Ali, Muhammad Wajed

Ali, Muhammad Wajed (1896-1954) journalist, writer. He was born in Banshdaha village in satkhira district on 28 Bhadra 1303 (1896). His father, Munshi Muhammad Ibrahim, was a village doctor whose dispensary was a place where people gathered to read newspapers and discuss different issues. Wajed Ali was greatly influenced by his father's personality, his habit of reading newspapers, and the lively discussions that took place in his dispensary. His desire to become journalist perhaps derived from these early experiences.

Wajed Ali studied at the Middle English School at Banshdaha and the English High School at Babulia. After passing the Entrance Examination, he took admission in Bangabasi College, Calcutta. However, influenced by Maulana mohammad akram khan, he became involved in politics and dropped out of college. He then joined the anti-British non-cooperation movement.

He took up journalism, and, from 1920 to 1935, worked as an editor in a number of Muslim-owned newspapers and magazines in Calcutta, among them, mohammadi, nabajug, Sebak, bangiya mussalman sahitya patrika, The Mussalman, Khadem, saogat, Sahachar, Bulbul and Samyabadi.

Mohammed Wajed Ali wrote profusely on culture, society and politics. Although he wrote over 200 articles, the number of his books is small. His eight books, which include biographies of varying lengths and a number of translations, are Marubhaskar, Smarnanandini (translation), Chhotader Hazrat Mohammad, Quaid-i-Azam Mohamed Ali Jinnah, Mohammad Ali, Don Quixote-er Galpa, Mahamanus Muhsin, and Syed Ahmad.

bangla academy has recently published some of his essays in two volumes. Apart from his Bangla writing, Mohammed Wajed Ali wrote a few articles in English. He also wrote a number of poems. He collected folk literature and his compilation, Jodabanya Kahini, published in Bangiya Mussalman Sahitya Patrika (Baishakh, 1326), is an important source for folklorists.

Mohammed Wajed Ali was a dedicated writer and journalist, committed to serving Muslim society. Despite financial adversities, he did not swerve from his social commitment. He wrote many valuable essays in newspapers such as mahe-nao, Mohammadi, Sangbad on language and literature, and on the directions in which the country should develop. He did not hesitate to criticise the failings of Muslim society.

Wajed Ali spent the last two decades of his life in his village. However, even while living there he continued to be associated with newspapers and periodicals. He died in his own village on 8 November 1954. [Mahmud Shah Qureshi]