Fall of a soldier | The Daily Star
12:10 AM, July 06, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:22 AM, July 06, 2013

Fall of a soldier

Shabda Shainik Bipul Bhattacharya passes away

bipulBipul Bhattacharya was among those who used their creative abilities to inspire the nation during the Liberation War. He was a member of the troupe “Bangladesh Mukti Shangrami Shilpi Shangstha” (BMSSS) which travelled to and performed at refugee and freedom fighter camps during the war. Artistes like him were able to keep the dream of independence alive through their songs.
Dalia Nausheen, one of his co-artistes at BMSSS, reminisced about the artiste to The Daily Star: “Bipul was very young when we started our campaign in India during the war. He was lively, energetic and kept our spirits up. But as the situation in the country worsened, he evolved as an artiste, and his powerful yet melodious voice boomed aloud at freedom fighters' camps. His illness in the last few years broke him down mentally because he could not do music; it's something he always wanted to do.”
Timir Nandi, noted singer and Bhattacharya's childhood friend, said “I was very close to him right from our very early days. He was a gifted musician; one of the very few who folk legend Abdul Alim had personally blessed. He has done great things for Bangladeshi folk music; Bipul popularised the songs of our roots to the general people by a great deal. My biggest regret remains that I could not be beside him in his very last moment.”
Rafiqul Alam had also recalled the days of the war with Bhattacharya: “He was very active throughout the mission. Through our songs, we embodied the dream of a liberated Bangladesh. In between, we participated in the programmes of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra.”
BMSSS' journey was documented on film by American filmmaker Lear Levin during the war. Twenty-five years later, Tareque and Catherine Masud recovered the footage from Levin's basement and used it in their award-winning Film “Muktir Gaan”.
In an interview a few years back, Tareque and Catherine Masud had mentioned Bipul Bhattacharya as the “soul of 'Muktir Gaan'”. His voice, singing uplifting folk songs about the Liberation War, infused the film with power and grace. Without Bipul Bhattacharya, there would be no 'Muktir Gaan', they added.
After the war, Bhattacharya continued his musical journey in the country through countless live performances. He later joined Bangladesh Betar as a music producer, and formed a troupe named 'Mallika Sangeet Shamaroho.' He also served as a teacher for folk music at one of the most prominent music schools in the country, Chhayanaut.
The artiste breathed his last yesterday morning at a hospital in the capital. He had been suffering from lung cancer since 2010.
A number of artistes and cultural organisations expressed grief at the demise of the artiste. His body will be kept at the Central Shaheed Minar today from 11am-12:30pm for people to pay their last tributes.

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