Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury: The Writer of Mother Language Day Song

Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, an 88-year-old journalist and columnist, was best known for writing the lyrics to “Amar Bhaier Rokte Rangano” on the Ekushey February day (February 21). This is a song dedicated to the martyrs of the 1952 Bangla Language Movement. Bangalees as well as people from the entire world sing this song on the International Mother Language Day (February 21). 

He died of cardiac arrest on Thursday morning at a hospital in London, according to Bangladesh High Commission in the United Kingdom, according to media reports.

Abdul Gaffar Biography

Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, a political analyst, was born on December 12, 1934, in Ulania village, Mehendiganj, Barishal. He was the son of Zohra Khatun and Hazi Wahed Reza Choudhury, a British Indian freedom fighter.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Dhaka University in 1959 and moved to England on October 5, 1974.

The Bangladeshi legend worked as a journalist in various national newspapers in Dhaka before moving to the UK. He worked for Joy Bangla, Jugantar, and Anandabazar Patrika during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.

He founded the newspaper Notun Din in the United Kingdom. He published 35 books. He wrote columns for Bangladeshi dailies, Bangla newspapers published by the Bangladeshi community in the UK, and a daily newspaper in Kolkata from London.

“Danpite Shawkat,” “Chandrodwiper Upakhyan,” “Nam Na Jana Bhore,” “Nil Jamuna,” “Shesh Rajanir Chand,” “Polashi Thekey Dhanmondi,” and “Bastobotar Nirikhey” are among his notable works.

Among his many honors are the Bangla Academy Literary Award in 1967, the Ekushey Padak, the UNESCO Literary Award, the Bangabandhu Award, the Sanghati Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, and the Sadhinota Padak in 2009.

Manik Miah Padak was bestowed upon him by the daily Ittefaq. He received the PIB-Sohel Samad Memorial Award in 2014. Abdul Gaffar came to the UK for his wife’s treatment and was unable to return to Bangladesh for 22 years following the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Selima Choudhury, his wife, died on December 18, 2012, in London. Binita Chowdhury, his daughter, died in April of this year. Binita was his third of four daughters and one son.

How Abdul Gaffar wrote Language Movement song

Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury is best known for writing the song — Amar bhaier rokte rangano Ekushey February. This is the most well-known and performed song that is commemorated on International Mother Language Day (February 21).

Gaffar Chowdhury first wrote this poem in 1952. At that time language movement was going on in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan). People were on the streets demanding Bangla language as the state language. Rafiq, Jabbar, Salam, Barkatara lost their lives on the day of February 21, 1952. Gaffar Chowdhury was the witness of that day.

Not only the historic day, he witnessed many turning points in Bangladesh history. 

Condolence messages 

Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed their profound shock at Gaffar’s death and prayed for the eternal peace of his departed soul. They also expressed condolences to the bereaved family members.

Bangladesh lost a legend 

“Bangladesh has lost the wisdom of a legend who has enriched the nation’s history and culture through his writings and research,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in a condolence message. 

“Through his writings and cultural contributions, Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, who wrote the lyrics to ‘Amar Bhaier Rokte Rangano,’ has elevated the spirit of the country’s Liberation War.” He worked until his death to protect secularism and the country’s accurate history, supporting Bangabandhu’s dream of a “Sonar Bangla” or “Golden Bengal.”

“During the 1971 Liberation War, he inspired freedom fighters through his writings in Joybangla, a weekly newspaper published by the Bangladesh Awami League.” Later, even as an expatriate, he wrote for local and international media about the ideals of the Liberation War.”

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