(From previous issue)
He challenged Ayub Khan that Bangla language and Bengali litterateurs are more competent than Urdu litterateurs, claiming that no Urdu litterateur could learn and write in Bangla in a stipulated short time. As a result of this challenge, Nurul Momen learned Urdu in three months and wrote and published a huge satirical essay in Urdu 'Mayne ye Khab kiun Dekha (Why did I dream it)', in the largest Urdu language daily of Pakistan, 'Jung'. In 1966, he wrote a symbolic costume-play for children 'Thik Cholar Poth' (The right way to go), mimicking the autocracy of Ayub Khan. In this play the autocrat Owl is challenged by other timid animals under the leadership of Jackal. The word 'autocrat', was used twelve times in that play, which was a great act of courage under Martial Law. It was not broadcast from Dhaka Radio. Later Rajshahi Radio transmitted it.
Nurul Momen did not believe in the ideology of united Pakistan and that is why he supported the, War Of Liberation in 1971. As a playwright, he exposed the inconsistencies and conflicts of his time in his plays through satire and farce. Among his major plays are Rupantor, Nemesis, Jodi Emon Hoto, Noya Khandan, Alochhaya, Shotkora Ashi, Oiner Antorale, Rupolekha, Bhai Bhai Shobai (a play with only male characters), Eituku ei Jibontate (a play with only female characters), Underneath the Law, We are Brothers All, Is Law An Ass, At the Alter of the Law and Jemoon Ichchha Temon.
He received the 'Best New Playwright Award' in Calcutta in 1954, the Bangla Academy Award in 1961, Chicago University's International Players' Honor in 1964, honoured by British theatre personalities in 1966 and the Ekushey Padak in 1978 for his contribution to literature.
Nurul Momen was an eloquent orator both in classroom and in public. He spellbound his student and audience with sharp humour and knowledge. While attending Kagmari Conference convened by Maulana Bhashani, Nurul Momen had to return earlier for a stage performance. Maulana Bhashani was supposed to be the last speaker. But he delivered his speech earlier saying, "If an orator like the professor (pointing towards Nurul Momen) leaves, whom shall I deliver my speech to?"
Nurul Momen was the head of the jury board for:- (1) All Pakistan Film Festival in 1965 (2) National Drama Festivals of Bangladesh organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979 and (3) National TV Award in 1976, 1977 & 1978. He was a distinguished member of the National Drama Censor Board from its beginning through to end. He played an important role in that Board by abolishing the age old black law of Acting Restriction Law.
He wrote the smallest play of the world also. Its duration is 13 seconds. Its characters are: a signature, a page of a cheque-book and a page of an autograph book.
He wrote the first Bangla Law book 'Muslim Ain' in 1962. His famous essay books are Aloker Jhornadhara, Lest we Forget, Drishti Onyotoro, 21st February etc. He penned and directed the 1st drama serial of Bangladesh Betar (Radio), 'Dekhe Choli' and 1st drama serial of Dhaka TV, 'Drishtipat'. Nurul Momen cut the cake on the 25th Anniversary of Bangladesh Television.
(Nurul Momen died on 16th February 1990 in his Gulshan residence at Dhaka.)