MNA Feature Desk: Today is the 92nd birth anniversary of Munier Choudhury, an eminent educationist, playwright, and literary critic of Bangladesh.
On the day in 1925, the playwright was born in Manikganj district. His ancestral home was in Noakhali district. His father, Khan Bahadur Abdul Halim Chowdhury, was a district magistrate.
In 1952 he was arrested under the Preventive Detention Act for protesting against police repression and the killing of students on 21 February 1952. He remained in detention until 1954.
While in jail he sat for the MA examination in Bangla, topping the list of successful candidates. In detention, he wrote a one-act play, Kabar (1953), based on the language movement.
Considered to be his best play, Kabar was staged inside the jail, with prisoners playing different parts. He was also imprisoned on two other occasions.
As in his short stories, his one-act plays are about the disparities and aberrations in contemporary social life as well as about the common humanity which unites all human beings.
Twelve of his one-act plays have been compiled in Kabar (1966), Dandakaranya (1966) and Palashi Barrack O Anyanya (1969).
Raktakta Prantar (1959), which is set during the time of the Third Battle of Panipat, is inspired by the feelings of a common humanity which rises above wars and communal strife.
Another of his plays, Chithi (1966), exposes the selfishness and autocratic attitude of people in the name of popular movements.
Munier Choudhury also acted and directed plays for the stage, radio, television and cinema. He was awarded the Bangla Dcademy Prize (1962) and the Daud Prize (1965) for his plays.