His body was not receiving proper oxygen and water had been accumulated in his brain
Veteran Bangladeshi playwright-actor-director and educationist, Professor Momtazuddin Ahmed breathed his last in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the capital’s Apollo Hospital on Sunday afternoon. His nephew Shahriar Mahmud Prince confirmed the news.
Professor Momtazuddin’s family friend Professor Ratan Siddiki recently told the press that he had been admitted to the hospital since May 16. He was later moved to the ICU unit, as his health was deteriorating. He had been suffering from respiratory issues for a long time. His body was not receiving proper oxygen, and water was accumulating in his brain. He was under observation in the ICU for the last 48 hours.
His son Sezan Mahmud Titas, who is settled in the US, also had rushed to Bangladesh recently after hearing of his father’s condition.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and President M Abdul Hamid expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of eminent playwright, actor and educationist Professor Momtazuddin Ahmed. In a condolence message, the prime minister recalled his contributions to the fields of drama and education with profound respect.
“His death is an irreparable loss to these fields,” she said.
Ahmed taught Bengali, Sanskrit, and European drama at several non-government and government colleges for over 32 years. He was a professor in the department of Bengali at Jagannath University, and a part-time lecturer at the department of Music and Dramatics at the University of Dhaka.
Rabindra Bharati University has included his writings “Bibaha” and “Ki Chaho Shankhachil” in its curriculum. Several of his notable plays are also included in primary, secondary and higher secondary curriculums in Bangladesh.
Ahmed's career as a teacher, writer and actor earned him wide recognition, but theatre is the most prolific part of his career. As a man of progressive conviction, Ahmed took an active role in the state language movement of Bangladesh, the struggle for freedom during the Pakistani era, and the movement for getting democracy back in post-independence Bangladesh.
His popular street plays during the pre-independance days of March 1971 stirred the people of Chattogram and inspired them in resisting the unloading of arms from the ship Swat docked at the port.
The renowned theatre persona and academician has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Ekushey Padak in 1997.
Ahmed was a director of the Department of Research and Publications at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, and served the Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the United Nations as Cultural Minister.