Tuesday, June 18, 2019 | ePaper

Poet Rafiq Azad

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Literature Desk :
afiq Azad (Rafiqul Islam Khan; February 14, 1942-March 12, 2016) was a poet, editor and writer. He is credited with 45 collections of poetry including Prokriti O Premer Kobita, Osombhober Paye, Sohosro Sundor, Haturir Niche Jibon, Khub Beshi Dureo Noy, Khoma Koro Bohoman Hey Udar Omiyo Batas and others. The poet participated in the Liberation War against the Pakistani occupation forces in 1971 and was awarded  Notable Freedom Fighter Award in 1997. He received Bangla Academy Literary Award in 1984 and Ekushey Padak in 2013, for his contribution to Bangla language and literature.
Rafiq Azad was born in village of Guni in Tangail district. He was the youngest of three children of Salimuddin Khan and Rabeya Khan.  He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Bengali from the University of Dhaka in 1965 and 1967, respectively.
Rafiq Azad was widely regarded as one of the most prolific young poets in the post-Liberation War period. His first book of poetry, Oshombhober Paye was published in 1973. Since then, he had experimented with language and poetic form, where surrealistic approach was conspicuous.  He described himself as a ‘lover of humans, nature and romance.’ He depicted love, romance, poverty, sufferings, injustice, urban and rural life through his poems. Many of his love poems, including Hey Doroja and Bhalobashar Shonga (Definition of Love), have been used and quoted many times in movies, TV dramas and other media in Bangladesh.
Throughout his professional life, spanning 50 years, Rafiq Azad had many roles. He began his career as a lecturer in Kagmari College (now Govt Maulana Mohammad Ali College) in Tangail in the late 1960s. The year 1971 changed the course of the poet's life joined the fight against the occupying army in the Liberation War.
He joined Bangla Academy in 1972 and worked there until 1984, as the Executive Editor of Uttaradhikar, a monthly magazine. He was also the Editor of Robbar, another popular weekly in 1980s. He was the Director of National Book Center (Jatiyo Grontho Kendro) of Bangladesh for many years. He briefly served as the Deputy General Manager of BJMC (Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation). He returned to Bangla Academy in 1995, for a brief period, to help assist the Young Writers’ Project, taking up the role of poetics instructor.  Later he went back to teaching and became a Visiting Professor of Literature at Jahangirnagar University in Savar. In the recent years, he had been working in daily Amader Shomoy.
Books: Osombhober Payae, Semabadha Jalae, Simito Shobuja, Ekjibone, Haturir Niche Jibon, Porikirno Panchala Amaer, Swodesh, Khub Beshi Dure Noy, Khoma koro Bohoman He Udar Omiyo Batas, Karo Oshuropat, Pagolar Thekay Premiker Chithi, Apar  Oronnyo, Moulobir Mon Bholo Noy, Priyo Shareegulo, Poems on Love Environment and Other Difficulties.
He was awarded:  Kobitalap Award (1979), Alaol Literary Award (1981), Bangla Academy Literary Award (1984), Suhreed Literary Award (1989), Poet Ahsan Habib Award (1991), Poet Hasan Hafizur Rahman Award (1996), Notable Freedom Fighter Award (1997), Ekushey Padak (2013)
Rafiq Azad married Adila Bakul in 1969 and together they had four children - Lopa, Rahul, Deepita and Rajeev. In 1983, the couple separated and later that year he married Dilara Hafiz. Together they had two sons - Ovinna and Obyoy. Rafiq Azad suffered a stroke in January 2016 and remained hospitalized for almost 8 weeks.
 He breathed his last on March 12, 2016, in Dhaka. His body was entombed in Martyred Intellectuals’ Cemetery in Mirpur. n

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