“Amar Bhaiyer Rokte Rangano Ekushe February, Ami Ki Bhulite Pari…” - every time I hear this song, a chill runs down my spine. I am sure it is the same for you. The song written by Abdul Gaffar Choudhury is one that is seared into the hearts of every Bangladeshi. The song was written to mark the Language Movement in 1952. It was first published anonymously in the last page of a newspaper with the headline ‘Ekusher Gaan’, but was later published in Ekushey's February edition. The song is often recognized as the most influential song of the language movement, reminding numerous Bangladeshis of the conflicts in 1952. Every 21 February sees people from all parts of Bangladesh heading to the Shaheed Minar to join in the probhat feri, a barefoot march to the monument by singing this song, paying homage to the sacrifices of Salam, Rafiq, Barkat and Jabbar. All throughout February as well as in other times of the year, we sing this song to our hearts’ content. Thus, even after more than six decades, the magic of the song prevails. Every time it is put on the radio or TV, the air around us becomes heavy. Over the last decade, there has been much advancement in technology with the rise of digital platforms and faster communication. Bands and artists of today have found unique ways to pay tribute to this timeless composition. We bring to you a few popular renditions of “Amar Bhaiyer Rokte Rangano Ekushe February..”.
In 12 languages
In 2016, a Bangladeshi youth had done a wonderful job. Nabid Salehin Niloy, a student of American International University, Bangladesh (AIUB), did the job connecting singers from 11 countries to pay respect to language martyrs on the occasion of International Mother Language Day. Other than Bangladeshi singer, there were 11 foreign singers from Malaysia, Lebanon, Germany, Nepal, India, Venezuela, France, Russia, the USA, Hong Kong and Italy. All the singers sang the song in their own languages. It became one of the most iconic tributes ever. Every native language is dear to its country’s people. We are the only nation in the entire world who has fought for language. Nabid’s approach was not just a way to connect singers from all parts of the world to sing Ekusher Gaan but to also allow them to showcase their love for their own mother language on the occasion of 21 February.
Nobel Recreates Magic At ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’
Not too long ago, Bangladeshi singing sensation Nobel who is a contestant in the popular Indian musical show ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ (telecast on Zee TV) paid tribute to the language martyrs with this song. It was an emotional moment for the singer as well as all those who speak in Bengali. Judges were mesmerized and so were the millions of viewers who saw the programme.
While there have been abundant covers of the song, not all had lyrics on them. Yet the feeling was profound and the listener is compelled to sing the song while hearing these instrumental covers of “Ekusher Gaan”. One such flute cover is by young musician Anam. Thousands of people saw his cover on Youtube and appreciated it.
By The Late Ayub Bachchu
On 21 February 2012, we saw a beautiful music video of the iconic song featuring popular singers Bappa, Shubir, Kona, Shithi, Imran and Shoddo at Shahid Minar. It was moving to watch these artists stand in this historical spot singing the timeless song. Ayub Bachchu was the music director while Anonna Ruma was the director of the video.