Celebrating 100 years of Pandit Barin Mojumder | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 20, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:53 PM, February 20, 2021

Celebrating 100 years of Pandit Barin Mojumder

The birth centenary celebration of late eminent classical music exponent Pandit Barin Mojumder was observed at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on February 15.

Eminent personalities, family members and well-wishers, paid a rich tribute to the country's pioneering classical musician and educationist on his birthday.

Pandit Barin Mojumder's sons – National Award winning singer and composer Bappa Mazumder and noted music director Partha Majumder spoke at the event.

Barin Mojumder was born to a zamindar family at Pabna's Radhanagar in 1921. His father Nishindra Nath Mojumder was an artist and dramatist. Displaying musical aptitude from a young age, he was taken to Kolkata for lessons from Vishmadev Chatterjee. After taking lessons at home from Ustad Raghurangan Goswami, he went to Luckhnow to study further in Maurice Music School.

The legendary music guru was the first to initiate a proper music college in the country – Songeet Moha Biddyalay -- in 1963, with a fee of only 75 taka. His associates in the endeavour were AKM Golam Mustoba, engineer Abdul Hai and Haymaet Ali. The institution later became the Govt. Music College.

Several luminaries were associated with the college -- Kazi Motahar Hossain, Kamruzzaman Moni, Sawkat Ali, Lutfar Rahaman, Abdul Ahad, Ustad Khadem Hossain Khan, Ustad Mir Kashem Khan, Layla Arjumand Banu, Ila Mojumder, Indra Mohon Rajvongshi, Hena islam, Yeakub Ali Khan, Abu Bakar Siddiqui, Narayan Chandra Boshak, among many others.

The celebrations in Shilpakala started in a picturesque manner -- offering flowers and lighting hundreds of lamps at the Jatiya Chitrashala Bhaban's auditorium of BSA. The event was organised by Barin Mojumder Shoto Borsho Udjapan Parishad.

State Minister for Cultural Affairs, K M Khalid was present at the programme. "He was a pioneer – receiving both the Ekushey Padak and Swadhinata Padak. But more importantly, he made a place in the people's hearts with his contributions," he said.

Bappa Mazumder thanked all who organized and participated in the event celebrating his legendary father. 

Eminent musician Partha Majumder said that his father taught them to distinguish between good and bad. "He always taught us to stay on the path of melody, and to never stray from it," he recalled his father's advice.

Cultural personality Ramendu Majumdar said that a musical university should be founded after the name of Barin Mojumder, to pay proper honour to his legacy. "He [Barin] never wanted to be economically benefitted; he just wanted wanted to serve classical music in this country. We can organise an international music conference on his life and works in future," Ramendu said. 

Among the guests, cultural icon Shankor Shaojal, who also organised the event, was present. Filmmaker Pradip Ghosh was also present.

After the discussion, Singer Avipriyo Chakraborty, along with his team dedicated Raag Bhopali to the late Pandit. The Government Music College authorities carried out a virtual discussion programme and musical shows to recall the musician on his birthday. Further programmes will be announced later, according to the organisers.  

During our Liberation War, the famed Pandit and his wife, Ila Mojumder, lost their daughter Modhumita Mojumder. The music college – his life's work, was taken hostage by the Pakistani Army and the newly constructed musical instrument museum was turned into a torture cell. Even after the war, he was falsely arrested due to cases by vested quarters. Even after so much suffering, he strived on for the betterment of music in the country.

For his contribution to classical music and development of music education, Pandit Barin Mazumder was honoured with Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (1970), Ekushey Padak (1983), Rabindra Award (1993), Independence Award (2001), among other accolades. He passed away on October 3, 2001.

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