Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, an 88-year-old journalist and columnist, was best known for writing the lyrics of “Amar Bhaier Rokte Rangano” on the Ekushey February Day (February 21). This is a song dedicated to the martyrs of the Bangla Language Movement from 1952. Both Banglaese and people from all over the world sing this song on International Mother Language Day (21 February).
He died Thursday morning of cardiac arrest in a London hospital, according to the Bangladesh High Commission in the United Kingdom, according to media reports.
Abdul Gaffar Biography
Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, a political analyst, was born on December 12, 1934 in the village of Ulania, Mehendiganj, Barishal. He was the son of Zohra Khatun and Hazi Wahed Reza Choudhury, a British Indian freedom fighter.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Dhaka University in 1959 and moved to England on October 5, 1974.
The Bengali legend worked as a journalist in several national newspapers in Dhaka before moving to the UK. He worked for Joy Bangla, Jugantar and Anandabazar Patrika during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
He founded the newspaper Notun Din in the United Kingdom. He published 35 books. He wrote columns for Bangladeshi daily newspapers, Bangla newspapers published by the Bangladeshi community in the UK and a Kolkata daily newspaper from London.
“Danpite Shawkat”, “Chandrodwiper Upakhyan”, “Nam Na Jana Bhore”, “Nil Jamuna”, “Shesh Rajanir Chand”, “Polashi Thekey Dhanmondi” and “Bastobotar Nirikhey” are among his notable works.
Among his many awards are the Bangla Academy Literary Award in 1967, the Ekushey Padak, the UNESCO Literary Award, the Bangabandhu Award, the Sanghati Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, and the Sadhinota Padak in 2009.
Manik Miah Padak was donated to him by the daily newspaper Ittefaq. He received the PIB-Sohel Samad Memorial Award in 2014. Abdul Gaffar came to the UK to treat his wife and was unable to return to Bangladesh for 22 years after the murder of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Selima Choudhury, his wife, died on December 18, 2012 in London. Binita Chowdhury, his daughter, died in April this year. Binita was his third of four daughters and a son.
How Abdul Gaffar wrote the song of the language movement
Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury is best known for writing the song – Amar bhaier rokte rangano Ekushey February. This is the best known and most performed song commemorated on International Mother Language Day (21 February).
Gaffar Chowdhury first wrote this poem in 1952. At that time, there was a language movement going on in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan). People were in the streets demanding Bangla language as the state language. Rafiq, Jabbar, Salam, Barkatara were killed on the day of February 21, 1952. Gaffar Chowdhury was the witness of that day.
Not only the historic day, he witnessed many turning points in Bangladesh history.
Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock at Gaffar’s death and prayed for the eternal peace of his deceased soul. They also expressed their condolences to the bereaved families.
Bangladesh lost a legend
“Bangladesh has lost the wisdom of a legend that has enriched the country’s history and culture through its writings and research,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in a condolence message.
“Through his writings and cultural contributions, Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, who wrote the lyrics of ‘Amar Bhaier Rokte Rangano’, has exalted the spirit of the Liberation War of the country.” He worked until his death to protect the country’s secularism and accurate history, supporting Bangabandhu’s dream of a “Sonar Bangla” or “Golden Bengal”.
“During the Liberation War of 1971, he inspired freedom fighters through his writings in Joybangla, a weekly newspaper published by the Bangladesh Awami League.” Later, even as an expat, he wrote for local and international media about the ideals of the Liberation War.”
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