
Earlier, in 1936, he worked briefly as a clerk in the Calcutta Corporation. After completing his MA, he taught at Government Commercial College.
He migrated to East Pakistan in 1947and joined Chittagong Commerce College. In 1959, he joined Dhaka College from where he retired in 1972.
Shawkat Osman also wrote a good number of essays, plays, humorous writings, memoirs and books for children. His popular novels include Janani, Kritadaser Hasi, Samagam, Chaurasandhi, Raja Upakhyan, Jahannam Haite Biday, Dui Sainik (Two Soldiers, 1973), Nekde Aranya (Wolves’ Forest, 1973), Patabga Pivjar (Insects’ Cage, 1983), Artanad, and Rajpurus.
Shawkat Osman wrote some memoirs including Svajan Sanggram, Kalratri Khandachitra, Anek Kahan, Goodbye Justice Masud, Mujibnagar, Astitver Sabge Sanglap, Sodarer Khonje Svadesher Sandhane and Maulabader Agun Niye Khela.
He also translated a large number of novels, short stories and plays into Bangla. Of some of his translated books are Nisho, Luknitashi, Bagdader Kavi, Time Machine, Panchti Kahini, Spainer Chhotagalpa, Panchti Natak, Daktar Abdullahar Karkhana, Prthibir Rabgamavche Manus and Santaner Svikarokti.
Shawkat Osman was a staunch supporter of Bengali culture and strongly protested against autocracy and religious fundamentalism. Although he was not politically active, he was outspoken about his political views.
He received many awards for his contribution to literature including Bangla Academy Award (1962), Adamjee Literary Award (1966), President Award (1967), Ekushey Padak (1983), Mahbubullah Foundation Prize (1983), Muktadhara Literary Award (1991) and Independence Award (1997).
Shawkat Osman died in Dhaka on May 14, 1998.
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