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Hossain, Sahityaratna Munshi Ashraf


Hossain, Sahityaratna Munshi Ashraf (1892-1965) poet and collector of puthi and folk literature and researcher, was born in the village of Rahimpur in kamalganj upazila. His early education was at a local maktab. He got the title of 'munshi' after studying for five years at Qaomi Madrassa. He then studied up to Class III at Kaliprasad Middle English School (1915). In 1918 he established a primary school in his village and started teaching there, becoming its headmaster in 1922. The same year he passed the Guru Training Examination from Shilchar Normal School.

Ashraf Hossain's literary career started in 1918, when he started writing on local problems in different journals and newspapers. He gradually became interested in collecting and preserving folk literature. dinesh chandra sen included 'Manipurer Ladai' collected by Ashraf Hossain in Eastern Bengal Ballads.

Ashraf Hossain wrote twelve books and seventeen textbooks. He edited thirty books on folk literature. His well-known writings include Ashraf Dewana, Bhumikamper Kavita and Adam Khan Dewaner Git. Among his collections of folk literature are Dilkush Kanyar Baramasi, Shantikanyar Baramasi, Lilair Baramasi, Madhumalar Git. His major textbooks are Maktabi Balya Shiksa, Sahitya Sudha, Navabidhan Dharapat. His history of Sylhet, Silhater Itihas, was serially published in the monthly Al-Islah.

In recognition of his contribution to literature, Ashraf Hossain was awarded the title of 'Puratattvavid' (1935) by the Murshidabad Banga Sahitya Mandal, 'Sahityaratna' and 'Kavyavinod' (1952) by the Nikhil Banga Sahitya Sangha and 'Tamgha-i-Quaid-i-Azam' (1965) by the Pakistan Government. The Assam Government granted him a literary stipend (1943) and bangla academy provided him financial help. He died on 24 January 1965 in his village. [Soaib Ahmed Gibran]