Ekushey Padak winning writer Rashid Haider died due to old age complications in the city on Tuesday. He was 80.
The eminent writer and Liberation War researcher breathed his last on Tuesday around 8:30am at the residence of his daughter, Dhaka University’s Associate Professor Shaonti Haider, on Fuller Road.
His family sources said he passed away due to old-age complications. He had suffered a stroke in February and lost his mobility. Haider was laid to rest at the Azimpur graveyard after the Zohr prayers.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has mourned his death. In a condolence message, she said Haider would be remembered for his research works on the Liberation War and his contributions to the Bengali literature.
Hasina prayed for the salvation of his departed soul and expressed deep sympathy to his bereaved family members.
Rashid Haider was born in Dohapara, Pabna on July 15, 1941. He obtained an MA in Bangla from Dhaka University in 1965. Haider started his career as a writer for popular magazine Chitrali in 1961.
Besides Chitrali, he started working as the assistant editor at the Parikram magazine, part of Pakistan Writers Guild, in 1968. Later, he joined the National Book Centre of Pakistan as a research assistant.
Haider’s best known work is ‘Smriti: 1971’, a collection of memoirs of people who lost their loved ones in the Liberation War. The book is considered as a great historical document of the War of Independence.
In his lifetime, he has published more than 70 books including Nankur Bodhi, Asomo Brikkho, Khachai, Ondho Kothamala, Uttarkal, Noshto Josnay E Kon Aranya, Brihannala O Onnano Golpo and Purbapor.
Haider joined Bangla Academy in 1972 and retired in 1999 as its director. Later, he served as the executive director of Kabi Nazrul Institute. He was also one of the founding members of drama troupe ‘Nagarik’.
For his excellence in the field of literature and research on the Liberation War, he was given the country’s second-highest civilian award Ekushey Padak in 2014. Besides, he also received the Bangla Academy Literature Award in 1984.
Rashid Haider is survived by his two daughters. His wife Anisa Haider passed away in 2019.