‘Natyacharya’ Selim Al Deen’s 13th death anniv today
Published: 11:27 AM, 14 January 2021 Updated: 11:43 AM, 14 January 2021
Selim Al Deen
The 13th death anniversary of the country’s prominent and renowned playwright and theatre artist, Selim Al Deen, who is also known as ‘Natyacharya’ in Bengali Literature, is observing on Thursday.
He breathed his last on 14 January 2008 at Labaid Cardiac Hospital in Dhaka. He had been suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney, and diabetic problems.
Selim Al Deen was born as Mainuddin to Mofizuddin Ahmed and Firoza Khatun in Shenerkhil village of Sonagazi Upazila of Feni on 18 August 1949. He passed the matriculation examination in 1964 from Manglakandi High School and in 1966 he passed ISc from Feni College.
In 1967, he was admitted into the University of Dhaka to study Bengali literature. But later he moved to 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 the ‘Dhaka Theatre’ which is a leading theatre group of the country and rendered vital contributions 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 the ‘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 on 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 with 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 artists 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 the ‘Bangla Academy Award’ in 1984, ‘Kathak Sahitya Puroshkar’ in 2002, ‘Best Tele-playwright Award’ in 1994, etc.