Ikhtisad is a writer. He was born in Singapore and is of Bengali heritage. He is the grandson of the legendary intellectual, litterateur and poet Mahbub ul Alam Chowdhury and the decorated gender rights and development specialist Jowshan Ara Rahman.
Having moved to the UK in 2003 to study, Ikhtisad worked as a lawyer in the fields of human rights, law and education for the disadvantaged, while pursuing and developing his writing career.
Ikhtisad had a book of poems titled Cryptic Verses published in 2009. The late great Kabir Chowdhury, National Professor of Bangladesh, said in the introduction of the sold-out debut collection, "When I consider that it is his first book I am simply amazed. The variety of themes he treats, his maturity and understanding of the various issues of this life and of this world, the depth and intensity of feeling that he displays in his poems, would do credit to writers far more mature and experienced than he." His second poetry collection, Requiem, was published in 2014 and released at the Hay Festival Dhaka.
The Deliverance of Sanctuary, a fable in three Acts, was the Dhaka Tribune columnist's first play. One Stop Arts said in its review, "It's a dreamlike world with words and ideas...It resembles a Beckett play adapted by Stoppard [and] directed by Ionesco." His second play, Esne in Taberna, an absurdist satire about the Occupy movement, is currently in development. He has, further, worked on, and written the script for a theatre project about the export garments industry and the human stories that lie within it, in the country that clothes the West. Target Theatre Company aims to bring Bangladesh to the world stage with MADE in 2017.
Ikhtisad's debut short story collection, Yours Etcetera, was launched at the Dhaka Literary Festival 2015. Respected Bangladeshi American writer Sharbari Z. Ahmed said in the introduction, "In this collection I discovered breathtaking traces of a young Orwell...Ahmed never allows an idea, no matter how small or lofty, to escape unnoticed. His pen harnesses seemingly disparate notions in well-crafted paragraphs that still allow a reader to follow his threads...His voice is unfettered by the economy required for the short story, and his universes are complete."
The Scroll.in contributor is co-developing a unique mini-series that tells the story of immigration at a time when it is misrepresented and misunderstood, and an inspirational screenplay about surviving prison through poetry, documenting Kosal Khiev's time in a US prison. Additionally, he is working on an investigative documentary about Islamist extremism for the Independent World Report, alongside his first novel.
Absurdism, existentialism, humanism, justice, equality, politics and human rights are themes that are ever-present in Ikhtisad's words. He strives to tell important stories, to give a voice to the oppressed, the marginalised and the forgotten through his writing.