Moinuddin, Khan Mohammad

Moinuddin, Khan Mohammad (1901-1981) poet, litterateur, was born on 30 October 1901 in Charigram village of Singair upazila' in the district of Manikganj. A self-made person, Khan Mohammad Moinuddin lost his parents when a child and his father left for him no landed or any other property to succeed. Khan left home at an early age and arrived in Kolkata to earn his living. He began his career as a book binding worker in a Kolkata binding house. Alongside his work, Moinuddin enrolled himself as a student at a night school. After finishing primary education, he took training at the Calcutta Corporation Teachers' Training College and later joined Calcutta Corporation Free Primary School as a teacher and there he worked for twenty years. It was as a teacher at the corporation free primary school that he felt like writing for children.

In 1923, Khan Mohammad Moinuddin became the acting editor of the magazine Muslim Jagat. For publishing an editorial, named 'Bidroha', in the magazine he was sentenced to imprisonment for six months. While in Hughli Jail he became intimate with the rebel poet kazi nazrul islam. After the partition of 1947 he migrated to Dhaka. In 1948, he established a publishing house named 'Alhamra Library' in Dhaka from where he wrote and published textbooks for primary school children.

Khan Mohammad Moinuddin reached pentacle of glory as a poet for children in the 1950s and '60s. Many of his rhymes are still chanted by primary school children. Among his books are Muslim Birabgana (1936), Amader Nabi (1941), Dr Shafiker Motor Boat (1949), Khulafa-e-Rashedin (1951), Arabya Rajani (1957), Baba Adam (1958), Swapna Dekhi (1959), Lal Morag (1961), Shapla Phul (1962). He also wrote books of poems and stories, novels, among them noteworthy are: poetry- Paler Nao (1956), He Manus (1958), Artanad (1958); novels- Anathini (serialised in Sahachar, 1926), Naya Sadak (1967); short stories- Jhumkolata (1956). He wrote Yugasrasta Nazrul (1957), a biography, and Sonar Pakistan, an essay. Yugasrasta Nazrul written based on the life and works of Kazi Nazrul Islam earned him great fame.

Khan Mohammad Moinuddin received the Bangla Academy prize (1960) for children’s literature, the UNESCO prize (1960) for Yugasrasta Nazrul and the Ekushey Padak (1978). He died in Dhaka on 16 February 1981. [Sambaru Chandra Mohanta]