Writer, columnist Syed Abul Maksud dies aged 75

Columnist, article writer, author and researcher Syed Abul Maksud has died in hospital care in Dhaka at the age of 75.

Maksud passed away at Square Hospital in the capital around 7:15pm on Tuesday, his son Syed Nafis Maksud said.

Nafis said his father was taken to the hospital in the afternoon after he had complained of sudden breathing problems.

Shariful Islam Hasan, programme head of migration at BRAC who is close to Maksud’s family, said the body was kept at the hospital’s mortuary as the family were yet to decide about the burial.

A winner of the Bangla Academy Award, Maksud was known for his columns and research-based articles on society, culture and contemporary political issues.

President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have mourned Maksud.

Hamid in a condolence message said the demise of Maksud left a void in Bangladesh’s culture and literature.    

Hasina prayed for Maksud and extended sympathy to his family, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Born at Elachipur village in Manikganj’s Shibaloy Upazila on Oct 23, 1946, Maksud began his career in media in 1964 by joining Nabajug, a weekly edited by M Anisuzzaman.

He later worked at weekly Janata, the mouthpiece of the National Awami Party, for some days. Maksud joined Bangladesh Barta Sangstha in 1971 and left the editorial job in March, 2008.

He became known with his regular columns headlined ‘Sahajia Korcha’ and ‘Bagha Tentul’. He started writing poetry, stories and articles in the 60s.

His book of poetry ‘Bikelbela’ was published in 1981. His second poetry book, ‘Dara Shikoh O Onyanyo Kobita’, in 1987. He also wrote about human rights, environment and love.

He did research on the lives and works of litterateurs and politicians like Rabindranath Tagore, Buddhadeb Basu, Syed Waliullah, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani.

On Maulana Bhasani, Maksud wrote ‘Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasanir Jibon, Kormokando, Rajneeti O Dorshon’ (1986) and ‘Bhasani Kahini’. His works on Waliullah are ‘Syed Waliullahr Jibon O Sahityo’, and ‘Smritite Waliullah’.

A writer of more than 40 books, he won the Bangla Academy Literature Award in 1995.

He left behind his wife, the son and a daughter.