You may have a walk around Dhaka or in any part of the country and ask people whether they have or have not listened to the song "Ekti Bangladesh Tumi Jagroto Janatar". You will find out the same answer- "of course, yes!"
This great song was written by Nazrul Islam Babu- a lyricist, a freedom fighter who passed away in 1990 at the age of 41, and he is finally being awarded Ekushey Padak (posthumous)- the second-highest civilian award in Bangladesh. On February 3, the Bangladesh government published the name of the Ekushey Padak awardees which has the name of Nazrul Islam Babu.
An Ekushey Padak has been a long due for Nazrul who took up the pen for many more famous lyrics. He had paired up the composer Sheikh Sadi Khan to create songs. He was one of the most influential lyricists in post-independence Bangladesh.
Nazrul born in Jamalpur district in 1949. After passing the most part of his childhood in Jamalpur, Nazrul went to Barishal where his uncle used to live. In 1969, two years before Bangladesh's great war of independence, the then Pakistani government issued an arrest warrant against Nazrul for his involvement in the student movement. He had to stay on the run for a long time to avoid the arrest.
He received training to take part in Bangladesh's liberation war in 1971. After the war, he completed his Bachelor of Social Science from the Ashek Mahmud College in Jamalpur.
He came to Dhaka sometime in or after 1973 aiming to become a Bengali poet. He came to know Sheikh Sadi Khan, who was also awarded Ekushey Padak earlier, and started working together.
Nazrul Islam Babu's first published song was "Na Dekhai Bujhi Bhalo Chilo" sang by Sukhendu Chakraborty. After the initial success, Nazrul never looked back. Sheikh Sadi Khan and Nazrul worked together on numerous songs.
Along with "Ekti Bangladesh", "Sob Kota Janala Khule Dao Na", "Koto Je Tomake Beseschi Bhalo", "Amay Gethe Dao Na Mago Ekta Palash Phuler Mala" were the famous songs written by Nazrul.
He took up his pen for the singers like Sabina Yasmin, Shammi Akhter, Subir Nandi, Syed Abdul Hadi, Asha Bhosle- to name a few.
While talking to the media, Nazrul's wife Shahin Akhter said: "It's a historic day for our family. It's great that he is finally getting the prize he deserved in his life. We are so happy about it."
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