কণ্ঠে যাঁর চিরবসন্ত, নামে ছিলেন তিনি হেমন্ত। কিংবদন্তী সংগীতশিল্পী হেমন্ত মুখোপাধ্যায় জন্ম ১৯২০ সালের ১৬ই জুন। সেই কবে ১৯৩৫ সালে বেতারে এবং ১৯৩৭-র ডিসেম্বরে কলের গানে বেজে উঠেছিল তাঁর চিরমধুর কণ্ঠ। দশকের পরে দশক আমাদের শ্রবণক্ষুধা ক্ষুধা মিটেছে তাঁর পরিশীলিত গায়কী, অভিজাত কণ্ঠসম্পদ্ আর সাবলীল সুর সংযোজনায়। ক্রমে পঞ্চগীতিকবির গান, কাব্যধর্মী আধুনিক বাংলাগান, বাংলা চলচিত্রের গান সহ সর্বভারতীয় বিভিন্ন ভাষার সঙ্গীতে তাঁর সুরধ্বনি আমাদের স্মৃতির মণিকোঠা পেরিয়ে আজও অমলিন। দেশে বিদেশে অগণিত শ্রোতামণ্ডলী যেমন তাঁর কণ্ঠের যাদুতে বাল্য কৈশোর যৌবন অতিক্রম করে পৌঢ়ত্বে পৌঁছে আজও “হেমন্তময়” ঠিক তেমনই আগামী পৃথিবীর নবপ্রজন্মের হৃদয়াসনে তাঁর গানের স্বরলিপি লেখা থাকবে স্বর্ণাক্ষরে। ১৯৮৯ সালের ২৬শে সেপ্টেম্বর চিরতরে হারিয়ে যাওয়া এই কিংবদন্তী সংগীতসাধকের জন্মশতবর্ষে নর্থ আমেরিকা বঙ্গ সম্মেলন মঞ্চে বিশেষ সংগীতাঞ্জলি।
Ravi Shankar: The Phenomenon
Almost seventy summers ago, a twelve year old boy stepped onto the stage with a sitar in his hand, In front of a highly erudite audience that understood Classical Music more than any other in the world.
Had his heart trembled? Maybe, a little. Did he fumble? We know not for certain. But what we know is that one thing was marked on the stage that day, the rise of a Star, a star by the name of Ravi Shankar who was there to stay.
A name that would go on to be regarded as one of the greatest musicians of all times, as his friend and disciple George Harrison, the world famous Beatle would put it, later on in his life.
Born Ravi Shankar Chaudhuri, Ravi Shankar was introduced to performing on stages at a very young age, as he went on tours around the world with the dance troupe of his famous brother, Uday Shankar.
Going around the world, and being introduced to varied forms of western classical music such as jazz, from such a tender age gave him the worldview and the in depth insight into world music which would otherwise be a distant dream to him had he stayed back with his parents in Benares.
At the age of eighteen, he came back to Maihar to study Indian Classical music under the tutelage of Allauddin Khan, the greatest master of Indian music of his times, whose daughter, Annapurna Devi Shankar had later on been married to.
Shankar would then go on to reach zeniths of the world of music hitherto unscaled, with a meteoric rise, that saw him collaborating with other greats of the Western World, legends like Yehudi Menuhin and the Beatles, masters in their own accord.
As Grammies and other exalted music awards kept coming his way, Shankar never looked back.
His rise was meteoric, to say the least, and was interspersed with Indian classics like the background score of the Satyajit Ray masterpiece Pather Panchali which haunts us to this day and the re-arranging of the music of Saare Jahaan Se Accha, India's National Song, which still resonates in the hearts of millions of Indians with pride.
Considered the father of Raga Rock, Shankar started a musical revolution that took the entire west by storm. They had been won over as all their popular bands from the Beatles, to the Rolling Stones would go on to experiment more and more with Indian Music and Indian instruments, in their tracks that would go on to become hits on leave imprints on the history of music forever.
Ravi Shankar created new ragas, by the names of Tilak Shyam, Nat Bhairav and Bairagi, while leaving a rich legacy of the rediscovery and the triumph of an ancient art form at the hands of an ancient sage, performing till the last day of a tireless life.
It has been more than half a decade that he is with us no more, and yet his music persists, reverberating, both in the minds of the billions of fans and followers he had left all over the world in the wake of the strings of his Sitar.
The founding father of Bangladesh, Banga Bandhu (Friend of Banga) Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman, was born on March 17, 1920. Mujibur built his career in East Pakistan as an active politician championing the cause of Bengalis. Although religion was the common factor in East and West Pakistan, there were economic, social, and linguistic differences. East Pakistan (East Bengal until 1956) was less developed than the west, and the discriminatory policies of West Pakistan increased the marginalization of the eastern part of the country.
Mujib contested as a candidate of the United Front, which had been formed by the Awami League for the 1954 general elections. The following year the Awami League demanded autonomy for the eastern wing of Pakistan. Under the presidency of General Mohammad Ayub Khan the Bengalis were further alienated. Mujib and the people of East Pakistan witnessed a harsh military regime exploiting and dominating the eastern wing. With Indian military assistance Bangladesh was liberated on December 16, 1971. Meanwhile, the government of Pakistan had sentenced Mujib to death. But because of international pressure, he was finally released and became the first prime minister of Bangladesh on January 12, 1972.
The Awami Party won the elections of 1973 with a massive majority. But poor governance, corruption, opposition from disgruntled elements, and natural disasters created problems. Mujib declared a state of emergency in 1975. A presidential form of government was initiated with Mujib as president for life. In June the Awami League became the only legal party. On August 15, 1975, Mujib and 15 of his family members were assassinated by young army officers.
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