Meet Imran Hussain – The newly appointed Chairman of State Madrassa Education Board

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Meet Imran Hussain – The newly appointed Chairman of State Madrassa Education Board

Nehal Jain | March 17, 2018 17:53 hrs

Imran Hussain is an academician, writer and literary critic. His forte is fictional short stories and he has to his credit four critically acclaimed books, all written in Assamese language. His fiction deeply blends folklore, myth and subaltern consciousness to depict contemporary socio-political reality of Northeast India.

Born and brought up in Dhubri to a culturally and artistically inclined family, Imran did his schooling from Dhubri Government Boys’ Higher Secondary School and further went on to pursue TDC from BN College with Political Science Major. He later shifted to Guwahati to study MA in Political Science from Gauhati University. Presently, Imran is pursuing PhD in the Department of Folklore Research for Gauhati University.

“I was around 4 years old when I attended by uncle’s wedding. As part of the celebration, a professional story teller had been invited who narrated a traditional folklore. His story etched inside by heart and the creativity in his story developed an interest in me to become a creative person and a story teller,” Imran recalled his initial inclination towards storytelling.

Brought up in a home opposite to a huge slum called ‘Dabri’ where murderers, pick pockets, drunkards and prostitutes dwelled, Imran had witnessed a lot of communal riots and murders as a child. While he pictured these murderers and dare devils as real life heroes back then, it was because of his fear for his strict father that Imran stayed away from such milieu.

A narrator of rural folk life of the northeast, Imran says that his works are greatly influenced by his roots. “My father, Late Liaquat Hussain, was a prominent person. He was a teacher who retired as the Principal of my school and an exceptional artist. In 1962, my father painted a portrait of Sankaradeva and gifted it to the school; the portrait is now missing,” he told G Plus.

Imran’s short story collection, ‘Hudumdao Aru Anannya Golpo,’ was published by Sahitya Akademi in 2003. His other books include A Modern and Postmodern Terminology, Rupantoror Goidya and Asthir Pranthor. Besides English, his works have been translated to Bengali, Boko, Oriya, Marathi and Gujarati. Four of his stories – Jatra, Hudumdao, Pokhila and Baak – have been adapted into plays with the same titles. Not only has Baak been performed as a play over 150 times across the country, it is also being taught in the Department of English at the University of Minnesota and University of Oklahoma, USA. His translated stories have been published as ‘The Water Spirit and Other Stories’ by Harper Collins India in 2015.

Besides being a short story writer, Imran is also a translator and a lexicographer. He has translated works in English, Bengali and Urdu to Assamese. He has also edited the works of various Assamese authors and he is the founder editor of ‘Bhoomi’, a magazine.

Imran has participated in various literary festivals including Katha Literary Festival (2001), Octave (2008), Guwahati Literary Festival (2014) and Fiction Writers’ Meet organised by Sahitya Akademi, among others. Imran has also represented India in SAARC Festival of Literature in 2010. His awards include the Katha Award for Creative Fiction in 1999, Chandraprabha Barua Memorial Award in 2001 and Jehirul Hussain Memorial Award in 2007 for his immense contributions to short fiction.

Imran is known as one of the pioneer environment and wildlife activists of Assam who participated in ‘The Brahmaputra-Barak Valley Natural and Environmental Awareness Campaign 1988’ sponsored by Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Government of India. He is a member of the Publication Board of Higher Education, Government of Assam. Presently working as an Associate Professor in the Political Science Department of Sipajhar College, he has visited Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) as a Visiting Fellow for a week-long programme on “Indian English and Intercultural Studies.”

Recently, Imran Hussain was appointed as the Chariman of State Madrassa Education Board. Being the first chairman of the board to personally visit schools and study them, Imran has taken notes of the problems associated with Madrassa Board and wishes to curb them in his tenure. Speaking to G Plus about the problems associated with schools affiliated to the board, he said, “The syllabus of Madrassa Board is very lengthy, that’s the basic problem. Further, to complete the equivalent of boards in SEBA or CBSE from Madrassa Board, it takes much longer resulting in students being left behind the others of their age. I have also seen that there is a shortage of teachers in some schools and abundance in others.”

Imran wishes to improve the current state of affairs by inculcating modern teachings in the curriculum, making the learning scientific. He also wishes to monitor the syllabus so as to lessen the burden on students and preparing them for the practical world. Further, he wishes to propose to the government to bring a change in the age structure so as to bring Madrassa board students at par with students from other boards.

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