Serajul Islam Choudhury
Serajul Islam Choudhury

General Information
Academic, Essayist, Literary Critic, Political Analyst & Activist
Teaching, Columnist

Full Name: Serajul Islam Choudhury

Affiliation: University of Dhaka

Current Position: Retired

Date of Birth: June 23, 1936

Place of Birth: Bangladesh

Home District: Munshiganj

Nationality: Bangladeshi


Serajul Islam Choudhury (born 23 June 1936) is a Bangladeshi academic, essayist, literary critic, political analyst, activist, historian, translator, columnist and teacher. For a long time he taught in the Department of English Language and Literature in Dhaka University. He is Emeritus Professor of the department. He is one of the country’s most prominent public intellectuals and the founding editor of New Diganta magazine. In the 1980s, under the pseudonym "Gachpathar", he gained fame writing weekly reports on social and political issues in the daily newspaper Sangbad. In 1996, he was awarded the Ekushey Padak, the second highest civilian honor conferred by the Government of Bangladesh, for his contribution to education.

Choudhury was born in Baraikhali village of Srinagar upazila of Munshiganj (old name Bikrampur) district. His father's name is Hafiz Uddin Chowdhury and mother's name is Asia Khatun. He spent his childhood in Rajshahi and Kolkata due to his father's job. He passed his matriculation from Saint Gregory’s High School in 1950 and his intermediate from Notre Dame College in 1952. Having earned a master’s degree in English from Dhaka University, he joined the university’s English department in 1957 as a lecturer and served it for the next 45 years. He is now a professor emeritus. He did advanced studies in English literature at the University of Leeds and the University of Leicester in the UK.

Choudhury has won renown for being vocal against injustice and inspiring people to join the struggle for freedom of speech and against violation of fundamental rights. He also raised his voice against illegal land grabbing, river pollution, felling of trees at Osmani Udyan, construction of a commercial building at the courtyard of the celebrated baul Lalon Shah’s shrine and of an airport at Arial Beel in Munshiganj destroying agricultural lands.

Choudhury edited the Dhaka Biswavidyalay Patrika for 15 years and the Dhaka University Studies for nine years. He was also a frontline leader of the Bangladesh Lekhak Shibir, an organization of progressive writers. He was nominated by the Dhaka University senate to the three-member panel for appointment of vice-chancellor of the university three times, but on all the occasions, the country’s president, also the ex-officio chancellor of all universities, appointed others to the post. He was also one of the drafter of the Dhaka University Order 1973.

In 1971, Choudhury was one of the six DU teachers who were warned by the then-Pakistani military rulers for their ‘anti-state’ activities and was on the ‘wanted list’ of Al Badar killers during the country’s War of Independence, but somehow escaped the killing.

The prolific writer Choudhury has authored about 100 books relentlessly spreading his critical thoughts. He has been showered with many honours, including the Ekushey Padak and the Bangla Academy Award.

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