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Friday, January 02, 2015, Poush 19, 1421, Robiul Awal 10, 1436 Hijr

Stars we've lost in 2014
Published : Friday, 2 January, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 23

Veteran painter Qayyum Chowdhury; renowned film actor Khalilullah Khan; poet Fazal Shahabuddin; art organiser Subir Chowdhury; legendary singers Feroza Begum, Ramkanai Das, Bashir Ahmed, Mohammad Ali Siddiqui and Baul Abdul Karim Shah have passed on.

Qayyum Chowdhury
Celebrated painter Qayyum Chowdhury died at the age of 80 on November 30 after he felt sick while addressing a huge crowd at a classical musical soiree at the Army Stadium. Chowdhury joined Dhaka Government Art Institute as a teacher in 1957 and worked until 1960. Then he joined Design Center as a designer for a year. He took the position of the chief artist Observer group of publications. On 20 October 1965, he moved back to Dhaka Government Art Institute (renamed Government Art College of Dhaka) as a lecturer in the Commercial Art Department. He was promoted to the position of assistant professor in 1970, to associate professor in 1986 and finally to professor in 1991. He retired from the organization in 1994. But he kept teaching in the Institute until 2002 (first by extension of his service and later as a supernumerary teacher). In his artistic career spanning over six decades, he received the Independence Day Award, Ekushey Padak, Shilpakala Academy Award and several others at home and abroad.

Baul Abdul Karim Shah
Baul Abdul Karim Shah passed away at his own residence in Kushtia on June 10 at the age of 86. Shah was the first Baul to receive the Ekushey Padak in arts categories in 2011.

Feroza Begum
Renowned Nazrul singer Feroza Begum passed away on September 9 at Apollo Hospital in the capital. She was suffering from heart and kidney diseases. The artiste was born in Gopalganj on July 28, 1930 to the zamindars of Ratail Ghonaparha. The singer started her career in 1940s. She first sang in All India Radio while studying in class six. She met with poet Kazi Nazrul Islam at the age of 10. Nazrul was impressed by her vocal talent. She was also a direct student of poet Nazrul. Poet Nazrul was then the chief trainer of HMV. Feroza set her place in the hearts of Bengali audience by singing two Nazrul songs in the All India Radio. Her first record was published in 1942 from HMV when she was 12. Since than 12 LP, 4 EP, 6 CD and more than 20 audio records were released. She received Independence Day Award in 1979. West Bengal government in India honoured her with Nazrul Sammanana Award in 2012.

Pandit Ram Kanai Das
Pandit Ramkanai Das passed away on September 5. He was known in Bangladesh as a maestro of folk music. He was also one of the best exponents of Hindustani classical vocal music, especially khayal, in our country. He underwent intense training for 12 years in Hindustani classical vocal music under the guidance of Pandit Umesh Chandra Roy. He made a remarkable contribution to Bangla music and literature by collecting lost and forgotten songs of Bangladesh and recording them with their original lyrics and tunes. Folk music flowed in his blood. He received many prestigious awards including Ekushey Padak, Rabindra Padak and Bangla Academy Fellowship.

Khalilullah Khan
Veteran actor Khalilullah Khan Khalil passed away at Square Hospital in the capital on December 7. He was 80. In recognition of his acting career spanning over five decades, Khalil was honoured with lifetime achievement award by the government. He acted in about 800 films and numerous teleplays. Born on February 1, 1934 in Sylhet, Khalil started his career through theatre. He was a powerful actor both on silver and small screens.

Bashir Ahmed
Noted singer Bashir Ahmed died on April 19 at his Mohammadpur residence in the capital. Basir Ahmed was also a lyricist and music director. He started his career as a playback singer in Urdu films. He was born at Khidirpur in Kolkata in 1939. The noted singer migrated to Dhaka at the beginning of 1960s. Evergreen songs like Jare Jabi Jodi Ja, Ogo Priyotoma, Onek Sadher Moyna Amar and many more numbers established him as one of the most popular singers of his time. He was conferred with Ekushey Padak.

Fazal Shahabuddin
Eminent poet and journalist Fazal Shahabuddin passed away at his residence in the capital's Madhya Basabo on February 9. He was 78. Fazal Shahabuddin, the founding editor of the once-popular weekly Bichitra, was born on February 4, 1936 in Dhaka. He received his bachelor degree from Jagannath College (now, Jagannath University) in 1962. He also served as the editor of the weekly Sachitra Sandhani and worked for the vernacular daily Dainik Bangla. Shahabuddin's first poem "Sandhya" was published in the Bangla daily Millat in 1953 but he rose to popularity following the publication of his first book of poems Trishnar Augnite Eka in 1965. His other important poetic works include Okankhito Oshundar, Atotayee Suryasto, Ontorikkhe Oronyo, Aloheen Ondhokarheen, Amar Nirbachito Kobita, Artonad, Sonnetguchchho and Prithibi Amar Prithibi. For his contribution to Bangla literature, Shahabuddin received the Bangla Academy Literature Award in 1973 and the Ekushey Padak in 1988.

Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
Veteran singer Mohammad Ali Siddiqui passed away due to old-age complications at his residence in Dhaka on Novemver 4. He was 70. He sang numerous hit songs and recorded songs for about 250 popular Bangla films during the '60s and '70s. "Heshe Khele Jibonta Jodi Choley Jaye", "Hoi Hoi Hoi Rongila Rongila Rey", "Shono Go Ruposhi Lalona", "Oi Dur Durantey" were some of his very popular Bangla songs. The artiste worked for Bangladesh Betar as a music director for several years. Mohammad Ali Siddiqui was born on February 2, 1944 at Netrokona district. He was awarded with several prizes including the National Award, Dinesh Padak, Bandhan Lifetime Award and Shilpakala Academy Award.

Subir Chowdhury
Noted organiser and director of Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, Subir Chowdhury passed away on June 30 in Sydney, Australia. The 61-year-old artist succumbed to neurological cancer. Chowdhury was born in 1953 in Jamalpur. Apart from his contributions to art, he actively participated in major political movements, especially the Liberation War. He did his graduation from the Institute of Fine Arts, DU in 1974, and the next year, took charge as Assistant Director of the Fine Art Department of Bangladesh Shilapakala Academy. In 2004, he joined Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts and later became its director, and a trustee of Bengal Foundation.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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