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BEN on Selim Al deen

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Bangladesh Environment Network (BEN), a global network of non-resident Bangladeshis, expresses deep sorrow at the passing away of Selim Al Deen, the preeminent dramatist of the country. Selim Al Deen in many respects was to Bangla drama what Jibanananda was to Bangla poetry. Very few dramatists of Bangla literature, on both sides of the political divide, have brought so much of historical depth and so minute observation and so deep a love of nature as Selim Al Deen did. He would spend sleepless nights to see the color of stars and hear the sound of fog and dew drops.

Among his other achievements, he was the founder of “Gram Theater,” a group through which he projected the drama that could be found not in the limelight of urban middle class life, but in the vast realm of Bangladesh villages and in the fathomless depth of history of Bangladesh society and culture extending thousands of years into the past. Based on his profound comparative literary analysis, Selim could claim that the history of Bangla drama was more ancient that that of drama in Europe, a profound claim indeed.

From his deep love for humanity, Selim could early on sense the plight of the Adibashis in Bangladesh. He therefore devoted himself to capturing in drama the life and struggle of Adibashi people of the country.

Selim Al Deen’s deep love for Bangladesh’s nature, her flora and fauna, her people, his concern for Bangladesh’s Adibashi people are all that BEN and Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) are engaged in upholding. In his premature passing away, the environment movement lost one of its most insightful sympathizers. BEN hopes that others of Bangladesh’s cultural and literary field will try to fill in the large void left by Selim Al Deen, emulate his unparalleled love for Bangladesh’s nature, and rise up to the task of saving it from further degradation.

BEN expresses its deep condolences to the family, relatives, friends, colleagues in the field of drama and literature. BEN hopes that efforts will be made to popularize Selim's works, particularly among the younger generation, helping them find their identity in this often confusing globalized world.

Through his magnificent works, Selim Al Deen will live on!

Dr. Nazrul Islam
Convenor, Bangladesh Environment Network (BEN)

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