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'The ruling class has always suppressed those that demand their rights'

  • Published at 03:14 pm November 18th, 2019
Mahmud Hossain Opu

Panelists at DLF discuss conflict writers must deal with within themselves and within society

Conflicts reflected in a writer's work come from many sources, but most notably from the within, prominent Bangladeshi writers said at a panel at Dhaka Lit Fest on Friday. 

Ekushey Padak winning novelist, famed for his depiction of the marginalized communities, said that the marginalized appear as his subject in whatever he writes. 

"The ruling class has always suppressed those that demand their rights," the author said. 

Novelist Shaheen Akhtar, who received the Gemcon Shahitya Puroshkar 2019  yesterday for her novel Oshukhi Din, said that it is not the job of the writer to treat an ailing society, he/she can only show the illness. 

"My writing is a combination of the questions I have within myself and the attempt to look for the answers," said the award winning author. 

Akhtar also criticised the puritan mentality behind finding the thousand year old Bengali culture, which has traditionally had trouble coming to terms with elements it considers alien, such as Bengal’s Mughal heritage. 

Poet, novelist and translator Mashrur Arefin said that the primary conflict for a writer comes from within him/herself. "A writer is able to produce good writing when he/she deals with this conflict," he said. 

Arefin cited numerous giant figures of world literature to illustrate his points. "Imposing your own moral standards or having an agenda constricts a writer's scope, that is what Tolstoy taught us," said the author and translator. 

Acclaimed writer, poet, screenwriter, and novelist Anisul Hoque said he can't live without expressing himself through writing. 

"When I finish writing something I get excited like a child who just got a new toy," the celebrated author said.