Jatin Sarker

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Jatin Sarker
Jatin Sarker 2006.JPG
Born 1 September 1938
Netrokona, Mymensingh, Bangladesh

Jatin Sarker (born 1 September 1938) is a Bengali intellectual, researcher and biographer of Bangladesh. Reputed for his Marxist lineage[clarification needed], he was awarded the prestigious Bangla Academy Award in 2008 for "research and essays".


Jatin Sarker was born on 1 September 1938 in Netrokona of the-then Mymensingh district in undivided India. Netrokona is now an administrative district of Bangladesh. He was the eldest of three children, two brothers and a sister. He married in 1965 and with his wife Kanon Sarker has one son, namely, Suman Sarker (he lives in Slovakia) and a daughter, namely, Sudipta Sarkar (she lives in Bangladesh). He has six grandchildren, namely Mishuk Sarker, Martin Sarker, Joy Tomáš Sarker and Omia Sarker – they live in Slovakia, Shagnik Sarkar and Rittik Sarkar live in Bangladesh.

He lives a simple life[citation needed] and always wears white Dhuti-Punjabi, the traditional Hindu dress[citation needed] that distinguishes him with elegance[peacock term]. He did not actively participate in politics but was inspired by Marxist line of thinking and philosophy.

He is a member of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB)'s Committees of Concerned Citizens of Bangladesh.[1]


Sarker took the profession of teaching after graduation by joining the Ashulia College in Netrikona in 1957. Later he joined the Nasirabad College in 1964 where he taught Bengali literature at the pre-university and undergraduate levels until his retirement in 2002. He now permanently lives in Netrokona.


Sarker has been popular for his oratory. The people of Mymensingh love him[citation needed] for his speech in a clear and clarion voice.[peacock term]

Literary and cultural engagement[edit]

Since the late 1960s, Sarker has remained involved in the cultural activities of Mymensingh. His presence was inevitable in each and every literary, cultural and educative programme of the city. He is currently the president of Udichi Shilpi Goshthi, a nationwide cultural movement established in 1958. He has been a member of Mymensingh Press Club since long. In 2007 he started a magazine titled Shomaj, Orthonithir O Rastro (tr. The Society, Economy and State).

Political philosophy[edit]

Sarker has always spoken for upholding and ensuring human rights and for resisting social oppression, discrimination and communal politics. On 29 April 2006, he presided over a regional dialogue on national election policy and the initiative of the civil society in Mymensingh.[2] As chair of a meeting organised in Mymensingh in observance of the World Press Freedom Day in 2006, he said that now everything is captured by money and, consequently, it is so difficult to ensure freedom of press since the press is owned and controlled by the corporations and business magnets who act in favour of capitalism and serve as an agent of capitalist imperialism and globalisation. There is certainly a strong relationship among media and development and poverty alleviation but poverty will never be reduced until corruption, injustice, inequality etc. eliminated from the society. He urged all to achieve freedom and establish one's right through continuous struggle."[3] He believes that religion-based politics should be banned in line with the constitution of Bangladesh of 1972. He also maintained that the Members of the Parliaments should not be involved in activities other than legislating.[2]

Rise to national eminence[edit]

Until the middle of the 1990s, Sarker remained by and large a Mymensingh man, a regional figure with sporadic national attention which may be attributed to his absence of ambition and the attitude of maintaining a low key. Since then he started to gain national importance as an intellectual, rational thinker and devoted essayist. He was increasingly recognised as a voice of conscience and free thinking. National recognition came as he was awarded the Bangla Academy Award in 2008.


On 20 February 2008, he was awarded the coveted Bangla Academy Award for research and essays. In his immediate reaction Jatin Sarker told that receiving Bangla Academy Award was a great feeling for him.[4] Earlier Bangla Academy awarded him the "Doctor Muhammad Enamul Haque Gold Medal". On 28 January 2006, he received the 'Prothom Alo Best Book of the Year 1411' for his book titled Pakistaner Janmo Mrityu-Darshan.[5] Prothom Alo introduced the award in 1410 BS (2004 AD), to recognise creative works of Bangladeshi writers. Other awards received by him include the Narayanganj Shruti Gold Medal, Mymensingh Press Club Literary Award, Khaleq Dad Chowdhury Literary Award and Moniruddin Yusuf Literary Award.


Noted film-maker Tanvir Mokammel produced a documentary 1971 with a section on Jatin Sarker. It was released in March 2006.[6]


So far he has published 17 titles to his credit. One of his important publication is Pakistaner Janmo Mrityu-Darshan, published in 2005. Another important book is Bangladesher Kavigan published by Bangla Academy in 1985. Some other books are Sahittyar Kachey Pratyasha, Bangalee Somajtantrik Otihya, Sankritir Sangram, Manab Mon, Manab Dharma and Shomaj Biplab, Aamaader Chintacharchar Dig-diganta , Sirajuddin Kashimpuri , Haricharan Acharjya , Golpe Golpe Bakyaran and Dijatitatwa Niotibad O BijnanChetona ,[7][8]


Further reading[edit]

  • Lekhok Obidhan, Bangla Academy, 1999, Dhaka.
  • Ditiyo Chinta-Jatin Sarker issue, 2007, Mymensingh, edited by Iffat Ara.

External links[edit]