One thing can be said with great emphasis about Atiqul Haque Chowdhury that he was the initiator of remarkable TV plays in Bangladesh. He successfully created his own style with regard to TV plays. Drama is not merely a source of entertainment; it depicts social messages too. Chowdhury’s plays upheld voices of society.
He employed much merit and labour while producing a play.
As an individual, Chowdhury was very optimistic. He was a producer of Radio Pakistan, Dhaka in 1962. I was then a university student. Later, he joined the PTV, Dhaka. I had not acted in any of his plays at that time.
On Chowdhury’s 80th birth anniversary programme, I jokingly told him that I could still act in any of his plays. A few days later, he cast me in one of his plays titled “Chilekothar Swapno” that aired on Ekushey Television. Such a playwright’s demise is undoubtedly a great loss for the theatre and TV media.
Atiqul Haque Chowdhury was an extremely brilliant director and playwright. He was a very good teacher as well. He would always look for new faces — actors, writers and playwrights — for his projects. He had a great life force that was rarely found among personalities of his time.
Many artistes and playwrights have established themselves with blessings from Chowdhury. He was always addicted to creating something new. One of his great qualities was that he would lend a ear to every viewpoint.
The newcomers who emerged with Chowdhury’s help reached the zenith of fame in Bangladeshi drama. Very few playwrights have the vision to recognise young talents and good intention to give them a platform.
It was a time when the nation was engulfed in disarray and decay. Chowdhury chose drama as a medium to prevent that decay.
Very few people are fortunate like Chowdhury — to have been able to dedicate a lifetime (60 years) to TV plays.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Atiqul Haque Chowdhury, a trend-setter of Bangla dramas is no more. A true “gentleman” in all senses, he was jovial and always amicable.
In the 1980s, television plays were so popular that the decade is now considered the “golden era”, and Chowdhury was instrumental behind this popularity. He was an insightful man and with his works he addressed the contemporary corruption engulfing the society. Following the Liberation War, the nation was going through a loss of values, which the dramatist clearly depicted through his works. The crises that the society and nation faced were reflected aptly in his works.
He was an admirer of the arts, a teacher, a great producer as well as a dramatist. It was he who inspired me to join television drama; he was my mentor. He directed the first television drama written by Selim Al Deen and was a regular at theatre shows.
A man lives through his works and Atiqul Haque Chowdhury will always live in the audiences’ hearts.