Shah Abdul Karim: The timeless bard

Tanzil Rahaman | Published: 00:00, Sep 12,2019


Shah Abdul Karim

Baul Shah Abdul Karim occupies an important place in the Bangla folk music scene.

Shah Abdul Karim has not only enriched our folk music treasure trove with his timeless creations but also inspired countless people to pursue the genre.

Today is the 10th death anniversary of the Ekushey Padak winning artiste.

Marking the occasion, New Age spoke to a number of contemporary folk singers of our country who shared their thoughts on the legendary folk bard.

Renowned folk singer Indra Mohan Rajbongshi said Shah Abdul Karim enlightened the nation through his songs.

‘Shah Abdul Karim penned many message oriented songs that are still popular among the masses. He was a self-taught artiste. He will be remembered through his works. The younger generation folk singers must read his books and follow his footsteps,’ said Indra Mohan Rajbongshi.

Folk singer Chandana Majumder said Shah Abdul Karim popularised Bangla folk songs across the globe.

‘Shah Abdul Karim remains popular among folk music lovers across the globe. His contribution to country’s folk music scene cannot be forgotten. I urge the younger generation to listen to his songs and follow his footsteps. Steps should be taken to preserve his works,’ said Chandana Majumder.

Folk singer Kazi Krishnokoli Islam said Shah Abdul Karim did not get the recognition he deserved during his lifetime.

‘Though Shah Abdul Karim has made significant contribution to our folk music, he did not get the recognition he deserved during his lifetime. His songs remind us of our history and cultural roots. The cultural affairs ministry must take steps to promote his works among the masses. Shah Abdul Karim will remain alive in the hearts of thousands of music lovers across the globe through his songs,’ said Kazi Krishnokoli Islam.

Shah Abdul Karim was born on February 15, 1916. He won the hearts of millions of Bangla music lovers with his timeless songs like Bonde maya lagaise, Keno piritee barailare bandhu, Gari chalena chalena, Ami kulhara kalankini, Agey ki shundar din kataitam and others.

He wrote and composed over 1,500 songs during his lifetime. These songs have been organised in six books namely Aftab Sangeet, Gana Sangeet, Kalnir Dheu, Dholmela, Bhatir Chithi and Kalnir Kuley.

He was awarded Ekushey Padak in 2001 for his outstanding musical achievements. He also received the Drohi Katha-Shahityik Abdur Rouf Choudhury Award in 2000.

Shah Abdul Karim died in Sylhet at the age of 93 on September 12, 2009.

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