Vol. 5 Num 908 Sat. December 16, 2006  

Kalyani Ghosh and her glory days

Kalyani Ghosh is an artiste with significant contribution to the War of Independence in 1971. She worked with Bangladesh Mukti Sangrami Shilpi Shangstha, Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra, Bangladesh Torun Shilpi Gosthi and Calcutta Youth Choir. Her songs inspired and mobilised the people to fight against the enemy. In her words, "As a singer I believed I could best serve the country through my songs."

After reaching Kolkata on April 21, Kalyani along with her brother Probal Chowdhury and sister Uma Khan joined Bangladesh Mukti Sangrami Shilpi Shangstha lead by Dr. Sanjida Khatun. Here she worked with Zahir Raihan, Alamgir Kabir, Deepen Bondyopadhyay, Wahidul Haque and others. "Those songs would stir my whole existence whenever I sang them and they still do," she asserts.

In Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra, Kalyani dedicated herself to patriotic songs and gono sangeet (songs of the masses). "The songs were composed by Samar Das, Ajit Roy, Sujeyo Shyam, Pronodit Borua. Purbo digonte shurjo uthechhe, Nongor tolo tolo, Tumar neta amar neta Sheikh Mujib, Aha dhonyo amar jonmobhumir punyo sholile, and other inspirational songs were sung by Kalyani, Abdul Jabbar, Rothindranath Roy, Kaderi Kibria, Mala Khan, Apel Mahmud, Rupa Farhad, Mrinal Bhattacharjo, Sujit Roy, Nasrin Ahmed Shilu and others. "Here artistes would get little time for rehearsals, in some cases songs were composed, rehearsed and recorded on the same day, " Kalyani recollects.

Apart from her involvement in Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra Kalyani worked with Bangladesh Torun Shilpi Gosthi. She was the general secretary of the organisation. . She along with the troupe travelled to many refugee camps and remote areas in India and performed. In her views, "We worked to raise funds and to build popular support for the war. Funds collected from our performances were used to support the artistes and the Freedom Fighters."

Kalyani also performed in Delhi and other parts of India with Ruma Guho Thakurota and Calcutta Youth Choir.

"I do feel dejected sometimes when I see most of the artistes who fought for the independence not getting due recognition, " she says.

"I am proud to have witnessed the most glorious days of the Bengalis and be a part of the struggle," she concludes.

Kalyani Ghosh