On the occasion of poet Shamsur Rahman's 88th birth anniversary, Bangladesh National Museum (BNM) held a commemorative programme at its premises in Sufia Kamal Auditorium, followed by the unveiling of a photography exhibition depicting the literary luminary's life in its main auditorium. The programme, titled “Jibon or Shahitya”, proceeded with a discussion at 3pm on October 23.
The event saw the attendance of noted poets including Mohammad Nurul Huda, Habibullah Shirazi, Nasir Ahmed and Mahbub Aziz. Minister of Information Hasanul Haq Inu was present as chief guest, while former Senior Secretary Hedayetullah Al Mamoon chaired the programme.
Director General of BNM Faizul Latif Chowdhury opened the programme with a welcome address, stating that BNM has taken initiatives since last year to posthumously celebrate the lives and works of noted individuals on their birth and death anniversaries.
Members on the dais reminisced about their encounters with the poet Shamsur Rahman, who was also a noted columnist, journalist, and editor of the daily Dainik Bangla. They also elaborated on the crucial influence Shamsur Rahman's works had in shaping Bangladesh's literary traditions, as well as the sharp foresight his poetry contained regarding the socio-political atmosphere in Bangladesh.
“When I traveled to Dhaka from the South, I was virtually unknown in those years, and the first poet I met in the capital was Shamsur Rahman. I did not know his name then; his name was so familiar sounding that he could have been anyone from my next of kin. He lived in Old Dhaka, and when I first saw him, I understood then that he was a poet of immense measure, and it was an essence that emanated from deep within him, without deliberate assertion,” said noted poet Nurul Huda.
Minister of Information Hasanul Haq Inu stated, “His work today stands as a crucial testament to our country's history and tradition, but most importantly he has set an example regarding his responsibility as a writer, which is to stand up for what is right and true through writing.”
The event concluded with a photography exhibition depicting various vignettes from the poet's life. Over 100 photos taken by MA Taher were on display, giving viewers intimate glimpses of the poet with his family, at work and during social appearances.