Eminent singer, composer, social activist and freedom fighter Altaf Mahmud, who is celebrated for his composition of language movement song Amar Bhaiyer Rokte Rangano Ekushey February, was remembered through a commemorative programme held at Music and Dance Centre of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Thursday.
The programme, organised by Altaf Mahmud Foundation, also featured conferring of Altaf Mahmud Padak on renowned actors Syed Hasan Imam and Ferdausi Majumdar.
Thespian Aly Zaker handed over the awards to the recipients, in presence of Altaf Mahmud’s widow Sara Ara Mahmud, thespian Nasiruddin Yousuff, Shimul Yousuf and others.
Following the awards ceremony, recipients and guests spoke on life and works of Altaf Mahmud.
‘Altaf Mahmud actively took part in all democratic movements in the 1950s and 1960s. He will be remember forever for his contributions to the liberation war', said Aly Zaker.
‘Altaf Mahmud was my friend. During the liberation war, we wanted to take him to Kolkata, but he decided to stay in Dhaka and join the war. An award named after him is invaluable to me’, said Syed Hasan Imam after receiving the award.
Ferdausi Majumdar also called the award an ‘invaluable one’. ‘I will always cherish this award named after Altaf Mahmud’, said Majumdar.
Altaf Mahmud Foundation has been presenting Altaf Mahmud Padak since 2005 to artists, writers and cultural activists who have made contributions to the liberation war and cultural arena of the country after liberation.
In previous years, Altaf Mahmud Padak has been conferred on musicians Alam Khan, Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul, Alauddin Ali, artists Qayyum Chowdhury and Mustafa Monwar, writers professor emeritus Dr Serajul Islam Choudhury, Hasan Azizul Huq, national professor Rafiqul Islam and others.
Altaf Mahmud was born in Patarchar village in Barisal on December 23, 1933. Mahmud developed passion for music in his early teens. He took his first music lessons from Suren Roy.
Mahmud came to Dhaka in 1950 and joined Dhumketu Shilpi Shongho. During the days of the language movement, he sang people’s songs to inspire language activists.
Mahmud took part in the liberation war as a member of Dhaka Crack Platoon and also worked as a producer at the defunct Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra.
He created a hideout for freedom fighters at his house. However, the hideout was discovered by Pakistani occupation forces and Altaf Mahmud was abducted on August 30, 1971.
Mahmud was (posthumously) awarded the Ekushey Padak in 1977 and Independence Day Award in 2004.
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