Language soldier, Ekushey medalist, valiant freedom fighter, veteran journalist and columnist, founder general secretary of Pabnapress club RaneshMaitra is no more early Monday.
He died at around 3.47am on Monday while undergoing treatment at Dhaka’s Popular Hospital. He was 90.
General secretary of Pabnapress club SaikatAfrozAsad confirmed his death and said that RaneshMaitra’s son had left for Bangladesh from Australia. After his arrival, the last rites will be done at the family’s discretion.
It is known that he was born on October 4, 1933 in Nowhata village of Rajshahi district. Ancestral residence in Bhulbaria village inSanthiaupazila of Pabna. Father Ramesh Chandra was a primary school teacher. RaneshMaitra used to pay for his education by taking tuitions since he was in the seventh standard.
Taking lessons from his life struggle, RaneshMaitra agitates and struggles for the helpless, exploited and deprived people of the country.
He passed matriculation from Pabna GCI school in 1950. He passed Intermediate from Pabna Edward College in 1955 and he obtained his bachelor’s degree in 1959 same college
He started his journalism career in 1951 with the weekly newspaper Naobelal published from Sylhet. After three years of journalism in Daily SatyaJuga published from Calcutta, he joined Daily News in 1955. Served as Pabnacorrespondent in Daily Morning News in 1961 and Daily Observer from 1967 to 1992. After joining The New Nation as Editor-in-Chief in 1992, he worked as Correspondent of The Daily Star from 1993 to 2000. Later, he voluntarily retired as a freelance journalist and gained wide fame across the country by writing columns in the top newspapers of the country.
Besides, in 1961, he was elected as the founding general secretary of the East Pakistan Journalists’ Association formed through the East Pakistan Moffswal Journalist Conference in Pabna. Through this conference, freelance journalists get recognition of their profession. He was elected the founder general secretary of Pabna Press Club established in the same year.
He led the journalists of the district by serving as the president and editor of the press club for a long time. In 2018, he was awarded the EkusheyPadak, the second highest civilian award given by the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, for his contribution to journalism.
RaneshMaitra’s political career began in 1948 by joining the language movement march from the student union. At the same time, he got involved in the profession of journalism. He also served jail time with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
He was one of the organisers of Pabna district in language movement in 1952. In the same year, he was elected the president of the district organising committee of the student union. In 1953, he participated in the election of Edward College’s student parliament and was elected as the cultural secretary.
In order to strengthen the cultural movement along with the political movement, he formed a cultural organisation called ShikhaSangh with progressive friends including Abdul Matin and Kamal Lohani of Bangladesh Observer. There was a rich library, from which a handwritten magazine called Shikha was also published.
His wife PurviMaitra is president of Pabna district branch of Bangladesh MahilaParishad. All four children are established in their respective fields.
Pabna Press Club lost a patron in RaneshMaitra’s death. Journalists are saddened by his death.
Immediately upon the death of this person, social, cultural, political, and various professional organizations and people of various classes of Pabna expressed their condolences to the bereaved family and sought peace for his departed soul on social media.