Celebrated poet Al Mahmud died in the intensive care unit of Ibn Sina Hospital in Dhaka. He was 82.
Abid Azam, a family friend of the poet, confirmed that Al Mahmud, suffering from pneumonia and old-age complications, died at 11:05pm. ‘He was admitted to the hospital at Dhanmondi on February 9 and put on life-support on Friday night,’ he added.
Born on July 11, 1936 at Maurail in Brahmanbaria, Al Mahmud is also much popular for his novels and short stories. He is considered one of the greatest Bengali poets to have emerged in the 20th century.
The Ekushey Padak winning poet’s works in Bangla poetry is dominated by his frequent use of imageries of rural Bangladesh.
In the 1950s, he was among those Bengali poets who were outspoken in their writing on such subjects as the events of the Bangla language movement, nationalism, political and economic repression and the struggle against the then Pakistan government. His ‘Sonali Kabin,’ published in 1973, is considered a landmark in Bangla poetry.
The poet was honoured with numerous awards that include Ekushey Padak in 1987, Bangla Academy Literary Award in 1968 for his two great works namely Lok Lokantar and Kaler Kalas.
He was also awarded Philips Literary Award, Alakta Literary Award, Sufi Motaher Hossain Literary Gold Medal and many more.
Mahmud’s other famous works include Gandhabanik, Dahuki, Mayabi Parda Dule Otho, Arabya Rajanir Rajhash, Bakhtiyarer Ghora, Pankaurir Rakta, Upamahadesh, Kabiler Bon, Nishinda Nari, Purush Sundar, and his autobiographic fictions — Jebhabe Bere Uthi and Kabir Atmabiswash.
After Bangladesh’s independence, Al Mahmud edited a firebrand daily newspaper, Ganakantha.
Later in 1975, he joined Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy as assistant director at research and publication department. In 1993, he retired from the academy as the director of the department.
Mahmud had a transformation in his personal ideologies in the mid-1970s. He also faced widespread criticism for his tilt towards ultra-right politics.