Today marks the 9th death anniversary of cultural revolutionary and eminent singer Kalim Sharafi. Renowned for Rabindra Sangeet and Gano Sangeet, he took the cultural front to fight imperialism, communalism and crimes against humanity. Born in West Bengal’s Birbhum in 1924 in a Pir (spiritual leader) family, where the practice of music was forbidden, Sharafi began developing rebellious characteristics at an early age with his passion for music.
Sharafi was determined to make people politically conscious, especially during the struggle against British colonial rule, the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971 and the movement launched in independent Bangladesh in 1991 against war criminals. During the Liberation War, Sharafi took part in numerous programmes in the USA and UK to gather support for the war. In 1983, he established music academy Shangeet Bhaban, a Gano Sangeet organisation. He was the principal of the organisation till his death. He also organised and established different theatre groups, namely Bahurupi and Prantik, and performed as a playback singer, adhunik singer and music director. He also directed an autobiographical documentary, and a film named Sonar Kajol.
Sharafi, an adviser to Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, a body that champions the demand for the war crimes trial, received numerous awards including the Ekushey Padak in 1986. The founder director of Bangladesh Television in 1964, Sharafi was one of the pioneers in introducing electronic media in the country.