During the Liberation War of 1971, the konthojoddha, who were the artistes of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra, a clandestine radio station during the resistance, kept up the morale of the freedom fighters with their spirited performance of patriotic songs, poems and satirical plays. The members of Mukti Sangrami Shilpi Sangstha, a cultural troupe, used to travel to refugee camps and different areas in Mukta Anchal to perform patriotic songs, arrange puppet shows and stage dramas to inspire the freedom fighters and people with the spirit of war.
This is how the artistes fought for the country, lending their voices to powerful lyrics and timeless compositions while turning their performance into lethal weapons of freedom. These legendary songs have remained in the hearts of generations of Bangladeshis since their creation in 1971, and will continue to inspire the generations to come.
To revisit the glorious treasure-trove of music, Star Melodies, an initiative of The Daily Star promoting Bangla music, hosted a special musical programme yesterday to pay tribute to these patriots -- lyricists, composers, musicians, artistes and technicians who stirred the masses with their ephemeral music ahead of our 47th Victory Day celebrations.
The event, held at The Daily Star-Bengal Arts Precinct of The Daily Star Centre, featured solo performances of songs by renowned singers Rafiqul Alam, Dalia Nausheen and Timir Nandi. Md Monowar Hossain Khan, Md Abu Nawsher, Sheela Bhadra, Shukti Chowdhury and Manjushree Niyogee performed choral songs including Bijoy Nishan Urchhey Oi, Nongor Tolo Tolo and Purba Digantey Surja Uthechhe.
Timir Nandi began the musical evening, presenting the songs Rokto Diye Naam Likhechhi, Shono Ekti Mujiborer Theke, Shadhin Shadhin Dike Dike and more. Rafiqul Alam's repertoire included Jaye Jadi Jaak Pran, Jaago Jaago Pradip Nibhaye and Salam Salam Hajar Salam while Dalia Nausheen performed Tara E Desh-er Sabuj Dhaner, Tora Shob Joyoddhoni Kor, Haire Kishan and more.
Mahfuz Anam, Editor and Publisher of The Daily Star, thanked everyone for attending the programme and remembered the contributions of artistes in the Liberation War. “As a freedom fighter myself, I was one of the fortunate ones at the time of our Liberation War who experienced the sheer moving power of music. The patriotic songs at the time awakened a very powerful national conscience, which played a direct role in uniting the nation.” he said.
The artistes shared their wartime stories, and their memories of participating in the Liberation War movement amidst their performances. Prominent lyricist Ferdous Hasan Bhuiya also spoke at the event.
Sadya Afreen Mallick, Chief, Culture Initiatives, The Daily Star, hosted the programme elaborating on the relevance of holding the programme in the month of victory.