DHAKA, Bangladesh – Hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis turned out Monday (July 23rd) in Dhaka to pay their final tributes to the country's most popular fiction writer, Humayun Ahmed, who died last week.
Ahmed, also the country's top film director and TV playwright, died at a clinic in New York on July 19th after a 10-month battle against colon cancer.
The 64-year-old wrote over 200 fiction and non-fiction books, almost all of them bestsellers in Bangladesh and West Bengal, often tackling the life struggles of the middle class in lucid and easily understandable Bangla.
Police said hundreds of thousands of people had gathered at the Language Martyrs Memorial at Dhaka University to pay their last respects to Ahmed after his body was flown to the country. People queued in several lines that stretched miles, with adolescents rubbing shoulders with old men, bureaucrats, bankers and businessmen. Some offered flowers, others were in tears.
"I think since this morning several lakhs of people have paid respect to him. I have not seen such a scene before," police officer Shahidul Islam told AFP.