Selim Al Deen’s 74th Birth Anniv Today

Selim Al Deen || Photo: Collected

Selim Al Deen || Photo: Collected

The late, celebrated playwright and philosopher Selim Al Deen is 74 today. Several groups will memorialize Selim Al Deen by placing floral wreaths on his tomb in the morning.

Additionally, special events will be held to celebrate Selim Al Deen's life and achievements by the theater and dramatics department at Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh Gram Theatre, Dhaka Theatre, Swapnadal, and other groups.

Selim Al Deen was born on August 18, 1949, in the little village of Senerkhil in the Sonagazi upazila of the Feni district. He is credited with launching the neo-theatre craze in Bangladesh.

In 1974, Al Deen joined as a lecturer at the Bangla department of Jahangirnagar University. The drama and dramatics department was opened under his guidance and he served as its chairman.

Selim Al Deen was a founding member of Dhaka Theatre. He was also the chief adviser of Bangladesh Gram Theatre, which he founded along with Nasiruddin Yousuff in the early 1980s.

Selim Al Deen began searching for the roots of Bangla theatre in the early 1980s. He negated the conventional concept of theatre, calling it western-influenced and initiated the development of a different theatre form based on local tradition.

He began his research to trace the origin of Bangla theatre and developed his style of writing plays based on traditional performing art forms.

Plays, namely, Shakuntala, Kittonkhola, Keramat Mangal, Hat Hadai, Chaka, Jaibati Kainyar Man, Hargaj, Banpangshul, Nimajjan and others by Al Deen are remarkable examples of the narrative style he popularised. His play Hargaj has been translated into Swedish.

Selim Al Deen was also a radio play, teleplay and screenplay writer. Two films — Chaka and Kittankhola — were made based on his plays.

In 1995, Al Deen completed his PhD from Jahangirnagar University on Medieval Bangla Drama. He also compiled Bangla Natyakosh.

Al Deen’s plays have been included in the curricula of the University of Dhaka, Jahangirnagar University, Jadavpur University and Rabindra Bharati University in India.

He received several awards, including Ekushey Padak in 2007, Bangla Academy Award in 1984, Best Tele-playwright Award in 1994 and National Film Award for Best Dialogue in 1994.

He passed away on January 14, 2008.

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