• Thursday, Feb 09, 2023
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Legendary baul Shah Abdul Karim's birthday celebrated

  • Published at 04:17 pm February 15th, 2020
Legendary Baul Shah Abdul Karim
Legendary Baul Shah Abdul Karim | Dhaka Tribune

Karim's son Shah Nur Jalal said that a milad mahfil was held in the baul's home in the afternoon to mark the occasion. Local singers performed baul songs in the evening

Today was the 104th birthday of  the legendary baul singer Shah Abdul Karim.

The Ekushey Padak winning baul was born in a farmer's household in Ujandhan village of Derai upazila, Sunamganj,  on February 15, 1916. Karim's father was Ibrahim Ali and mother was Naiorjan. 

Karim's son Shah Nur Jalal said that a milad mahfil was held in the baul's home in the afternoon to mark the occasion. Local singers performed baul songs in the evening.  

Shah Abdul Karim's childhood was mired with extreme poverty and sadness. Therefore, he never got any institutional education from any school or college. Furthermore, there were no educational institution in his village. 

Karim enrolled in a night college at the age of 15, however, that institution was also shut down by the eighth day of his enrollment. Therefore, Karim's education was limited to just alphabets. 

However, Karim was trained in singing during his childhood. His singing instructors were Ustad Kamar Uddin, Shadhok Bashir Uddin, and Shah Ibrahim Mostan. 

With institutional education that lasted for just eight days, this artiste managed to write more than 1500 songs in his 93 years of lifetime. He also composed them. These songs have been compiled in six books, titled Aftab Sangeet, Gana Sangeet, Kalnir Dheu, Dholmela, Bhatir Chithi, and Kalnir Kuley

Some notable songs written by Karim are Gramer Nawjoan Hindu Musolman, Kon Mestori Nao Banailo, Gari Chole Na Chole Na, Ami Kul Hara Kalankini, Basanta Batashe Shoigo, Ami Ei Minti Kori Re, Ronger Duniya Ar Chai Na, Shokhi Kunjo Shajao Go, Ami Bangla Mayer Chhele, Bonde Maya Lagaise, Agey Ki Shundar Din Kataitam, and Keno Piritee Barailare Bandhu.

Karim's songs worked as encouragement for Bangalis for each and every instance of them demanding their due rights, including 1954's Jukta-front's election, 1969's mass uprising, 1971's Liberation War and 1990's anti-dictator protest.  

Shah Abdul Karim received his Ekushey Padak in the year 2001, for his outstanding contribution to Bangla music. He also received the Drohi Katha-Shahityik Abdur Rouf Choudhury Award in 2000.

On September 12, 2009, the legendary baul Shah Abdul Karim passed away in a private hospital of Sylhet.

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