Participants at an award ceremony, named after late poet Mahbubul Haque Shakil, today (Wednesday) recalled him with fond memories and spoke about his literary genius and political contribution.
They were speaking at the Mahabubul Haque Shakil Award ceremony at Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisarad auditorium of Bangla Academy marking 49th birth anniversary of poet Shakil, also a former special assistant to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Shakil died of cardiac arrest at a city restaurant on December 6 last year at 47 years of age.
Poet Russel Raihan received Mahabubul Haque Shakil Award for the first time. He was given a crest and a check of Tk 1 lakh.
Speaking at the programme as the chief guest Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith said he felt proud in paying respect to late poet and former student leader, Shakil.
Convener of Mahabubul Haque Shakil Sangshad, poet Habibullah Siraji delivered the welcome speech while emeritus Professor Anisuzzaman presided over the discussion meeting.
Finance Minister said “Today is the day of festival, not the day of mourning. I knew Shakil since 1986. I met with him after the establishment of the CRI and started sharing my work with him. He was my assistant.”
The minister said, “Shakil has a quality to present the complex issues easily. I met very few of such organized people. Shakil helped me a lot in getting introduced to the political people and environment. I knew politician Shakil. His political knowledge was very high level.”
Professor Anisuzzaman said “Shakil loved to enjoy his life in his own way. He has good relations with people of all ages. Everyone was his friend.”
About Shakil’s literary genius, he said “He started writing stories alongside poetry. But he breathed his last before publishing his story book. I feel he could contribute to Bangla Literature a lot.”
Shakil’s father Mymensingh district Awami League President Zahirul Haque Khoka said, “Today is a day of joy and sadness for me. After the field of literature, he also wandered into the cultural arena. He was always among the people, he will remain so.”
Shakil’s wife lawyer Nilufar Anjum Poppy said, “Shakil wanted everyone’s love. I cannot imagine the demise of my husband. We would always like to remember him with joy.”
Prime Minister’s Deputy Press Secretary Ashraful Alam Khokan, Shakil’s friend Afzalur Rahman Babu, Laila Afroz, Fazilatunnesa MP, journalist Prabhas Amin, noted journalist Syed Ishtiaq Reza, former BCL president HM Badiuzzaman Sohag, poet Aslam Sunny, Parliament Member Poet Kazi Rosi, Dhaka University unit president of Chhtra League Abid Al Hasan, and general secretary Motahar Hossain Prince, among other, spoke in the memorial meeting.
As part of the programme, recitation from his poem, music, and documentary on his life were arranged.
Former vice president of ruling Awami League’s student front Bangladesh Chhara League, Shakil was known to be a trusted man at the prime minister’s office.
Shakil was first appointed as PM’s deputy press sectary after AL came to power in 2009 and later appointed as PM’s special assistant (Media) and PM’s special assistant in 2014.
Born on 20 December 1968 in Tangail, Shakil obtained honours and master’s degrees from the sociology department of Dhaka University while he passed SSC from Mymensingh Zilla School and HSC from Ananda Mohan College.unb