A two-day long festival was arranged in commemoration of 100th birth anniversary of novelist and short-story writer Sheikh Azizur Rahman, popularly known as Shawkat Osman, by Kotha Shilpi Shawkat Osman Smriti Porishad and Bangladesh Udichi Shilpighosthi jointly at the Public Library, Shahbag.
Writer and researcher Ahmed Rafique inaugurated the festival on January 02, 2017. Finance Minister AMA Muhith; Commerce Minister Tofayel Ahmed; Road, Transport and Bridge Minister Obaidul Quader; Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor; Science and Technology Minister Yafes Osman and managing director of Apex Group Syed Nasim Manjur were present on the occasion among other distinguished guests.
After the opening ceremony, Nagorik Nattangan, a popular theatre troupe of Bangladesh, staged ‘Kritodasher Hasi’, adopted from Shawkat Osman’s novel with the same title. The play ‘Kritodasher Hasi’ was written by Hridi Haque and directed by Lucky Enam. ‘Kritadaser Hasi’ was first published in 1962 from Dhaka. ‘Kritadaser Hasi’ means ‘laugh of a slave’. In the novel Shawkat Osman explores the darkness of contemporary politics and reality of dictatorship.
On the second day, Professor Serajul Islam, Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman, former president of Udichi Kamal Lohani, Professor Shafiuddin Ahmed, economist Abul Barakat, artist Hashem Khan and litterateur Selina Hossain discussed the life and literary works of Shawkat Osman. After the discussion short film screening, dance and musical performance were arranged as well.
Shawkat Osman wrote a good number of essays, plays, humorous writings, memoirs and books for children. His popular novels include Janani , Kritadaser Hasi, Samagam, Chaurasandhi, Raja Upakhyan, Jahannam Haite Biday, Dui Sainik (Two Soldiers, 1973), Nekde Aranya (Wolves' Forest, 1973), Patabga Pivjar (Insects' Cage, 1983), Artanad and Rajpurus. Amlar Mamla (Suits by Bureaucrats, 1949) and Purna Svadhinata Churna Svadhinata (Total Independence Shattered Independence, 1990) are his remarkable plays. It is mentionable that Shawkat Osman was an ardent supporter of Bengali culture and strongly protested against autocracy and religious fundamentalism.