Today [Thursday] marks the 122nd birth anniversary of the renowned litterateur, journalist and politician of the Indian subcontinent Abul Mansur Ahmad.
He was born at Dhanikhola village in Trishal upazila of Mymensingh in 1898 and died in 1979 while undergoing treatment at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Abul Mansur Ahmad made his name as a satirist in Bangla literature. He is also considered as a trailblazer of journalism in pre-partition Bengal. He was the editor of 'Dainik Ittehad' in 1946 — a daily published from Kolkata.
Abul Mansur Ahmad also worked in other newspapers like 'Krisak' and 'Navayug'. He was a leading figure of modern and progressive journalism.
An accomplished politician, Abul Mansur Ahmad served the Sher-e-Bangla Abul Kasem Fazlul Haque-led United Front government as the provincial education minister.
During 1956-57, he was the central commerce and industry minister of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy's cabinet. His dedication to the welfare of Bangladesh (the then East Pakistan), particularly his contribution to the initiating of the industrialisation of this area, is well recognised.
He was imprisoned several times during the late 50s and early 60s due to his political activism.
Among Abul Mansur's famous satirical novels, 'Aina', 'Asmani Parda', 'Gulliverer Safarnama' and 'Food Conference' are notable. Two of his autobiographies are 'Atma Katha' (about myself) and 'Amar Dekha Rajnitir Panchash Bachhar' (50 years of politics as I saw it), which, while bringing out his own personal struggles, depicts the historical and social challenges faced by the common people of that period.
It can be noted that an essay competition has been held in three categories on Abul Mansur's literary and journalistic works and his political accomplishments marking his birth anniversary, said a press release from the Abul Mansur Ahmad Smriti Parishad.
As in previous years, this year's edition of the competition will announce nine winners — three from each category. The press release added that the updates will be posted on the Facebook page 'Abul Mansur Ahmad'.