National Professor Dr Rafiqul Islam has been on life support since Thursday at Dhaka’s Evercare Hospital, according to his family.
“Our beloved Professor Rafiqul Islam was put on life support yesterday in a local hospital. He has been unwell for the last few months. Let us all pray for his recovery,” said Professor Imran Rahman, ULAB’s Vice-Chancellor on Friday.
He was admitted to the hospital four days ago and got shifted to the High Dependency Unit of the hospital after his condition worsened, Barshan Islam, son of the eminent educationist said.
Barshan said the family wanted to take his father to India, but he refused.
According to the family, Rafiqul Islam wants to be treated in the country. He did not even want to come to Evercare Hospital and was willing to continue receiving treatment at BSMMU.
On October 7, the 87-year old National Professor was admitted to BSMMU with abdominal pain. After the examination, the doctors confirmed that water had accumulated in his lungs, which was extracted.
He started his glorious career in academia at Dhaka University in 1957 and taught Bengali and linguistic there till 1958 and then 1961 till 2004 as Senior lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor.
Inducted as a National Professor in 2018, Prof Dr Rafiqul Islam 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).
One of the most respected Nazrul researchers in the world, Rafiqul Islam was the first Nazrul Professor at the Bangla department of Dhaka University and the first director of the Nazrul Research Centre. He has penned about 30 books, including the first book on martyred intellectuals and the first book on the centenary history of Dhaka University.
For his excellence in the field of academia and culture, Professor Dr Rafiqul Islam has received Independence Award (2012), Ekushey Padak (2001), Bangla Academy Literary Award (1994) and International Mother Language Award.