Poets and peers mourn Rafiq Azad’s death

Cultural Correspondent
Rafiq Azad

Rafiq Azad

Poets and peers expressed deep shock at the death of Rafiq Azad, one of the major voices in contemporary Bangla poetry.
The poet died at the age of 75 on Saturday noon at the ICU of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University after suffering from kidney ailments, diabetes and lung complications.
Born on February 14, 1941 in Tangail, Rafiq Azad is credited with 45 collections of poetry including Prakriti O Premer Kabita, Asambhaber Paye, Sahasra Sundar, Haturir Nichae Jiban, Khub Beshi Durea Noy, Khamakaro Bahaman Hey Udar Amiyo Batas and others.
Terming his death as the end of a giant in Bangla poetry, poet-playwright Syed Shamsul Haq said, ‘As a poet, he created a distinctive style in Bangla poetry. His poems are a part of our cultural history.’
‘I rushed to the hospital when I heard the news since I consider him a family member.  He was a dedicated poet of the 1960s and the only poet who actively participated in the war of independence,’ Haq added. Rafiq’s another friend poet Asad Chowdhury broke down in tears speaking about Azad. ‘With Rafiq Azad’s death, the world has become lonelier than before for me,’ he said.
‘Bangla poetry has lost one of its tallest trees with his death. A prolific pen-smith, Azad has enriched our poetry in a way that a very few could do,’ Asad Chowdhury said.
Rafiq Azad’s another friend poet Nirmalendu Goon said, ‘The corpus of Bangla poetry would have been incomplete without Azad’s contributions, who helped shape the oeuvre of Bangla poetry in post-liberation Bangladesh.’
Jatiya Kabita Parishad vice president poet Habibullah Siraji said, ‘His ability to write poems of different tastes, like romantic, rebellious and social satires, made him unparalleled among his contemporaries.’
Rafiq Azad was also at the front of every struggle the country faced including the war of independnece, the movement against autocratic rule and others, said Sammilita Sangskritik Jote president Golam Kuddus.
‘Besides being a celebrated poet, Rafiq Azad was a freedom fighter and an activist. He participated whole-heartedly in many movements and guided us in carrying out whatever was necessary’, he said. In a condolence message, cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor expressed deep shock at the death of the poet.
Rafiq Azad received Ekushey Padak in 2013 and Bangla Academy Award in 1984 for his outstanding contribution to Bangla poetry.

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