Kalam, Shamsuddin Abul

Kalam, Shamsuddin Abul (1926-1997) novelist and journalist, was born in 1926 in Kamdevpur village under Nalchiity upazila in jhalokati district. Originally known as Abul Kalam Shamsuddin, he came to be known as Shamsuddin Abul Kalam from 1955. He matriculated from Barisal Zila School in 1941, and completed his IA from Brajomohan College in 1943, and BA from Calcutta University in 1946. He was admitted to MA, but did not complete his studies. He was actively involved in the independence movement as a student and was a member of the central committee of the Bengal Student Congress.

In 1950, he came to dhaka and joined the News and Information Secretariat of the government of East Pakistan as assistant director, later becoming editor of its publication, the mahe-nao.

Rome University awarded Kalam the DLitt degree. He was also awarded a diploma on cinema from the Experimental Centre of Cinematography in Rome. He visited several countries, finally settling in Italy. After migrating to Europe, he produced a number of documentary films for UNESCO. He was an associate of the movie director Victor D Sheafer. He played a vital role in gaining international recognition for the government of Mujibnagar during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.

Kalam was chiefly known for his prose fiction. Among his writings are Anek Diner Asha (1952), Dheu (1953), Path Jana Nai (1953), Dui Hrdayer Tir (1955), Shaher Banu (1957), Puni Dalimer Kavya (1987). His novels include Alamnagarer Upakatha (1954), Kashbaner Kanya (1954), Kavchanmala (1961), Jaymabgal (1978), Kavchangram (1998). He also left several unpublished manuscripts of stories and novels, as well as an autobiography. He was awarded the Bangla Academy Prize in 1994. He died on 10th January 1997 in Rome. He was buried in Dhaka. [Golam Kibria Pinu]