Sikander Abu Zafar’s death anniversary observed

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Sikandar Abu Zafar


Staff Correspondent


Noted poet, journalist and editor Sikandar Abu Zafar was born on March 19 at Tentulia, under Satkhira district in 1919. He was the editor of the monthly literary magazine Samakal.


August 5 marked the 36th death anniversary of Sikander Abu Zafar.


Poet Rafiq Azad recalled Zafar: “He was a true patriot and had a big heart. He was also a revolutionary thinker. His bold spirit was fully expressed through some of his ground-breaking poems.”


Poet Mahadev Saha said, “In the 1940s and ‘50s, Bangla poetry was mostly romantic. Very few poets wrote about common people and their issues. Zafar’s poems were unique and unparalleled in that regard.”


Abul Hasnat, editor of Kali O Kalam, reminisced: “Zafar played a significant role in the cultural and intellectual movement which started in the 1950s. He had a great ability to gather people for a cause within a short time. He would remain in our collective memory for his major contribution to Bengali literature.


“During the Liberation War, he composed a number of memorable songs. Particularly, his ‘Amader Sangram Cholbei’ motivated people throughout the war.”


Mahfuz Ahmed Khan, senior journalist and columnist, commented: “Not just a powerful poet and writer, Zafar was a fearless and brilliant editor. Samakal, a literary magazine, was acclaimed for its rich contents and scholarly writing. In 1960s, the literary journal was the best among its contemporaries.


“In 1957, Samakal (edited by Zafar and Hasan Hafizur Rahman) had emerged with a novel approach. The first issue of the literary journal was radically different from the existing literary magazines of the time.”


Zafar worked as a journalist for several renowned newspapers such as Dainik Nabayug, Dainik Ittefaq, Dainik Millat and others. His noted literary works include plays “Siraj-ud-Dawlah” (1965), “Mahakabi Alaol” (1966), a collections of poems “Prashanna Prahar” (1965), “Timirantik” (1965), “Bangla Chharo” (1971) and many more.


The poet received the Ekushey Padak and Swadhinata Padak posthumously, in recognition of his contribution to Bangla literature. He died at the PG Hospital in Dhaka on August 5, 1975.

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