People pay last respects to Momtazuddin Ahmed

Cultural Correspondent | Published at 12:20am on June 04, 2019


Dhaka University theatre and performance studies department pays tribute to Momtazuddin Ahmed at Dhaka University Central Mosque. — Abdullah Apu

Friends, peers and well-wishers paid their last respects to Ekushey Padak-winning playwright, theatre activist and actor professor Momtazuddin Ahmed at Dhaka University Central Mosque at 10:00am on Monday.

Momtazuddin Ahmed passed away at the age of 84 at 3:40pm on Sunday while undergoing treatment at the intensive care unit of Dhaka’s Apollo Hospitals.

He was survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.

His first namaz-e-janaza was held at Rupnagar, Mirpur in the capital after the Isha prayer on Sunday. His body was taken to Dhaka University Central Mosque on Monday morning where his second namaz-e-janaza was held.

Honorary president of International Theatre Institute Ramendu Majumdar, thespian Mamunur Rashid, noted researcher-essayist Mofidul Hoque and teleplay director and actor Salauddin Lavlu, along with theatre and performance studies department of Dhaka University, and others, paid their last respects to Momtazuddin Ahmed.

‘Momtazuddin Ahmed’s contribution to country’s theatre scene cannot be forgotten. After coming back to Dhaka from Chattogram he joined our theatre troupe. He also served as a director of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy,’ said Ramendu Majumder.

‘I hope initiatives will be taken to preserve his essays, plays and other works. He will be remembered through his creations,’ added Ramendu Majumder.

‘Momtazuddin Ahmed made immense contributions to our theatre movement. His play Swadhinata Amader was aired on Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra during the tumultuous days during liberation war. He was a tremendous actor and one of the greatest playwrights of our time,’ said Mamunur Rashid.

‘He was a versatile playwright. The younger generation of theatre activists should strive to learn from Momtazuddin Ahmed and follow in his footsteps,’ said Mofidul Hoque.

After his second namaz-e-janaza, Momtazuddin Ahmed’s body was taken to his hometown Chapainawabganj where his third namaz-e-janaza was held. He was buried beside his father’s grave.

Born in 1935 in Malda in the then British India, Momtazuddin Ahmed was one of the major playwrights and theatre activists in post-independence Bangladesh.

Ahmed was directly involved 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. Ahmed has written around 40 plays for stage, radio and television and directed several of them besides acting 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 Bepar Shepar, Saat Ghater Kanakari, Bakulpurer Swadhinata, Khata Bikkhata 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 outstanding playwrights in Bangladesh in 2008.