Tributes of love showered on Syed Haq

Manzur H Maswood
writer Syed Shamsul Haq

People from all walks of life pay tribute to the mortal remains of writer Syed Shamsul Haq at Central Shaheed Minar in the capital on Wednesday. — Sourav Lasker

People from all walks of life poured their heartfelt love and respect at Central Shaheed Minar on Wednesday as the mortal remains of celebrated writer Syed Shamsul Haq, who died Tuesday, was kept there.
Standing in queues, which stretched to the Dhaka University campus, young and old mourners, waited eagerly to have a last glimpse of and pay their last respects to the poet, lyricist, writer, screenwriter, playwright and filmmaker.
While some offered flowers, others were in tears for the writer, who died of lung cancer at the age of 80 at a city hospital.
Several thousand people, including fans, colleagues, cultural activists, writers, actors, teachers, students, political leaders, civil servants, businesspersons turned out at Shaheed Minar even before the body of the Syed Haq was taken there about 11:15am.
The writer’s coffin was placed on a raised platform on the north side of the Shaheed Minar premises.
His widow Anwara Syed Haq, son Ditio Syed Haq and daughter Bidita Syed Haq, Shammilito Sanskritik Jote president Golam Kuddus and eminent cultural personality and film director Nasir Uddin Yousuf Bacchu accompanied the body.
A condolence book was opened at the venue for the writer, who wrote 40 novels, several books of poetry, verse plays, a number of short stories, many screenplays for mainstream films and hundreds of playbacks.
President Abdul Hamid was the first to pay last respect to the versatile writer by placing a wreath at the coffin around 11:30am.
Cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor and Dhaka University vice-chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique received the president there.
People were seen waiting with grim faces when the formalities of the president were going on. Hundreds of people, who poured onto the Shaheed Minar premises and nearby streets, failed to reach the coffin and had to leave as the coffin was taken to the Dhaka University mosque for funeral prayers after zuhr prayers.
Among them was Runa Parvin, a resident of Uttara, who came there about 10:00am, had to leave without paying her tribute to the deceased writer, as she could not reach the coffin.
‘I was introduced with the writings of Syed Shamsul Haq through his verse plays “Payer Awaj Paoa Jay” and “Nuruldiner Sara Jiban” when I was a college student’, said Runa.
‘But I could not reach the coffin to have a last glimpse’, she said, struggling to control his emotion.
Representatives of the prime minister Sheikh Hasina paid tribute to the writer and laid wreaths at his coffin after the president. Later, speaker of the parliament Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, attorney general Mahbube Alam, National Human Rights Commission chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque, Awami League general secretary and minister for public administration Syed Ashraful Islam, health minister Mohammad Nasim, information minister Hasanul Haque Inu, education minister Nurul Islam Nahid, state minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam, prime minister’s political adviser HT Imam, prime minister’s media adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, mayors of Dhaka Sayeed Khokon and Annisul Huq, professor emeritus Serajul Islam Choudhury, former University Grant Commission chairman AK Azad Chowdhury, writer Syed Abul Maksud, Ganashasthaya Kendra founder Zafrullah Chowdhury, writer Anisul Hoque, filmmaker Morshedul Islam, theatre activist Ramendu Majumder, jurist Syed Amirul Islam, singer Fakir Alamgir, and inspector general of police AKM Shahidul Hoque, among others, showed their last respect to the writer.
Information minister Hasanul Haque Inu said the government would preserve Syed Shamsul Haq’s works.
‘He was not only a versatile writer but also a complete non-sectarian personality. He nourished the spirit of liberation war through his writings. The government will preserve his writings’, he said.
Serajul Islam Choudhury said Syed Haq was a versatile writer, no doubt, but what enamored him most was that Syed Haq had a persistent diligence as well as devotion to literature.
Filmmaker Morshedul Islam said Syed Haq was discussed much for his literary contribution, but he was among the talented people who contributed to the Bangla films in its inception.
His contribution to film, screenplay, songs, and theatre would ever be remembered, he observed.
Writer Anisul Hoque said Syed Haq set some best literary examples in Bangla literature. But one of his great achievements was that he was the pathfinder in using local language in mainstream literature.
The mortal remains of Syed Shamsul Haq were taken at Central Shaheed Minar after a funeral prayer on Channel I premise in the morning. His body was also kept for some time at Bangla Academy.
The body of Syed Haq later taken to the Dhaka University mosque for another funeral prayers, before it was taken to Kurigram by a helicopter from Old Airport at Tejgaon.
People of all walks of life were waiting at the college ground before the mortal remains reached there, reports New Age Kurigram correspondent.
Kurigram deputy commissioner Khan Md Nurul Amin and administrator of Zila Parishad Md Jafar Ali received the body there.
Independence Day award-winning poet-playwright Syed Shamsul Haq was laid to rest near Kurigram Government College in the afternoon after another funeral prayer.

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