Drawing inspiration from the Liberation War
RA Mahmud Selim on receiving Ekushey Padak
RA Mahmud Selim is a prominent cultural personality, organiser and singer. This year he has been named along with 16 other eminent personalities as the recipient for the Ekushey Padak 2017.
“The Liberation War continues to be the greatest inspiration to my cultural evolution,” says Freedom Fighter RA Mahmud Selim. Following the gruesome killing of Bangabandhu, like minded personalities, would gather at Abdul Bariq Chowdhury's residence and discuss ways and means of restoring secularism in the country in line with the spirit of Liberation War.
“Later, at the beginning of 1976, I wrote a Geeti Alekhya (a musical) titled 'Itihash Katha Kou', featuring Bangabandhu's struggles in his political life, his historic 7th March speech and a chronicle of Bangladesh's history. We staged the musical at Ispahani College, Keraniganj on 16 December the same year. We were a bit apprehensive as no one would dare to play the historic 7th March speech then. The spectators responded on a grand scale. Later, we planned to stage the production on 21 February, 1977; but the military regime did not allow its staging. We were determined to stage the production and we did so in front of Ruqaiya Hall of University of Dhaka,” he mentions.
“By staging 'Itihash Katha Kou' all around Bangladesh, Udichi Shilpi Goshthi contributed greatly to making people aware of the need to rekindle the spirit of the Liberation War,” he says.
“Then we launched a competition on the History of Liberation. We printed a large number of copies of the book 'Bangladesh-er Muktijuddha: Kishor Itihash', written by Abdul Hannan, and distributed them in different schools of Bangladesh,' he adds.
Mahmud Selim is adept in performing adhunik songs, Pancha Kobir Gaan, Ganosangeet and folk songs. Besides, he writes and composes songs. Mahmud Selim has been actively involved with Udichi since 1974 and is serving as vice president of the organisation.