Vol. 5 Num 820 Sat. September 16, 2006  
Front Page

Artist Nitun Kundu passes away

Nitun Kundu, a freedom fighter and the famed sculptor of Shabash Bangladesh on the Rajshahi University campus--a tribute to the martyrs of the country's Liberation War, is no more.

The great artist died at the BIRDEM Cardiac Hospital in the capital yesterday morning after struggling for life for over two days. He was 71.

Nitun Kundu was admitted to hospital on Tuesday after he fell unconscious following a heart attack and had been on the ventilator since Wednesday.

Hearing the death news, hundreds of people including teachers and students, friends, artists Qayyum Chowdhury and Murtoza Basheer and Maj Gen CR Dutta thronged the hospital to pay homage to the legendary sculptor.

Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Sheikh Hasina expressed her deep shock at the death of Nitun Kundu.

A celebrated painter and founder of international standard furniture maker Otobi Limited, Nitun Kundu (original name Nitya Gopal Kundu) will remain alive in the mind of countrymen for his artistic works.

According to a press release issued by the Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts yesterday, Nitun Kundu first felt chest pain at the Malaysia Airport on Monday on his way back home from a trip to Malaysia and China. He went to office on Tuesday where he suffered the heart attack and fell unconscious.

The body of Nitun Kundu has been preserved at BIRDEM mortuary.

Nitun Kundu worked with artist Quamrul Hasan at the public relations department of the exiled Bangladesh government during the Liberation War in 1971. He designed a good number of posters published by the Information and Publicity Department of the government in exile. Of them, "Banglar Hindu, Banglar Bouddha, Banglar Khristan, Banglar Musalman--amra shobai Bangalee" (Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and Muslims of Bangla--we all are Bangalee) and "Sada Jagrata Banglar Muktibahini" (ever awake freedom fighters) are remarkable.

Sculptor Nitun Kundu added a new dimension to the fine arts movement in the 1960s, showing his skills in both abstract and realistic art.

Apart from the Shabash Bangladesh, his other important works include the Saarc Fountain at Karwan Bazar, the fountain in front of the High Court, and the Sampan at Chittagong Airport.

A pioneer in using metal with wood in making furniture, Nitun Kundu served the USIS in the pre-Liberation period. The artist-cum-industrialist also worked for a while at the Bitopi Advertising Company before launching the Otobi in 1975.

His multidimensional artistic sense and work skill has made the Otobi an ever-growing organisation.

Awarded both as an artist and an entrepreneur, Nitun Kundu earned the Ekushey Padak and The Daily Star-DHL best entrepreneur award.

Nitun Kundu also crafted several national trophies, including those of the national film award, President Gold Cup, Notun Kuri Award of Bangladesh Television, Asia Cricket Cup, and the Ekushey Padak.

Nitun Kundu was born on December 3, 1935 in Dinajpur. He passed with honours from Dhaka Art College (now the Institute of Fine Arts) in 1959 with first position in the first class.

He was survived by his wife Falguni Kundu, daughter Amiti and son Animesh.

The president and general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad expressed profound shock at the death of Nitun Kundu.

In a statement, they said his death has caused an irreparable loss to the nation.

They expressed sympathy to the members of the bereaved family.

Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation in a statement mourned the death of Nitun Kundu and expressed sympathy to the members of the bereaved family.

Jatiya Party (Manju) Chairman Anwar Hossain Manju and Secretary General Sheikh Shahidul Islam in a press release expressed deep shock at the news of Nitun Kundu's death.

Related Story
arrow State honour this morning
The government yesterday announced that deceased sculptor and freedom fighter Nitun Kundu will be given state honour at his funeral at the Central Shaheed Minar today at 11:00am.