He is known as a great educationist, linguist, philologist, researcher, translator, reader critic, creative writer, poet in the history of Bangladesh. But he started his career as a lawyer. He used to write explanatory articles on the history of Bengali grammar sometimes. Such a write up published in a journal of the University of Calcutta grabbed the attention of the then Vice Chancellor Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee. Sir Ashutosh wrote to him, "Bar is not for you. Come to our University." These two lines changed his life. And since then he traveled smoothly in almost all sectors of linguistics. He mastered 24 languages, and had vast knowledge on 18 languages. He is Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah.
Born in a devoutly religious family of the Peyara village, 24 Parganas, British India, Muhammad Shahidullah was outstandingly meritorious since his childhood. In school life, he learned to read Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Hindi and Oriya. Shahidullah was inspired by his school teacher and famous linguist Acharya Harinath Dey to attain knowledge on language. He earned his PhD degree from Sorbonne University in 1928 for his research on the dialects of the Charyapada. He was the first Indian Muslim to receive this doctorate degree.
Dr. Muhammad Shahidulla`s writings like Bhasa O Sahitya, Bangala Bhasar Itibrtta, Bangla Sahityer Katha, Diwan-i-Hafiz, Rubaiyat-i-Omar Khaiyam, Vidyapati Shatak, Padmavati enriched the Bangla language and its grammar extensively.
Muhammad Shahidullah was a genuine Bengali. Among the people who presented strong statements for making Bengali a state language after the establishment of Pakistan, he was one of the most important among them. He said - "The nation that does not respect its language cannot improve."
He was born during the moon of `Shaheed e Karbala`, so his mother named him Shahidullah. She believed that her son would be exemplary. This scholar of Bengali language has proved later with his outstanding work and knowledge that he is truly an exemplary personality. Today marks his 134th birth anniversary. On the birth anniversary of this great linguist we remember him with high respect.
Bangla Insider/ SM