Eminent artist Qayyum Chowdhury and renowned musician Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul were conferred “Shaheed Altaf Mahmud Padak-2014” for their outstanding contributions to art and music, at a programme in memory of Shaheed Altaf Mahmud. It was held at the auditorium of Liberation War Museum (LWM) in Dhaka on August 30. Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor handed over the awards to the recipients as chief guest. Sara Ara Mahmud, widow of Altaf Mahmud, presented the recipient duo with uttario while Altaf Mahmud's daughter Shawon Mahmud presented them with bouquets. Actor Faruk Ahmed paid tribute to Qayyum Chowdhury and Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul.
Shanta Shrabany read out a written statement on behalf of Sara Ara Mahmud.
Asaduzzaman Noor, MP, shared many unknown stories of Altaf Mahmud with the audience.
In his speech, Qayyum Chowdhury upheld the bold and talented aspects of the legendary Altaf Mahmud. “That I am standing and speaking here is because of Altaf Mahmud sacrificing his life,” said Qayyum Chowdhury.
Shaheed Altaf Mahmud Foundation organised the programme, with Mafidul Haque, art critic and one of the trustees of LWM, in the chair. Theatre personality Shimul Yousuf delivered the welcome address while elocutionist and cultural activist Hasan Arif hosted the event. Among others, noted film director and Sammilito Sangskritik Jote president Nasiruiddin Yousuff was present.
Paying tribute to Altaf Mahmud -- a singer, cultural activist and martyred freedom fighter-- speakers at the programme said he was a composer as well as freedom fighter, but the nation is yet to document his heroism.
Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul called for naming a prestigious auditorium after Altaf Mahmud in his speech. “This is the best award I have ever received in my life. We will all die someday, many things will change with time but two songs – the national anthem and 'Amar Bhai-er Rokte Rangano' will remain unchanged,” said Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul.
Shahid Altaf Mahmud is widely known for his composition of the song “Amar Bhai-er Rokte Rangano Ekushey February”, written by Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, which has become the unofficial anthem of International Mother Language Day (February 21). His home served as a hiding place for arms caches and he provided food and money to freedom fighters during the Liberation War. During a combing operation (in August 1971) in Dhaka by the Pakistan army, Mahmud was arrested along with his brothers-in-law and a friend. He was tortured and believed to have been killed in September of the year.
Altaf Mahmud is among our illustrious Martyred Intellectuals. A talented painter as well as composer, he wrote and composed several patriotic songs which were played by Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendra during the Liberation War.