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Ali, Sheikh Wazed


Ali, Sheikh Wazed (1890-1951) essayist, story and travelogue writer, Sheikh Wazed Ali, commonly known as S Wazed Ali, was born in Bara Tajpur village under Srirampur subdivision of Hugli district. His father Sheikh Belayet Ali was a businessman who settled in Shilong. S Wazed Ali started his education at the Pathshala of Bara Tajpur village in 1895. Later he entered Shilong Mokhar High School and passed entrance in 1906 with distinction and Gold Medel. He passed IA from Aligarh College under Allahabad University in 1908 and obtained BA degree from Allahabad University in 1910. S Wazed Ali went to England for higher studies in 1912 and obtained BA and Bar-at Law from Cambridge University. His professional career was started as a lawyer of Calcutta High Court in 1915. He was appointed Magistrate of Calcutta Presidency in 1923 and retired from this post in 1945.

The first article written by S Wazed Ali titled Atiter Bojha was published in the journal Sabujpatra edited by Promoth Chowdhury in 1919. In the same year he edited and published a monthly English Journal entitled Bulletin of the Indian Rationalistic Society. In 1925, his short story titled 'Raja' was published in the journal Islam Darshan. S Wazed Ali had been elected the President of the 'Bangiya Mussalman Sahitya Samiti' for two terms, once in 1925 and then in 1926. In March 1927, he resigned from the position of the President of the 'Bangiya Mussalman Sahitya Samiti'. The collection of his short story named Guldansta was published in the same year. As the Chairman of the Reception Committee that was formed to offer a reception to poet Qazi Nazrul Islam at Calcutta Albert Hall on 15 December 1929, S Wazed Ali read the citation. In the same year he presided over the annual conference of 'Assam Muslim Student Society'.

In April 1930, S Wazed Ali attended the annual conference of 'Noakhali Muslim Institute' and presided over it. In 1932, he edited and published an illustrated Bengali monthly literary journal Gulistan. During those days this journal played a significant role in strengthening Hindu-Muslim friendship and tie. His book Iqbaler Paigam had been publishing serially in Gulistan from 1932, and another book Granadar Shesh Beer from 1934. He attended the 'Nikhil Banga Primary Teachers Conference' held at Sirajganj in 1935. He presided over it. In July 1935, he attended the first annual conference of 'Tajpur Institute' in the village Bara Tajpur under Hugli district.

Sheikh Wazed Ali was a progressive, liberal and a humanist writer. His secular attitude to life and social relations is well expressed in his literary creations. He was an exponent of Bengali nationalism. His dream was to establish a state based on Bengali nationalism and Bangla language. He earned reputation for writing story, novel, essay, belles-letters and travelogue. His major writings include: Essay- Jibaner Xilpa (1941), Prachya O Pratichya (1943), Bhabishyater Bangalee (1943), Akbarer Rastra Shadhana (1949), Muslim Sangskritir Adarsha, Story- Guldansta (1927), Mashuqer Darbar (1930), Darbesher Doa (1931), Badshahi Galpa (1944), Galper Majlish (1944), Novel- Granadar Shesh Bir (1940), Travelogue- Motor Joge Ranchi Safar (1949), Pashchim- Bharate (1948.)

As an essayist, story writer and novelist S Wazed Ali was able to attract the readers and intellectuals of his time. His writings were reviewed by the readers and their positive opinions were published in the leading newspapers of that period like 'Anandabazar'and 'Amritabazar Patrika'. His stories are the reflection of practical life of human beings. He tried to reveal the psychological aspects of people in his story. The collection Mashuker Darbar is an example of such experiment. His expression is simple and style of language is lucid, which make his story lively. As the sketch of ordinary lives, Mashuker Darbar made a distinction. On the other hand, the stories of the collection Guldansta is rich for the diversity of plot and its technical expression. Granadar Shesh Bir brought him the fame of a successful novelist. This book was selected as a Rapid Reader for the' Matriculation students in 1943 by the Calcutta University. His another book titled Akbarer Rastra Shadhana was also selected by the Calcutta University in 1952 as the Rapid Reader book for the entrance examinee. S Wazed Ali died in Calcutta on 10 June 1951. [Shahida Akhter]