The 93rd birthday of martyred intellectual, educationist and playwright Munier Chowdhury will be celebrated in the country today.Born in Manikganj on November 27, 1925, his ancestral home was in Noakhali district. His father Khan Bahadur Abdul Halim Chowdhury was a district magistrate.
He completed his matriculation from Dhaka Collegiate School in 1941 and intermediate examination from Aligarh Muslim University. Munier then studied English literature for his bachelor’s degree (with honours) in 1946 and masters’ in 1947 at Dhaka University.
He was expelled from Salimullah Hall, his residential dorm, because of his involvement in leftist politics. He was imprisoned for two years in 1952 for his participation in the Bengali Language Movement. While in jail, in 1954, Munier appeared at the masters’ examination in Bengali literature and stood first in the first class.
Later, in 1958, Munier obtained his third masters degree in linguistics from Harvard University.
Munier Chowdhury taught for some time at a college located in Khulna (1947-1950) and at Jagannath College (1950). Then, he joined Dhaka University (1950-1971), teaching in both the English and Bangla departments.
Munier was a staunch nationalist and stood up against all forms of cultural repression. In 1967, he protested against the Pakistan government’s directive to ban Tagore’s songs on Radio and TV. He also protested against the move to reform the Bangla alphabet.
Munier Chowdhury was associated with all contemporary national movements.
He declared his solidarity with the non-cooperation movement called by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in March 1971.
Munier Chowdhury wrote a number of plays, including Kabar, Dandakaranya , Palashi Barrack O Anyanya, Raktakta Prantar and, Chithi.
He also translated a number of foreign plays into Bangla, and acted and directed plays for the stage, radio, television and cinema.
Munier was picked up on December 14, 1971 by local collaborators and later tortured and killed by the Pakistan Army.