National Professor Rafiqul Islam, one of the most distinguished researchers on National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, passed away at 2:30 pm today at the capital’s Evercare Hospital. The 87-year-old was the recipient of both Swadhinata Padak and Ekushey Padak, the highest civilian honors in the country.
The news was confirmed by noted Nazrul Sangeet artiste, Kalpana Anam.
The national professor was on life support since Thursday.
On October 7, he was admitted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) with abdominal pain. The doctors had confirmed that water had accumulated in his lungs, and it was extracted.
Rafiqul Islam’s career in academia started at Dhaka University in 1957, as he taught Bengali and linguistics there till 1958 and then 1961-2004 as Senior Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor.
He had written more than 30 books, including the first books on martyred intellectuals and the centenary history of Dhaka University.
He was inducted as a National Professor in 2018, and later became head of the Bangla department at Dhaka University. Later, he became the Vice-Chancellor (2007-2011) of the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB).
The eminent personality’s namaz-e-janaza will be held today at Uttara Sector 7 mosque after Esha prayers. Tomorrow, he will be taken to the Shaheed Minar for last respects, after which he will be laid to rest at the Azimpur graveyard.