Anisuzzaman (18 February 1937 – 14 May 2020)[1][2] was a Bangladeshi academic of Bengali literature.

Anissuzaman 1 (cropped).jpg
Anisuzzaman in 2016
Born(1937-02-18)18 February 1937
Died14 May 2020(2020-05-14) (aged 83)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Alma materUniversity of Dhaka
OccupationActivist, author, administrator
RelativesSheikh Abdur Rahim (grandfather)
Awardsfull list

He was an activist who took part in the Language Movement (1952), participated in Mass Uprising (1969), and took part in the War of Liberation (1971).

He was a member of the Planning Commission to the Government of Bangladesh during the Bangladesh liberation war and a member of the National Education Commission set up by the government after liberation. He was inducted as a National Professor by the Government of Bangladesh in 2018.[3]

Early life and educationEdit

Anisuzzaman was born in Calcutta in 1937. Along with his family, he moved to Khulna after the 1947 partition. After about a year they moved to Dhaka.[4] His father ATM Moazzem was a homeopathy practitioner and his grandfather, Sheikh Abdur Rahim, was a journalist and writer.[5] His first piece of writing, a story, was published in Nowbahar, a literary magazine, in 1950. He completed his HSC from Jagannath College.[6] He obtained his bachelor's in 1956 and master's in 1957 in Bengali from the University of Dhaka. At the university, he worked with Muhammad Shahidullah, Muhammad Abdul Hye and Munier Chowdhury.[4] He completed his Ph.D. in 1962 at the age of 25 from the same university.[6] He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago during 1964–65 and a Commonwealth Academic Staff fellow at the University of London (1974–75).


with the Prime Minister of BGD, Sheikh Hasina

Anisuzzaman served as a faculty member at the University of Dhaka during 1959–69, 1985–2003 and 2005–08. He taught Bengali at the University of Chittagong during 1969–85.[5] From 1978 to 1983, he was associated with research projects of the United Nations University. He was a visiting fellow at the University of Paris (1994), North Carolina State University (1995) and University of Calcutta (2010), and a visiting professor at the Visva-Bharati (2008–09, 2011).[6]

Anisuzzaman was a member of the Planning Commission to the Government of Bangladesh during the Bangladesh liberation war and a member of the National Education Commission set up by the government after liberation. He was responsible for the Bengali language part of the Constitution of Bangladesh adopted in November 1972.[7] He served as Chairman of the Trustee Board of the Nazrul Institute and has been the president of the Bangla Academy since 2011.[6]


Anisuzzaman took part in the Language Movement (1952), participated in Mass Uprising (1969), took part in the War of Liberation (1971) and was the secretary of the Bangladesh Teachers' Association in 1971. He was involved in the anti-autocracy movement (1990).

In 2015, Anisuzzaman received death threats from Islamic extremists.[8]

Literary worksEdit

  • Muslim Manos O Bangla Sahitya (1964)[9]
  • Munir Chowdhury (1975)
  • Swaruper Sandhane (1976)[5]
  • Adharo Sotoker Bangla Cithi (1983)
  • Purono Bangla Gadya (1984)
  • Aamar Ekattor (1997)[10]
  • Muktijudho Ebong Tarpor (1998)
  • Aamar Chokh (1999)
  • Bangali Nari : Sahittye o Somaje (2000)
  • Kaal Nirobodhi (2003)
  • Factory correspondence and other Bengali Documents in the India office Library and Records (1981)
  • Creativity, Identity and Reality (1991)
  • Cultural Pluralism (1993)
  • Identity, Religion and Recent history (1995)


Anisuzzaman receiving the Padma Bhusan award from the Indian President Pranab Mukherjee
  • Bangla Academy Literary Award for research (1970)
  • Ekushey Padak, an award given by the State, for his contribution to education (1985)
  • Ananda Puraskar for publishing a series of 14 cassettes titled Oitijjher Ongikar (1994)[11]
  • Honorary D.Lit, Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta (2005)
  • Sarojini Basu Award, University of Calcutta (2008)[12]
  • Pandit Iswarchandra Vidyasagar Gold Plaque, Asiatic Society of Kolkata (2011)[13]
  • Padma Bhushan, on contribution of literature and education (2014)[14]
  • Independence Day Award for literature in 2015 by the Government of Bangladesh[15]
  • Nilkanta Sarkar Gold Medal, University of Dhaka
  • Dawood Prize for literature, Pakistan Writers' Guild
  • Star Lifetime Award (2016)[6]
  • Ananda Puraskar for his autobiography Bipula Prithibi (The Vast World) (2017)[16]
  • Jagattarini Medal, The University of Calcutta[17]
  • Khan Bahadur Ahsanullah Gold Medal 2018[18]
  • SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Literature Award 2019[19]

Personal lifeEdit

Anisuzzaman was married to Siddiqua Zaman. He was an secular humanist, having lost faith in organised religion during his youth.[20]


Anisuzzaman died on 14 May 2020 from multi organ failure at Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka. He was admitted to Universal Medical College Hospital after falling sick about three weeks prior to his death. Later he was shifted to CMH as his condition was not improving.[21] Sample was collected for COVID-19 test after his death and it came positive.[22] He was buried at Azimpur Graveyard in Dhaka in line with the guidelines for the burial of COVID-19 patients during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh.[23]


  1. ^ "Prof Anisuzzaman a lighthouse". The Daily Star. 18 February 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Dr Anisuzzaman honoured on his 75th birth anniversary". Priyo. 19 February 2012. Archived from the original on 4 February 2014.
  3. ^ "3 educationists become national professors". The Daily Star. 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b "The Pundit's Tale". The Daily Star. 14 February 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Professor Anisuzzaman: The man and the academic". The Daily Star. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Prof. Anisuzzaman". The Daily Star. 5 February 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Professor Anisuzzaman, language and Bangladesh Constitution". The Daily Star. 21 February 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  8. ^ "Anisuzzaman threatened with death". The Daily Star. 11 November 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  9. ^ "President – Banglaacademy". Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Anisuzzaman's Autobiography: Kaal Nirobodhi and Amar Ekattor". The Daily Star. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  11. ^ Majumdar, Pinaki (28 December 2004), "Tie-up Boost to Bangla Literature", The Telegraph, Kolkata: ABP Limited, retrieved 10 June 2011
  12. ^ "Sarojini Basu Award for Prof Anisuzzaman". The Daily Star. 24 September 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Dr Anisuzzaman honoured". The Daily Star. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Full List of Padma Awards". Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  15. ^ "7 get Independence Award 2015". The Daily Star. 25 March 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Literature can lead the way". The Daily Star. 30 April 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  17. ^ "Prof Anisuzzaman bestowed with Jagattarini Medal". The Daily Star. 12 January 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Prof Anisuzzaman awarded Ahsanullah Gold Medal". The Daily Star. 1 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Prof Anisuzzaman gets SAARC Literature Award 2019". New Age. BSS. 6 May 2019.
  20. ^ Anisuzzaman (2003). Kal Nirobodhi (1st ed.). Dhaka: Sahitya Prakash. p. 167. ISBN 984-465-324-X.
  21. ^ "National Professor Anisuzzaman no more; test result shows he was Covid-19 positive". The Daily Star. 14 May 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  22. ^ "Prof Anisuzzaman had COVID-19, son says as test result comes after death". Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  23. ^ "National Professor Anisuzzaman buried at Azimpur graveyard". 15 May 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.