“Kaykobad took up pen when Indian modernity was still dimming”

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Poet Kazem Ali Quereshi, known by his pen-name Kaykobad was born in 1857. He passed away on July 21, 1951. As such last month saw his sixty-seventh death anniversary. Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy held a commemorative programme for the great poet on Sunday at its National Theatre Hall. Professor Dr Fatema Kawser of Department of Bangla, University of Dhaka and District Administrator of Dhaka Abu Saleh Mohammad Ferdous Khan shared their thoughts on Kaykobad at the discussion session of the event.

They said that Mahashmashan based on the third battle of Panipath between the Marathas and Ahmed Shah Abdali, was penned by Kaykobad when modern thoughts were struggling to enter the mainstream Indian society. Writing an epic of such magnitude at that time is certainly praiseworthy, they noted.

Kaykobad, according to them, was originally a lyrical poet but he took on the medium of epics to fulfill a national duty. Indians, Bangalees and more importantly Muslims at that time were living in the shadows, heartbroken and full of despair. Mahashmashan, served at least partially to awaken a section of a nation at that time under foreign rule. His epic succeeded in showing light to the then frustrated Muslim community.

After the discussion session the cultural segment was held where artistes of Dhaka Shilpakala Academy and Nawabganj Shilpakala Academy took part. SM Mohsin presented excerpts from Mahashmashan at the beginning. Then after presentation of choreography, Anima Mukti Gomes and Roksana Akter rendered songs at the event. Sohanur Rahman and Yasmin Ali contributed with the songs “Tomar Shamadhi Fule Fule” and “Ajhar Dharay Barsha Jhore” consecutively. All these artistes are practitioners in Dhaka’s Shilpakala Academy.

Then the district branch of Shilpakala Academy in Nawabganj performed. Principal performers were vocalists Milon Gomes, Pintu Gomes and Seema Mondal.

  • DhakaCourier
  • Vol 35
  • Issue 5

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