Husain, Qazi Motahar

Husain, Qazi Motahar (1897-1981) educationist, scientist and litterateur. Born in the village of Lakshmipur of kumarkhali upazila in kushtia district, (native village, Baghmara, under pangsha upazila in faridpur), Qazi Motahar Husain matriculated (1915) from Kushtia High School with distinction. He passed Intermediate examination from Rajshahi College (1917) and BA (Honours) and MA in Physics from Dhaka College in 1919 and 1921 respectively.

Qazi Motahar Husain

Qazi Motahar Husain received diploma in Statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute in 1938. Simultaneously, he obtained another MA degree in Mathematics from Calcutta University. He obtained PhD in Statistics on 'Design of Experiments' from Dhaka University in 1951. Doctoral thesis of Qazi Motahar Husain brought to light a new method known as 'Husain's Chain Rule'. Professor Husain was the first academic statistician of East Bengal, now called Bangladesh.

He began his career as a demonstrator in Physics at the newly established Dhaka University while he was a student (1921) of the same department and became assistant lecturer in 1923.

On his own effort, Qazi Motahar Husain started MA course in Statistics in 1948 and joined this new department. He became Reader in Statistics in 1951 and Professor in 1954. Professor Husain retired from Dhaka University in 1961, but continued to work as a Supernumerary Professor of Statistics until 1964. On the establishment of the Institute of Statistical Research and Training, Professor Husain joined it as its first Director (1964-1969). He was appointed Professor Emeritus of Dhaka University in 1969. After independence of Bangladesh, Dr Husain was made a National Professor (1975). Professor Husain was awarded the title of ‘Sitara-i-Imtiaz’ in 1960 by the then Pakistan Government in appreciation of his outstanding achievements.

Qazi Motahar Husain founded 'Muslim Sahitya Samaj' (1926) with Qazi Abdul Odud, Syed Abul Hussain and Abul Fazl. The mouthpiece of this organisation was the short-lived periodical 'Shikha' which Qazi Motahar Husain edited for some time. The magazine had an active role in popularising freedom of thought in the Muslim society. He was one of the architects of the Bengali Academy (now bangla academy). With his critical writings he supported the language movement and the war of liberation.

Qazi Motahar Husain wrote many articles and books on science, literature and culture including Sanchayan' [Collection] (1937), Nazrul Kabya Parichiti' [Introduction to Nazrul's poems] (1955), Sei Path Laksya Kare' [Following that Road] (1958), Symposium (1965), Ganit Shastrer Itihas' [History of Mathematics] (1970), Alok Vijnan' [The science of light] (1974) and Tatthya Ganit. His writings reflect his rational thinking and philosophy of life.

Qazi Motahar Husain received 'Bangla Academy Award' (1966) for his valuable contributions in Bengali literature and 'Swadhinata Award' (1979) for distinctive contributions in science and technology. Dhaka University also honoured him with honorary DSc degree for his great contribution to arts and sciences. Qazi Motahar Husain was an outstanding chess player and an organiser of chess. He died in Dhaka on 9 October 1981. [Md Mahbub Murshed]