Volume 2 Issue 49 | January 17, 2009 |


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Guru Griho

From Pabna

Music and Liberation

Ahmed Humayun Kabir Topu

Shahid Shadhan Shangeet Mohabiddaloy, Pabna is one of the music colleges of the country honouring the memory of the martyred singer Golam Sarwar Khan Shadhan. Shadhan has been one of the noted singers of the district since 1960-70. He took part in the Liberation War in 1971 and embraced martyrdom at the hands of the Pakistan Occupation Army on September 10 in 1971. The college was established in 1972 and it is indeed a tribute to the entire Liberation War.

Shahid Shadhan Shangeet Mohabiddaloy is nurturing musical artistes. Though the college is creating the artistes and remembering the martyrs, it is fraught with problems. The authorities had closed the college down after 1975. It stayed closed for 23 years. Operations were resumed in 1999 through political forces.

According to sources, Golam Sarwar Shadhan was one of the noted singers of the district in 1960-70. He was famous for Gono Shangeet. In 1969, Shadhan won a music competition in Pabna Edward College- then his fame grew. He was not only a prominent singer but also a brilliant student. In 1970 Shadhan was admitted to Rajshahi University.

He was invited by Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendro during the Liberation War but he refused to sing during a period of war. Shadhan joined in the freedom movement as a soldier. He received the training from India and returned along with 11 other freedom fighters. They fought in different areas of the district. Shadhan often sang songs in the battlefield to inspire freedom fighters.

Shadhan along with other freedom fighters took shelter in a hut of the village Najirganj in Sujanagar upazila on September 6 in 1971. But the alleged collaborators came to know of the matter. The occupation army with the help of their local collaborators advanced into the village. The freedom fighters were unprepared and thus defeated.

The occupation army picked up Shadhan and took him to the Nagarbari torture camp. They tortured him mercilessly for four days. They pulled out his eyes and stabbed him with bayonets. Shadhan was killed and his body was dumped in the Jamuna.

“Shadhan was an inspiration to freedom fighters. He often sang during battle. He was tortured mercilessly,” said Md. Rabiul Islam Rabi, a freedom fighter and journalist. After the Liberation War, the enthusiastic people including the freedom fighters established a musical college in Pabna town to keep the martyr's memory alive.

According to the college sources, Abdur Rob Boga Miah, Mohammed Nasim (Former Home Minister) and some others took the initiative to establish the college to work towards the dream of Shahid Shadhan. Late Professor Abdul Gani was the key man at the college at the time. Professor Gani became the founder principal. The college was opened on September 10, 1972. Captain M Mansur Ali inaugurated the college formally. But the government shut it down in 1975 when there was some money owed.

During a 23 year hiatus, Shahid Shadhan Sangeet Mohabiddaloy started again in 1998-99. The founder principal Professor Md. Abdul Gani started the college again. After Gani's death, Abdul Matin Khan became the principal of the college in 2003. Over 100 students are studying in the college.

There are not enough classrooms and practical rooms. Just three tin-shade rooms have been built and government funds are not yet available.

“A taka 20 lakh project was sanctioned for establishing the new college building. The tender process was also completed but the fund was withdrawn before work started. After that, college authorities established a tin shade building,” said Md. Abdul Matin Khan, principal of the college. There are just three classrooms in the college while administrative work is done in a torn down building.

There are now 11 teachers in the college. This is a big problem. There are two music teachers and two demonstrators still in the college but more are needed. The teachers and students are very cooperative here as they feel they are part of something noble.

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