Poet Sikandar Abu Zafar was remembered at a commemorative programme held at Poet Shamsur Rahman Seminar Room of Bangla Academy on Wednesday.
The programme titled ‘Kobi Sikandar Abu Zafar Shorone Ekok Boktrita Anusthan’ was organised by Bangla Academy marking the poet’s 100th birth anniversary.
Bangla Academy director general Habibullah Siraji gave the welcome speech at the event, presided over by national professor Anisuzzaman.
Ekushey Padak winning poet Asad Chowdhury delivered the keynote speech at the programme.
‘Sikandar Abu Zafar was a multi-talented person. He founded and edited a monthly magazine called Samakal during 1959-1970. He penned poems and songs demanding freedom of the people. During the tumultuous days of the liberation war in 1971, he composed a number of patriotic songs which greatly inspired the masses,’ said Habibullah Siraji.
‘Sikandar Abu Zafar tried to portray the sufferings and struggles of the marginalised people in his poems, novels and books. He regularly published defending rights of Bengalis in Samakal,’ said Asad Chowdhury.
‘His poem Bangla Chharo is a landmark in Bangla literature. He talked about religious bigotry, famine and democracy in his works,’ Chowdhury added.
‘Sikandar Abu Zafar inspired the masses penning poems like Bangla Chharo, Janatar Sangram and Amar Abhijog,’ said Anisuzzaman.
Sikandar Abu Zafar was born on 19 March 1919 in Satkhira district. He received his IA degree from Ripon College (later renamed to Surendranath College) in Kolkata.
He started his career in the military accounts section in Kolkata in 1939. He also worked with the Globe News Agency of Satyendranath Majumdar for some time.
Abu Zafar came to Dhaka in 1950. He worked as a journalist on the Daily Nabajug, The Ittefaq, The Sangbad and The Millat.
During the liberation war in 1971, he composed a number patriotic songs, including Amader sangram chalbei, which inspired the mass people.
His notable works include novels such as Purabi (1941), Natun Sakal (1946), short stories namely Mati ar Ashru (1942), the collection of poems Prasanna Shahar, Timirantik and Bairi Brstite (1965) Brshchik-Lagna (1971), Bangla Chharo (1971) and others.
Sikandar Abu Zafar died in Dhaka on 5 August 1975.
He was awarded the Bangla Academy Award in 1966 and Ekushey Padak, posthumously, in 1984.
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