The mind of the scholar, if he would leave it large and liberal, should come in contact with other minds.
— Lao Tzu
Abu Siddik is an Assistant Professor , formerly teaching at Falakata College, Alipurduar, presently working at Plassey College, Nadia, West Bengal, India. He has been teaching since 2010. He did his Ph. D on William Faulkner in 2014. He is the Coordinator of IQAC of the college. He is a short fiction writer, poet, essayist and reviewer. His areas of interest include African Literature, American Literature, Postcolonial Literature, Cultural Studies, Subaltern Studies, Literary and Cultural Theories, and Creative Writing.
He has three critical books— Representation of the Marginalized in Indian Writings in English (Falakata College Cell, 2015), Misfit Parents in Faulkner’s Select Texts (Authorspress, 2015), Banglar Musolman (Sopan, 2018); two poetry books and a short story, published by Authorspress in 2020 —Rugged Terrain, Whispering Echoes, A Birdwatcher and Other Stories. Bihotojoner Upakhyan is his latest short story collection in Bangla.
Why I write?
Yea, you catch me! I write to ‘serve suffering and beauty.’
I’m not a seller of books! I write not to sell but to kill pain and serve the sea of humanity.
What I love?
I love who, toil and earn bread by their sweat-
the voiceless, the unheard, the unseen, the unsaid, the resilient, the country folks, the daily labours, the unfed mouths, the black skin, the anemic bodies, the palsied, naked children, decrepit old, the forgotten, the margins, the peripherals, the poor, the wretched of the earth, the faceless, the nameless, the unknown.
What I hate?
And as an artist I never kowtow to the whims and dictates of the sacred godmen or godwomen, and the political bigots and hypocrites, and dealers of lay men, the dishonest and self-serving intellectuals, traders of religions, religious tags, religious labels, suckers of earth.
And what I know…
The great Indian Self hates Truth. It demands subordination, and acquiescence of the self.
And the marginal elites of Indian bustling cities of grace, squalor and wealth love to paddle amid the murky and darkened realms of inequality, illiteracy, superstitions, injustice, usury, ethnic cleansing, riot, rape, violence (verbal, physical), deaths, sickening malaise, barbarity, inhumanity, child labour and poverty and exploitation– a dystopic land where ‘mammonism’ is worshipped and eulogized at each undulate step.
The Prophet loves the poor and millions of Indians are poor and, thereby they have unknowingly been the true votary of the our great Prophet.
Yes my friend, me a storyteller, and an eternal traveller to the travails of life in its ruggedness and oddities and crudities, and I praise resilience of my fictional characters.
And Sisyphus is the cause …
I’m a great lover of Sisypheanism which is basically ‘refusing to forget where one is from (Eden),where one toils (Exile), and where one is headed (death),’ and a deep believer of Camus’s words as to an artist’s role in the world. ‘This is why so many artists, bending under the burden, take refuge in the ivory tower or conversely in the social church. But, as for me, I see in both choices a like act of resignation. We must simultaneously serve suffering and beauty…We must accept the dangers: the era of chair bound artists is over.’
(The Myth of Sisyphus, 2000, p. 93)
Papers published in
Journals / edited Books
“Dooars Tea Tribals’ Diasporic Identity” in Criterion e-journal 4:2 (2013), 1-8. ISSN. 0976-8165
“William Faulkner and Parenting” in The Atlantic literary Review 4(2012): 70-89. ISSN 0972-3269. Print.
- “Migration, and V.S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr Biswas” in Rural-out Migration in India: Problems and Prospects. Eds. Gopal Sharma and Nazrul Islam. Coochbehar: Sitalkuchi College, 2013. 307-15. ISBN 978-81-926968-0-5.
- “Lesbian and Gay Families, and Parenting: An Overview” in Cultural Studies: Theories and Praxes. Partha Sarathi Guha. Berhampore : Berhampore Girls’ College, 2013. 257-263.ISBN 978-81-927259-0-1.
- “Vivekananda’s Vision of Religion: A Brief Survey of Hinduism and Islam.” in Research Chronicler: International Multidisciplinary Research Journal 2:3 (March 2014): 163-168. ISSN 2347-503X.
- “Bengali Muslims as Marginals: An Overview.” In Representation of the Marginalized in Indian writings in English. Ed. Abu Siddik. Falakata : Publication Cell, Falakata College, 2015. 180-186. ISBN 978-93-84671-13-6
- “Bangali Musolman: Uttorbongo o Onnotro.” In Uttorpada. Ed. Ranjan Roy. Falakata : Publication Cell, Falakata College, 2015. ISBN 978-93-82441-04-5
- “Border is in the Mind” in Border, Globalization and Identity. Eds. Sukanta Das, et al. UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018. ISBN (10): 1-5275-0360-7 ISBN (13): 978-1-5275-0360-1.
- “Crisis of Identity in‘Bangla’ Speaking Muslims of West Bengal: An Overview” in Perspectives: A Collection of Essays on Language, Ethnicity and Identity, Eds. R Mohan & M Choudhury. Tinsukia (Assam): Tinsukia College, Dept. of English, 2018. ISBN 93 80247-79-3
- Bihotojoner Upakhyan. Kolkata: Robi Prokash, 2021. ISBN: 978-81-945846-5-0
- A Birdwatcher and Other Stories .New Delhi: Authorspress, 2020.ASIN.BO8JCJLZY9
- Whispering Echoes (poems). New Delhi: Authorspress, 2020.ASIN: B085FSVCPB
- Rugged Terrain (poems). New Delhi: Authorspress, 2020. ASIN: B085G77M36
- Representation of the Marginalized in Indian writings in English. Ed. Abu Siddik. Falakata : Publication Cell, Falakata College, 2015. 180-186. ISBN: 978-93-84671-13-6.
- Mis/Fit Parents in Faulkner’s select Texts. New Delhi: Authorspress, 2015. ISBN: 978-93-5207-140-
- Banglar Musolman. Kolkata: Sopan, 2018. ISBN: 978-93-82441-54-0.
Seminars Workshops Participation and Presentation
- Delivered an Invited Lecture titled “Layered Marginality of Bengali Muslims of West Bengal: An Introspective Study” on UGC sponsored National Seminar on Socio –Economic Backwardness of Muslim Minority: A Threat to National Prosperity held on 3rd & 4th March, 2017 at Pramathesh Barua College, Gauripur, Assam.
- Participated at UGC sponsored National Seminar, organised by Vivekananda College, Jalpaiguri on 4th and 5th February 2011 (topic: Tagore at 150: “The Artist, Philosopher and Intellectual”).
- Participated at UGC sponsored National Seminar, organised by Sukanta Mahavidyala, Jalpaiguri on 30th March 2011 (topic: “Tagore and Indian Aesthetics”).
- Participated and presented at UGC sponsored National Seminar, organised by Tufanganj Mahavidyala, Cooch Behar on 1st and 2nd March 2012 (topic: “Twixt Pillar and post: Diasporic Identity and ‘in-between’-ness in Indian English literature”). His paper titled: “Dooars Tea Tribals’ Diasporic identity”.
- Participated at UGC sponsored National Seminar, organised by Acharya B. N. Seal College, Cooch Behar on 16th and 17th March 2012 (topic: “Exploring New Horizons of Translation: History, Theory and Practice”).
- Participated and presented at UGC sponsored National Seminar, organised by Krishnath College, Berhampore, Murshidabad on 23rd and 24th August 2013 (topic: “ Understanding Swami Viveknanda in Contemporary Perspectiv”). His paper titled: “Swami Vivekananda’s Vision of Religion: A comparative Study of Hinduism and Islam”
- Participated and presented at UGC sponsored National Seminar, organised by Berhampore Girls’ College, Berhampore, Murshidabad on 21st and 22nd September 2013 (topic: “Cultural Studies: Theories and Praxes”). His paper titled: “Lesbian and Gay Families and Parenting”.
- Participated and presented at UGC sponsored National Seminar, organised by Sitalkuchi College, Cooch Behar on 22nd and 23rd November 2013(topic: “ Rural- out Migration: Problems and Prospects”. ) His paper titled: “Migration and V. S.Naipaul’s A House for Mr Biswas”.
- Participated at CIIL sponsored National Seminar-cum Documentation Programme, organised by CIIL and Roots, and hosted by Falakata College, Jalpaiguri on 6th and 7th March 2014 (topic: languages and cultures of SC and ST Communities of Sub-Himalayan West Bengal”.
- Participated 11th Oientation Course (for N S S ) from 9th November to 15th November, 2014, (sponsored by Ministry of Youth Affairs, Govt. of India) Dept. of Youth Affairs at University Of North Bengal.
- Participated and presented at UGC sponsored National Seminar, organised by P D Women’s College, Jalpaiguri on 27 and 28 November 2015(topic: “ Border, Globalization and Identit.”) His paper titled: “Border is in the Mind.”
- Participated and presented at ICSSR sponsored International Seminar, organised by ELT Assam Chapter in collaboration with Tinsukia College, Tinsukia , Assam on 11th & 12th February, 2017 (topic: “ Language, Ethnicity, Identity: 21st Century Perspective”. ). His paper titled: “Crisis of Identity of ‘Bangla’ Speaking Muslims in West Bengal: An Overview”.
- Participated and presented at UGC sponsored National Seminar, organised by Islampur College, Murshidabadon (topic: “SahityerDarpan”). His paper titled: “Prosongo: Paschimbonger Bangali Musolman o Media”.
- Participated and presented at UGC sponsored National Seminar, organised by Salesian College, Siliguri, on 6th & 7th January, 2017 (topic: “ Pen, Pain , and Writing: (Re)thinking Links, Connectives, and Negotiations.”). His paper titled: “Bengali Muslims in West Bengal: Writing, Representation and Experience”.