Friends, admirers and family members shared their memories of the late Ekushey Padak recipient writer and journalist Rahat Khan and recalled his contribution to the country’s literary arena at a remembrance programme held recently at National Press Club in the city.
The event featured a discussion on Rahat Khan’s life and works, poem recitation, duah mahfil, unveiling of cover of Rahat Khan’s juvenile novel Dilur Galpa and others. Rahat Khan passed away on August 28 at his residence in Dhaka’s Eskaton Garden at age of 79.
Professor AK Azad Khan, professor Mohammad Baharuddin, senior journalists Manzurul Ahsan Bulbul, Haroon Habib, Dhaka Union of Journalists president Kuddus Afrad, poet Lily Haque, poet Rafiq Hasan, poet Jahangir Firoz, poet Maruful Islam, poet Rezauddin Stalin, National Press Club general secretary Farida Yasmin, Rahat Khan’s widow Aparna Khan and his son Riddee Khan, among others, attended the programme.
Born on December 19, 1940, in Kishoreganj, Rahat Khan wrote his first story as a student of class three. He completed a degree in economics and philosophy at Ananda Mohan College. He did his MA from the Department of Bangla Language and Literature at Dhaka University in 1961. For the next eight years, he taught Bangla at various colleges, including Jagannath College in Dhaka.
Rahat Khan is one of the writers well known for his complex, versatile character building -- even in the format of short story. He had an enormous gift of hunting talent in both writing and journalism. Thus, a complete generation of writers were spotted and groomed by him, personally.
In 1969, Rahat Khan joined Bangla daily Ittefaq as assistant editor. He spent over four decades at the newspaper, eventually becoming its editor. In 1972, he published his first collection of short stories, Onischito Lokaloy (Uncertain Human Habitation).
The following year, he received the Bangla Academy Literary Award for his short stories. He produced further volumes: Ontohin Jatra (The Eternal Journey), Bhalo Monder Taka (Money for Good and Evil), and in 1983, Apel Songbad (News of the Apple). In the early 1980s, he published his debut novel, Omol Dhobol Chakri (Milk-White Service). He continued writing novels into the 1990s.
After leaving Ittefaq, he was the advisory editor of Dainik Bartoman. He also served as the chairman of the board of directors of the national news agency, Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS).