Saturday marks the 93rd birthday anniversary of poet, writer and journalist Shamsur Rahman, widely regarded as a pivotal figure in Bengali literature from the latter part of the twentieth century.
The Ekushey Padak winning litterateur was born on October 23, 1929, in old Dhaka in then British Bengal to Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury and Amena Khatun.
The legendary poet’s birth anniversary is being observed through numerous events by cultural organisations.
Marking the occasion, Bangla Academy will hold a solo lecture session on Sunday at the Academy's Poet Shamsur Rahman Seminar Room.
Prominent researcher and poet Prof Khaled Hossain will present the keynote lecture at the event.
Secretary of Bangla Academy AHM Lokman will deliver the welcome address, and poet Muhammad Nurul Huda, the director general of Bangla Academy, will preside over the function.
Poet Shamsur's ancestral home is in Paratali village of Narsingdi district.
After graduating with an honours in English literature from the University of Dhaka in 1953, he began his career as a journalist in Daily Morning News in 1956.
He joined Radio Pakistan as a programme producer the following year and worked there till 1959. After his stint in Radio Pakistan, he returned to Daily Morning News as a senior sub-editor and worked there from 1960-1964.
Before the 1971 Liberation War, Shamsur joined Daily Pakistan as an Assistant Editor in 1964. The newspaper was renamed Dainik Bangla after the Independence of Bangladesh, where he worked till 1977.
From 1977-1987, Shamsur worked as the Editor of Dainik Bangla and Weekly Bichitra.
Widely revered as one of the most famous Bangladeshi poets, Shamsur penned 66 poetry books in his lifetime. He started penning poems at the age of 18, and continued till his death on August 17, 2006.
His famous poem, 'Asad-er Shirt' was written during the mass uprising of 1969 led by Maulana Bhasani. During the 1971 Liberation War, he wrote a number of poems, inspiring the freedom fighters which were later published in his poetry collection ‘Bondi Shibir Theke’ (From Confinement in Enemy Territory) in 1972.
'Shadhinota Tumi' (Ode to Freedom) is one of his most inspiring poems, dedicated to the 1971 Liberation War heroes.
He has authored other literary creations too, including short stories and novels.
For his contribution in the field of Bengali literature, Shamsur received many prestigious awards, including Bangla Academy Literary Award (1969), Ekushey Padak (1977) and Independence Day Award (1991).