Abdul Jabbar reflects on patriotic songs

Cultural Correspondent
Abdul Jabbar

Abdul Jabbar

National award-winning singer Abdul Jabbar said he is saddened by the condition of today’s music industry which he said is driven by commercial interests.
In an interview with New Age, the former singer of now-defunct Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra shared his thoughts on the industry and other issues.
‘The music industry is in total disarray. Music is treated as a commodity to maximize profits. Piracy and disrespect to our tradition of music have worsened the situation even further,’ said Jabbar.
Famous for his renditions of the popular patriotic songs such as Salam Salam Hajar Salam and Joy Bangla Banglar Joy, the singer has also expressed his discontent with the treatment of patriotic songs.
‘Patriotic songs seem to have become outmoded. No one is interested in producing this type of songs. Even the patriotic songs of yesteryears are being forgotten.
‘The television channels are abuzz with patriotic songs during the three national days when they broadcast these songs and shows on historic events. Even on these days, sadly, the artistes of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra are neglected.
‘SBBK artistes got nothing from the government. Those who have already died suffered from poverty during their lifetime,’ he added.
He also talked about the government’s announcement last year that it would provide SBBK artistes with the status and benefits of freedom fighters, which is yet to come to fruition.
‘Unless you pay respects to your elders and to the deserving and unless you are fully aware of your history, even your best efforts amount to nothing,’ Jabbar said, stressing the importance of ridding the media and the music industry of commercial interests.
Born in Kushtia in 1938, Abdul Jabbar was initiated into music in his early teens. Besides patriotic songs, he also rendered fan-favourite songs including Ore Nil Doriya and Tumi Ki Dekhechho Kabhu.
He received many prestigious awards including Swadhinata Padak (1996), Ekushey Padak (1980), Bangabandhu Swarna Padak (1973), Zahir Raihan Chalachchitra Purashkar, BACHSAS Award and Mother Teresa Award.

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