A.F. Salahuddin Ahmed

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A.F. Salahuddin Ahmed (September 24, 1924 - October 19, 2014[1]) Faridpur, Bangladesh) is an eminent historian, and a humanist and a rationalist thinker from the Indian subcontinent.

Education[edit]

Salahuddin received his I.A. from Surendranath College, (formerly Ripon College), and B.A. (Hons.) in History from Presidency College (now Presidency University). He completed his first M.A. in History from Calcutta University, and then a second M.A. in History from University of Pennsylvania, and his Ph.D. in History from the School of Oriental and African Studies at University of London (1961).

Personal life[edit]

Salahuddin came from a highly educated Bengali Muslim family. His father Abu Ahmed Faizul Mohi, paternal grandfather Moulvi Ahmed,one of the early Bengali Muslim high ranking administrators in British India, and maternal grandfather Azizul Haque,( who is credited to have a major contribution to the development of Henry Classification System of fingerprint method) were all students of renowned Presidency College, Calcutta. He was married to Hamida Khanom, who was one of the very few early Muslim graduates (I.A. and B.A.) from Bethune College Calcutta. She completed her M.A. from Calcutta University, and then a second B.A. (Hons.) from University College London. She retired as Principal of Home Economics College, Dhaka. Hamida provided support and inspiration to Salahuddin in his professional career throughout their long 60 years of married life.

Professional career[edit]

Salahuddin started his teaching career in 1948 as a Lecturer at Jagannath College, Dhaka, Bangladesh, (at that time East Pakistan). Later, he was a Lecturer, Reader, and then Professor of History at Rajshahi University. He was also Professor of History at Jahangir Nagar University and Dhaka University, the job from which he retired in 1984. In 1963, Dr. Ahmed was invited by the American Historical Association as a Visiting Lecturer in South Asian History at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago. He was also UNESCO Cultural Fellow at Kyoto University, Japan in 1956. Dr. Ahmed was also associated with Independent University, Bangladesh as Professor of National Culture and Heritage, and served as the President of the National Association of Social Sciences of Bangladesh, and Chairman of the United Nations Association of Bangladesh. He has participated in many international conferences and seminars.

Publications[edit]

The following quote from the review of one of Professor Salahuddin Ahmed's book: Perspectives on History, Society and Politics published by Readers Service, Kolkata, 2001, aptly captures his views and reputation [2]

In 2012, Professor Salahuddin Ahmed contributed a chapter, entitled Bangladesh, Present, and Future Prospects" in a memorial book in honor of his younger deceased brother, Fakhruddin Ahmed, a career diplomat,and twice Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh, titled, "Regional Cooperation and Globalization: Bangladesh, South Asia and Beyond edited by Dr. Zillur Rahman Khan and Dr. Meghna Guha Thakurta",[3] where he eloquently makes a case for appreciating historical perspectives of social and political events:

In 2004, Professor Salahuddin Ahmed in collaboration with Dr. Bazlul Momin Choudhury, published a comprehensive editorial volume on the history of Bangladesh, entitled Bangladesh:National Culture and Heritage: An Introductory Reader,[4] which gives an overview of the land, society, culture and religions, and history of the peoples of Bangladesh.

Some other notable books [5] in English and Bengali written by Professor Salahuddin Ahmed are:

  • Social ideas and social change in Bengal 1818-18-35
  • Bangladesh Tradition and Transformation,Bengali Nationalism and the Emergence of Bangladesh
  • Itihash O oitijjo Bangalir Sadhana O Bhangalir Muktijuddha
  • Bangladesh Jatiyabad, Swadhinata, Gonotantro

He has also contributed many articles in professional journals.

Involvement in social issues and providing an active "mentoring support" to many[edit]

Dr. Salahuddin Ahmed's interest and involvement in social service is reflected by his work for the Red Cross during the turbulent period of Partition of India, and his association with the Radical Democratic Party[6] founded by M.N.Roy,and his active involvement in Ahmed Memorial Foundation established by family members dedicated to the educational and social welfare of their ancestral village of Bashbaria in Faridpur, Bangladesh. He maintained an active life until the day he passed away,serving as the National Professor, writing and publishing articles, giving media interviews. He maintained worldwide contacts with his students, and professional acquaintances, as well as with their children and grandchildren, as many of them continued to seek him out for advise and support, as did his own family, and his house served as intellectual, social, and family gathering place during his lifetime.

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dhaka University Correspondent (19 October 2014). "National professor Salahuddin Ahmed passes away". Bangladesh News. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Perspectives on History, Society and Politics/A.F. Salahuddin Ahmed". Vedamsbooks.com. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  3. ^ "Regional Cooperation and Globalization:Bangladesh, South Asia and Beyond". uplbooks. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  4. ^ "Colors Of Bangladesh". Colors Of Bangladesh. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  5. ^ "Salahuddin Ahmed: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  6. ^ "Absurdist Republic - M. N. Roy - The Radical Humanist". My.opera.com. Retrieved 2012-07-12.