Friday, May 25, 2018 | ePaper

Novelist, educationist Syed Muztaba Ali

  • Print


Nurur Rahman Khan :
Syed Muztaba Ali (1904-1974) educationist and writer, was born on 13 September 1904 at his father's workplace in Karimganj of the then Sylhet. His ancestral residence was in a village of Moulvibazar. His father Syed Sikandar Ali, was a Sub-Registrar. Muztaba Ali studied at various educational institutions because of his father's frequent transfers from one place to another. He was finally admitted to Santiniketan where he obtained his BA degree in 1926. He learned several languages at Visva-Bharati: Sanskrit, English, French, German, Persian, Arabic, Italian, Hindi, and Gujrati. He had learned Urdu at home. Apart from languages, he also studied Sangkhya and Vedanta at Visva-Bharati.
Since a diploma from Visva-Bharati was then not recognised by other Universities, Muztaba Ali proceeded to sit for the Entrance Examination from Calcutta University as a private candidate in 1926. He studied Intermediate of Arts at Aligarh University before leaving for Germany on a scholarship to study Philosophy. In 1932 he was awarded a DPhil for his research on Comparative Religion. He also studied at Al-Azhar University from 1934 to 1935.
From 1927 to 1929, Muztaba Ali was a Professor of French and English at Agricultural College, Kabul. In 1935, at the invitation of the Maharaja of Baroda, he joined Baroda College as a Professor of Comparative Religion. He was also Principal at Azizul Haq College, Bogra and part-time lecturer in the Department of Islamic Studies, Calcutta University. He was Secretary of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and also worked for some time on All India Radio. He returned to teaching in 1961, joining the Islamic Studies Department of Visva-Bharati as Reader. He retired in 1965.
While Muztaba Ali was studying at Santiniketan, some of his writings were published in the Visva-Bharati, a handwritten magazine. He wrote columns in different journals such as the Ananda Bazar, Desh, Satyayug, Shanibarer Chithi, Basumati, Hindustan Standard, etc. under different pseudonyms such as 'Satyapir', 'Rai Pithora', 'Omar Khaiyam', 'Tekchand', 'Priyadarshi'. He was also a regular contributor to the Mohammadi, Chaturanga, Matribhumi, Kalantar, Al-Islah, etc.
He has thirty books to his credit, in a variety of genres: novels, short stories, essays and travelogues, etc. His travelogues, Deshe-Bideshe (1949) and Jale-Dangay (1960) were particularly well received. His novels include Abishvasya (1954), Shabnam (1960) and Shahar-Iyar (1969). Panchatantra (1952) and Mayurkanthi (1952) are humorous writings. His short stories have been compiled in Chacha Kahini (1952) and Tuni Mem (1964). Bonn University published his DPhil. Dissertation The Origin of Khojahs and Their Religious Life Today (1936). He also wrote about the language issue in East Pakistan in Purba-Pakistaner Rastrabhasa.
As an intellectual, Muztaba Ali was highly esteemed in both West Bengal and Bangladesh. His international exposure gave him a broadness of vision, which, together with his style of writing, brought him considerable renown. His short humorous writings have always been popular with readers. However, under the guise of humour, he expressed deeply felt truths. He breathed his last on 11 February 1974. n

More News For this Category

Opting for Goa, Jaipur this summer

Opting for Goa, Jaipur this summer

Weekend Plus Desk :Despite the scorching heat, Goa remains the most popular Indian holiday destination, followed by Jaipur, according to a study conducted by a leading travel portal. Thanks

Try korma, keema recipes to   impress at Iftar party

Try korma, keema recipes to impress at Iftar party

Weekend Plus Desk :During this Ramzan, impress your family and friends with self-made gosht badam korma or keema with recipes lent by experts. Ramzan is the ninth month of

Olga Tokarczuk wins Man Booker Prize 2018: Other novels by the Polish author

Olga Tokarczuk wins Man Booker Prize 2018: Other novels by the Polish author

Weekend Plus Desk :Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk has won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for fiction on for her novel Flights. The novel, translated by Jennifer Croft, narrates

Tribute to Professor Momen Sir

Tribute to Professor Momen Sir

Md Shafiul Alam :It is hard to believe that Professor Momen sir is no more with us. He left us on 10 May 2016. Professor Momen was a wonderful

The Poet’s song

-TennysonThe rain had fallen, the Poet arose He pass'd by the town and out of the street, A light wind blew from the gates of the sun,And waves of

By the moribund river

By the moribund river

Original: Bengali: Mritopray Noditir MukhomukhiI make me little by little better every day Then I think how far better I would beEvery day I go to flowers little by

I was born in the festivity of human

I was born in the festivity of human

Original Bengali: Jonmechhi Manusher UtsobeI was born in the festive of mankindIt may be in ritual, or in religious gatheringMay be in hottest Baishakh’s sunshine,On lip of peasant-bride’s soil

Keep your mind carefully

Original Bengali: Mon Jotne RakhoKeep your mind cagily  Moving around not wise Keep your eyes careful Surely interview will entice.  Keep fingers careful Not wise to be fidgetyKeep hands

Poems of Sheikh Nazrul

Poet Sheikh Nazrul firstly wrote poems. Though the golden gate is opened to him to come to the national dailies in the late 70s, the poet is reluctant to

Humanity dominates Nazrul’s works

Humanity dominates Nazrul’s works

Mizanur Rahman :Kazi Nazrul Islam is generally known as a ‘Rebel Poet.’ The description is only partially true. The Rebel in Nazrul mellowed down into a poet of love,