My uncle, Gazi Shahabuddin Ahmed, who has died aged 78 of a heart attack, was the founder and editor of one of Bangladesh’s most important literary publications, Sachitra Shandhani, which he set up in 1956 and ran, with one interruption, until 1996.
Shahabuddin was born in Dhaka, in what was then British India, as the eldest son of 11 children of Gazi Shamsuddin Ahmed, a superintendent of police, and Gazi Rafia Khatun, an entrepreneur. From childhood he was a voracious reader and had a keen interest in the aesthetics behind publications. While studying at Notre Dame college in Dhaka he decided to start an arts magazine, and, after much fundraising activity with friends, began publishing and editing Sachitra Shandhani in 1956, at the age of 17. Shahabuddin released 1,000 copies of the first issue and by 10am on the morning of publication all were sold.