Alam, Ohidul

Alam, Ohidul (1911-1998) writer and journalist, was born on 1 January 1911 in the village of Fateyabad in hathazari thana (now upazila). He formed a cultural circle in Chittagong with his eldest brother, mahbub-ul alam, Didarul Alam and other writers of his family. Though Ohidul Alam belonged to a fairly conservative family, literary personalities like kazi nazrul islam, abdul quadir, and Habibullah Chowdhury often visited his home. Ohidul Alam thus grew up in a very enlightened atmosphere.

Ohidul Alam completed his BA in 1936 and BEd in 1940 and then taught at different schools in chittagong. At the same time he was writing stories and essays. He was also associated with the world of journals and newspapers. One of his most significant associations was with the Purabi, which created a base for folk literature and practice of folk traditions. He also edited the periodical Deshkal from 1974 till his death. For some time he was associated with the weekly Satyabarta and the daily Naya Jamana which were published from Chittagong. He also served as a news editor in the Daily Purba Pakistan, which belonged to his relative, the poet Abdus Salam.

Ohidul Alam wrote in a variety of genres. One of his earliest pieces of writing was Karnafulir Majhi (1946), poems written in the style of jasimuddin's folk ballads. His subsequent poetical work includes Baksu Fakir and Kavyasamagra (1979), a collection of his poems. Among Ohidul Alam's prose works are Prthibir Pathik (1972), a remarkable biography written in the style of the novee. Bangla Jibanikos (1987), another important work, contains the biographies of about six hundred persons associated with literature, arts, philosophy and social work.

Ohidul Alam also wrote a number of stories for children: Birpurus Sonagazi (1954), Shamima (1954) and Joharar Pratiksa O Anyanya Galpa (1978). Among his other books are School Colleger Trish Bachhar (1973), Kavi Didarul Alam (1977), Chattagramer Xiksa Sadhana (1980), Chattagramer Itihas (1982), Chattagramer Loka Sahitya (1985), Abul Fazl: Sanga-Prasanga O Samakalin Katha (1987) etc. He was also an Islamic scholar, writing about Islamic ideals in Quraner Jibandarshan. He died on 24 January 1998. [Mahmud Shah Qureshi]