Literati mourn Burhanuddin Khan Jahangir

Cultural Correspondent | Published at 10:24pm on March 24, 2020

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Burhanuddin Khan Jahangir

Ekushey Padak winning writer, educationist and art-critic Burhanuddin Khan Jahangir died of old age complications at his Gulshan residence in Dhaka on Monday. He was 84.

Prominent poets, writers and artists of the country have expressed profound shock at the death of Burhanuddin who had made outstanding contributions to the country’s education, art and literature arenas through his creations.

Writer Selina Hossain pointed out, ‘Burhanuddin Khan Jahangir had enriched our literature through his collection of essays which portrays nationalism, mass people, and plight of marginalised people of society. He will live on through his works. He had discussed our literature in a large scale.’

Bangla Academy director general Habibullah Siraji said, ‘He was not only a good writer but also an educationist, art-critic and a good teacher. He was a man of virtue. I read his stories, poems and fundamental literature, which are outstanding. He gave more as a teacher to our upcoming generation. I urge the younger generation to read his books.’

Professor Ahmed Reza of Jahangirnagar University mentioned, ‘When I read his literary works it struck me, that, as he is difficult to trace out, reading him profoundly I found him a vastly wise man. He was a genuine scholar whose behaviour and mannerism were very much refined. I went to listen to his weekly seminars.’

Dean of fine arts faculty professor Nisar Hossain uttered, ‘He was an enlightened person. Though he studied Political Science, we knew him as an anthropologist. He made immense contribution to arts scene through his art-criticism. He was one of the most eminent art-critics the country has ever seen.’

‘I think, an art-critic like him, will be very rare to be found in contemporary times. His criticisms address not only the aesthetic beauty of arts but also recount the social anomalies, politics, history and other contemporary issues. He described art in a larger scale through his outstanding imagination power,’ added Nisar Hossain.

Jatiya Kabita Parishad general secretary Tarik Sujat said, ‘He was one of the pioneer writers who drove country’s literature scene dynamically in 50s through his outstanding creations. When he was 15, his story was published in a collection of stories titled ‘Danar Panchti Galpa’, where he was the youngest among the five writers. He was a language movement veteran and also in imprisonment for the anti-Pakistani movement during Liberation War period.’

‘He was a good researcher of our country. His research books are appreciated at both home and aboard. He didn’t get the recognition he deserved. He will live on through his works. His death is an irreparable loss for our country,’ added Tarik Sujat.

Burhanuddin Khan passed his matriculation examination in 1950 from Muslim Government High School, Dhaka, and intermediate examination in 1952 from Dhaka College.

He obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from the University of Dhaka in 1955 and 1956 respectively. He obtained his PhD from Durham University in 1974.

He started his career at Dhaka University as a lecturer in 1956 and retired from the university in 1994.

He was awarded the Bangla Academy Award in 1969 and the Ekushey Padak in 2009.