Fakir Alamgir, a valiant freedom fighter and one of the most celebrated singers of the country who passed away on Friday night, was laid to eternal rest in the capital on Saturday.
He was buried at Khilgaon Taltola graveyard following two namaz-e-janazas at Khilgaon Pollima Sangsad and Matir Masjid after Zohr prayers.
The Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra artiste left behind wife, three sons, a host of relatives and well-wishers and countless fans to mourn his death.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed profound shock and sorrow at the death of Fakir Alamgir.
In a message of condolence, the President said, “His songs played an important role in reviving patriotism and developing the spirit of the Liberation War among the younger generation.”
“The vacuum created in the country’s music arena at the death of Fakir Alamgir would never be filled,” he added.
In her message of condolence, the Prime Minister said, “Fakir Alamgir will be remembered for his contribution to popularising folk songs in this country.”
The legendary singer passed away at 10:56pm on Friday at United Hospitals Ltd in the capital. He was 71. He was Covid-19 positive.
Fakir Alamgir also suffered a heart attack around 10:00pm while in ventilation at the Covid unit on the day.
Fakir Alamgir was the most respected exponents of Gono Sangeet (the songs of the masses) in the country.
He always heard the cries of oppressed and underprivileged farmers and workers and reflected the tales of their sufferings and spirit of revolution through his voice.
He was one of the most acclaimed artistes of his generation.
Born on February 21, 1950 in Kalamridha village of Bhanga upazila under Faridpur district, Fakir Alamgir began his music career in 1966. Being a student, he got involved with leftist politics and started writing and composing fiery songs to inspire the mass people for standing against all kinds of injustice.
He was a student of Mass Communication and Journalism at Dhaka University.
He played a significant role as a member of Kranti Shilpi Gosthi and Gono Shilpi Gosthi during the Mass Upsurge in 1969.
When the Liberation War began in 1971, the patriotic singer joined the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra and voiced many songs to motivate the freedom fighters and boost the morale of the mass people.
In the post-independence Bangladesh, Fakir Alamgir explored and created a new path of modern Bangla songs blending the tone of traditional folk music with western melody.
He, along with Azam Khan, Ferdous Wahid, Pilu Momtaz and Firoz Shai, developed Bangla pop music which brought new life to Bangla songs.
Yet Fakir Alamgir’s biggest success is that he has run a tough run with the baton of his revolutionary ancestors and established Gono Sangeet as a popular genre.
His raw voice had a texture that represented the purity of his songs’ subjects perfectly.
In his illustrious career, Fakir Alamgir sang songs like “O Sokhina Gesos Kina”, “Shantahar”, “Mayer Ak Dhar Dudher Dam”, “Ghor Korlamnare”, “Ahare Kallu Matobbor”, “Nelson Mandela”, “Naam Tar Chhilo John Henry”, “Banglar Comrade Bondhu”, among countless other hits, which secured a permanent place for him in the hearts of music enthusiasts.
“O Sokina Gesos Kina” is an iconic song that made him a household name in Bangladesh since it aired in BTV’s Anandamela in 1982.
In 1976, he founded ‘Wrishiz Shilpi Gosthi’, an organisation that has been working to spread Gono Sangeet and nurture cultural practice in the country for over four decades. He also served as the president of Gono Sangeet Samannoy Parishad (GSSP) and vice-president of Sammilita Sangskritik Jote.
Fakir Alamgir penned a number of books, including “Chena Chena”, “Muktijuddher Smriti Bijoyer Gaan” and “Gono Sangeeter Otit O Bortoman”. “Amar Kotha”, “Jara Achhen Hridoy Potey” and “Smriti Alaponey Muktijuddho” are some of his popular memoirs.
The government awarded the Ekushey Padak to Fakir Alamgir in 1999 for his significant contribution to music. Besides, he obtained Mohasommanona by India’s West Bengal government, Bhasani Padak, Sher-e-Bangla Padak, Tarkabagish Gold Medal, Jasimuddin Gold Medal, Tripur Cultural Coordination Award, Gononatyo Padak, Channel i Music Award, Bangla Academy Fellowship and many other awards and prizes.
The legendary singer fell ill on July 13 and tested positive for Covid-19 the following day. He was admitted to United Hospitals Ltd on July 15.
Fakir Alamgir had been on life support since Thursday last.
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq, State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Parliament GM Quader and Dhaka University Vice-chancellor Prof Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman, among others, expressed shock at the death of Fakir Alamgir.
Sammilita Sangskritik Jote, Udichi Shipi Goshthi, Wrishiz Shilpi Goshthi, Gono Sangeet Samannoy Parishad and many other organisations also mourned his death.