Lyricist of “Amar bhaier rokte rangano” Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury no more
Eminent journalist, writer and lyricist Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury passed away today.
Abdul Gaffar, who was suffering from diabetes and kidney disease, breathed his last at Barnet Hospital in London due to cardiac arrest around 6:45am local time, an official of Bangladesh High Commission in UK confirmed to The Daily Star.
Abdul Gaffar is best known for writing "Amar bhaier rokte rangano Ekushey February" – the most widely known and performed song commemorating International Mother Language Day (February 21).
A political analysist, Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury was born in Ulania village in Mehendiganj of Barishal on December 12, 1934.
He was the son of Zohra Khatun and Hazi Wahed Reza Choudhury, a freedom fighter of British India.
He graduated from Dhaka University in 1959 and went to England on October 5, 1974.
Before moving to the UK, Abdul Gaffar worked as a journalist in different national newspapers in Dhaka. During the 1971 Bangladeshi Liberation War, he worked for Joy Bangla, Jugantar and Anandabazar Patrika.
In the UK, he founded the newspaper Notun Din. He wrote 35 books. From London, he regularly wrote columns for Bangladeshi dailies, Bangla newspapers published by the Bangladeshi community in UK, and a daily newspaper in Kolkata.
Some of his notable works are "Danpite Shawkat", "Chandrodwiper Upakhyan", "Nam Na Jana Bhore", "Nil Jamuna", "Shesh Rajanir Chand", "Polashi Thekey Dhanmondi" and "Bastobotar Nirikhey".
He has received numerous awards including Bangla Academy Literary Award in 1967, Ekushey Padak, UNESCO Literary Award, Bangabandhu Award, Sanghati Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, Sadhinota Padak in 2009.
The daily Ittefaq honoured him with Manik Miah Padak. In 2014, he was awarded the PIB-Sohel Samad Memorial Award.
Abdul Gaffar came to the United Kingdom for the treatment of his wife and could not return to Bangladesh for 22 years after the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
On December 18, 2012, his wife Selima Choudhury died in London.
His daughter Binita Chowdhury died in last April. Binita was the third among his four daughters and a son.
President Abdul Hamid expressed his deep shock at the death of Abdul Gaffar and prayed for the eternal peace of his departed soul. He also conveyed sympathy to the bereaved family members.