Tuesday, October 15, 2019 | ePaper

Philosopher, essayist Sardar Fazlul Karim

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Literature Desk :
ardar Fazlul Karim, (1 May 1925 - 15 June 2014) was a scholar, academic, philosopher and essayist of Bangladesh.
Born in a middle-class family of Barisal in 1925, Sardar Fazlul Karim stood second at IA examination (Intermediate in Arts) but topped the first class in both his BA Honours and MA examinations in Philosophy from Dhaka University. He became a lecturer in 1946 at the age of 21. Involved in progressive politics as a student, he was an ‘enemy’ of the then Pakistan government and in four phases spent almost the full twenty-four years of Pakistani rule in jail. Ayub Khan and Monem Khan ensured that he could never return to his teaching job during the Pakistan period.
He participated in the 58-day hunger strike of political prisoners demanding humane treatment. He was elected a member of Constituent Assembly of Pakistan while in prison. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and National Professor Abdur Razzak brought him back to the Dhaka University immediately after the Independence of Bangladesh in 1972.
Sardar Fazlul Karim has written scholarly books on philosophy. Among them is his Dorshonkosh (Bengali Encyclopedia of Philosophy). He has translated Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau and Engels.
When Sardar was a high school student, Saratchandra Chatterjee’s novel Pother Dabi (Demand for a Pathway) inspired him to dream of a revolution for the first time. His friend Mozammel Haq had given him the book. Young Mozammel, a political activist and journalist, died in 1965 Cairo plane crash. The book greatly influenced the teenaged Sardar. Years later he learnt that the same book had inspired Jyoti Basu to be a revolutionary. Sardar Fazlul Karim was always an obedient child and helped his father in agricultural work.
Sardar Fazlul Karim came to Dhaka to study Intermediate in Arts. He got admitted to the Government Intermediate College. Progressive students looked him up. Sardar was more a nationalist than a communist then. He brought out wallpapers and had a good personal library. Friends used to borrow books from him. Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth also influenced him. He became a student of Dhaka University in 1942. He studied English for a few days, but shifted to Philosophy because Haridas Bhattacharya’s class lectures had attracted him.  
He passed his BA Honours in 1945 when the Second World War ended. The 1943’s Bengal famine influenced him a lot. The Communists were very active during the Bengal famine. Sardar left Socrates, Plato and Hegel in his room and travelled to remote villages with relief for the hungry!
Published works : Bengali Translation:  Plator Republic,  Plator Songlap, Aristotler Politic, Engelser Anti-Duhring, Rousseaur Social Contract, Rousseaur The Confessions.
Memoirs, essays and others: Dorshonkosh, (Bengali Encyclopedia of Philosophy), -Shahid Jyotirmay Guho Thakarta Smarokgrontho,  Shei she kal: Kichhu Smriti Kichhu Kotha, Dhaka Biswobidyaloy O Purbobongiyo Somaj: Odhyapok Abdur Razzaqer Alapcharita, Chollisher  Doshoker Dhaka Nana Kotha, Nana Kothar Porer Kotha,  Nuher Kishti  O Onyanyo Probondho, Rumir Amma O Onyanyo Probondho, Golper Golpo, Path Prosongo and Arek Juge Jugoslaviay.
References:
1.    â€˜Sardar Fazlul Karim’s 86th birthday today.’
The Daily Star 1 May  2011.  Retrieved 12 December 2011.
2.    Haque, Junaidul (6 October 2007). ‘The life of a man of commitment.’ The Daily Star. Retrieved 12 December 2011.  n     -https://www.revolvy.com   

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