Poets, friends, well-wishers and admirers paid tribute to late eminent poet Al Mahmud on his 83rd birth anniversary, which was observed on Thursday, at a commemorative programme.
Literary organisation Kabi Ebong Kabita arranged the programme titled ‘Al Mahmud Utsab’ at Kabita Cafe in the capital’s Kataban area.
Poet Mohammad Nurul Huda was present as the chief guest at the programme, chaired by poet Shahin Reza.
Besides, poets Jahangir Firoz, Zahidul Haque, Zakir Abu Zafar and Bakul Ashraf were present as discussants at the event. Al Mahmud Foundation general secretary Abid Azam gave welcome speech at the programme.
The discussants spoke on the life and works of Al Mahmud and shared their memories with the poet.
‘Al Mahmud was a major poet of our country. He had enriched Bangla literature with his timeless creations. Though he faced financial troubles, he never let that keep him away from writing,’ said poet Mohammad Nurul Huda.
‘Al Mahmud was born with a pen of gold. His writings attract people of all ages. By virtue of his writings, Al Mahmud had secured a permanent place in the hearts of Bangla literature lovers,’ said Jahangir Firoz.
Poet Rezauddin Stalin said, ‘Though Al Mahmud is no longer with us, his works will continue to inspire Bangla literature lovers for years to come. He will continue to live on through his works.’
Born on July 11, 1936 at Maurail in Brahmanbaria, Al Mahmud is considered one of the greatest Bengali poets to have emerged in the 20th century.
The Ekushey Padak winning poet’s works in Bangla poetry is dominated by his frequent use of imageries of rural Bangladesh.
In the 1950s, he was among those Bengali poets who were outspoken in their writing on such subjects as the events of the Bangla language movement, nationalism, political and economic repression and the struggle against the then Pakistan government.
His ‘Sonali Kabin,’ published in 1973, is considered a landmark in Bangla poetry.
The poet was honoured with numerous awards that include Ekushey Padak in 1987, Bangla Academy Literary Award in 1968 for his two great works namely Lok Lokantar and Kaler Kalas.
He was also awarded Philips Literary Award, Alakta Literary Award, Sufi Motaher Hossain Literary Gold Medal and many more.
After Bangladesh’s independence, Al Mahmud, a freedom fighter, edited a firebrand daily newspaper, Ganakantha.
Later in 1975, he joined Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy as an assistant director at research and publication department. In 1993, he retired from the academy as the director of the department.
Mahmud had a transformation in his personal ideologies in the mid-1970s. He also faced widespread criticism for his tilt towards ultra-right politics.
He died aged 82 on February 15.
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