Eminent litterateur and educationist Shawkat Ali died at the age 81 yesterday, three weeks after he was admitted to Dhaka’s Labaid Hospital suffering from a lung infection and kidney and heart ailments.
After being put on life support, Ali was later transferred to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), where he passed away at around 8:15am on Thursday.
In separate condolence messages, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed profound shock at the death of Ali.
They also prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul and conveyed deep sympathy to the bereaved family members.
Shawkat Ali’s namaz-e-janaza was held at Tikatuli mosque after Zohr prayers. Later, the body was kept at the Central Shaheed Minar between 3pm and 4pm, allowing people of all walks of life to pay their last tributes.
Ali was laid to rest at Jurain graveyard in Dhaka after Asr prayers.
As the news spread about the death of the prominent writer, a profound sadness gripped the country’s writers, poets, cultural personalities, eminent citizens and hundreds of his admirers.
Born in West Bengal of India on February 12 in 1936, Shawkat Ali authored a number of novels and short stories, including “Warish”, “Prodoshe Prakritajan”, “Apeksha”, and “Dokkhinayoner Din”, taking Bangla literature to new heights.
His other famous writings include “Pingal Akash”, “Jaatra”, “Kulay Kalsrot”, “Purbaratri Purbadin”, “Tripodi”, and “Uttarer Khep” - which was adapted into a film.
The writer, who started his career as journalist and eventually became an academic, received many awards for his outstanding contributions to Bangla language and literature.
These included the Philips Literary Award in 1986 and 1989, the Bangla Academy Literary Award in 1968, the Humayun Kabir Memorial Prize, the Lekhak Shibir Medal in 1978, the Ajit Guha Literary Prize in 1982, and Ekushey Padak for his contributions to the growth and development of Bangla literature.