Prominent Sylhet-based cultural activist and freedom fighter Nizamuddin Laskar passed away in a private hospital in the district at 9:15 pm yesterday. He was undergoing treatment for a brain stroke that he had received on January 8. He was 69 years old at the time of passing.
Popularly known as 'Moyna Bhai', Laskar was a freedom fighter, author, theatre activist, photographer, director and actor.
Many paid tribute to the beloved figure for the last time at Sylhet Central Shaheed Minar this morning, before he was laid to rest at the graveyard in the Shrine of Hazrat Shahjalal (R) after Zuhr prayers.
Nizamuddin Laskar was born on April 9, 1952 at Bilpar area in Sylhet city's Lamabazar.
He had acted on stage since the age of 12. He marvelled in the craft, and was praised for his solo performance in "Chair". Besides acting, he was also directing stage-plays since he was a college student. He was a listed radio actor since 1967.
During the Liberation Movement before 1971, Nizamuddin Laskar was involved with the Chhatra League and in the cultural movement in Sylhet.
On the night of March 25, 1971, Nizamuddin Laskar was directing a play being staged at Golapganj upazila's Dhaka Dakshin. Hearing of the mass killing in Dhaka, he stopped the play, stood up on stage, and promised the audience that he would fight to free the country.
He then joined the eco-one training camp's very first batch. After training, he fought triumphantly as a commander of the sub-sector "Balat" under Sector-5 of the Liberation War.
In August 16, 1971, during a frontal fight with Pakistani Army at Joykolosh area of Sunamganj, Nizamuddin Laskar was shot, and was under treatment until our victory on December 16.
After the Liberation War, he was an integral part of another struggle— a cultural movement.
On January 26, 1972, only after 41 days of Bangladesh's victory, "Rokto Polash" was staged in Sylhet—historically the very first stage-play of the independent country.
A lifelong theatre activist, Laskar was one of the founders of the Sammilita Natya Parishad of Sylhet in 1984, and served as chief director of the organization for three times.
In 1992, he also patronized forming Sylhet Photographic Society (SPS), and acted as the president of the organization for three times over the years.
Nizamuddin Laskar wrote and directed a memorable theatre production in 2000 titled "Paglagarod", where senior and junior theatre actors from different groups performed. The play was staged in Sylhet, Moulvibazar and Dhaka.
He also wrote and directed another stage-play titled "Jhuki" in 2014 and "Merchant of Venice" in September last year.
He acted in several films and television dramas. He was also acted as an instructor on stage at Shilpakala Academy.
He was author to many memorable literary works, including "Ekattorer Ronangone", "I Loved a Girl", "Death of a Dictator", "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari", "Live to Be 100 and Enjoy It", "Hridbodol" and "Europer Pothe", among others.