Writer Shawkat Ali dies at 82

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Dhaka, 25 January: Doctors at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital declared the veteran litterateur dead at 8:15am on Thursday, said his eldest son Arif Shawkat Pallab, a physician.

Ali got admitted to Dhaka’s Labaid hospital on Jan 4. He was put on life support there. He was later shifted to BSMMU.

The writer was born in West Bengal, India on Feb 12, 1936.

He got involved in communist movements while in college. Soon after that he joined Bangladesh’s language movement.

Pakistani occupation forces detained him during the 1971 War of Liberation.

Ali started his career as a journalist but later moved into academia. He started writing for ‘Nutan Sahitya’, a mouthpiece of leftist politicians.

Many of his stories, poems and write-ups for children were published in Dainik Millat, monthly Samakal, and the Daily Ittefaq.

Ali’s novel ‘Warish’ has a vivid description of Hindu-Muslim riots following the 1947 partition. In his novel ‘Prodoshe Prakritajan’, Ali has narrated the miseries suffered by low-caste groups. It also sheds light on how the so-called untouchables revolted against oppressors.

Ali received the Ekushey Padak in 1990 for his contributions to Bangla literature. Bangla Academy Award, Humayun Kabi Memorial Prize, Ajit Guha Smriti Sahitya Award are some of the other awards he bagged later.

Ali received the Philips Sahitya Prize for three novels: ‘Dokkhinayoner Din’, ‘Kulay Kalsrot’ and ‘Purbaratri Purbadin’.