In 1967, he was admitted into the University of Dhaka to study Bengali literature. But later he moved to the Karatia College, Tangail and graduated as a student of that college. He came back to the University of Dhaka and obtained his MA degree from the Bengali Department.
In 1995, he earned his Ph.D. degree from Jahangirnagar University. His first job was in an advertising firm as a copywriter. However, in 1974 he joined Jahangirnagar University as a lecturer. He married Begaumjadi Meherunnisa Parul the same year.
Selim Al Deen wrote his first drama in 1968 while still a university student. His first radio play was ‘Biporit Tomosay’ (On the other side of Darkness) was broadcast in 1969. His first play for the theatre was ‘Shorpo Bishoyok Golpo’ (Story about snakes) was staged in 1972.
His main study of European culture is reflected in his initial plays. His works including ‘Sharpa Bishawak Galpo’, ‘Jondis o Bibidho Balloon’, ‘O Mul Shomoshya’, ‘Karim Bawali’r Shotru o Mul Mukh Dekha’, Charkakrar Documentary were cast in European format.
Deen was one of the founding members of ‘Dhaka Theatre’ which is a leading theatre group of the country and rendered vital contribution in advancing the progressive drama movement.
Since the 1980s, Al-Deen has played a pivotal role in the theatre movement of Bangladesh. Apart from his active involvement with ‘Dhaka Theatre’, his fundamental contribution was introduced a novel sense of direction to modern Bengali Drama based on tradition.
Al-Deen has also been one of the key organizers of Bangladesh’s village theatre movement. He took the monumental task of creating the only dictionary on dramatics available in Bengali.
Having been awarded almost all national recognition possible in the field of theatre, Al-Deen’s work is studied at many universities across the world. Several of his plays have been translated into other languages. They have been staged outside Bangladesh too.
Al-Deen secured mass popularity when his plays were broadcast through television. Some of his TV serials like ‘Granthikgan Kahey’, ‘Chhaya Shikari’ and others have received much appreciation from the audiences.
His play ‘Nishwora Bhalobasha’ aired on Bangladesh Television January 2, 2005, was achieved immediate popularity. The main casts were Shahriar Nazim Joy, Dipa Khondokar, Mamnun Emon, Kumkum Hassan, and Anuja. The play was directed by Nayeem Imtiaz Nayemul. His popular drama series ‘Ronger Manush’ based on unmixed rural settings became popular to the audience.
The film ‘Kittankhola’ was adapted from the stage play written by Selim Al-Deen. Featuring Raisul Islam Asad and Naila Azad Nupur, the film brought to light the lives of Jatra artistes and their struggles to make a living off the dying performing art. It is considered one of the best Bengali films.
Meanwhile, Deen received many awards such as ‘Bangla Academy Award’ in 1984, ‘Kathak Sahitya Puroshkar’ in 2002, ‘Best Tele-playwright Award’ in 1994 etc.
As he had been suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney, and diabetic problem, Deen died at Labaid Cardiac Hospital in Dhaka on January 14, 2008, after being admitted to hospital.
Jahangirnagar University authorities observed Selim Al Deen’s death anniversary in a befitting manner. JU Drama and Dramatics department have taken up a two-day program to commemorate the renowned playwright and theatre artiste.
In the evening, a drama ‘Chandraboti’ will be staged by Drama and Dramatics department at the Theater Lab of Zahir Raihan auditorium. On Tuesday, a folk song program will be held at Selim Al Deen Muktamancho in the evening.