Search engine giant Google has created a new Doodle on its homepage celebrating the life of Bangladeshi poet, columnist and journalist Shamsur Rahman on the occasion of his 89th birth anniversary.
Shamsur Rahman (23 October 1929 – 17 August 2006) who emerged in the latter half of the 20th century wrote more than sixty books of poetry and is considered as one of the key figures in Bengali literature. Shamsur Rahman was born in his grandfather’s house no. 46 in Mahut-Tuli, Dhaka. His paternal home is situated on the bank of the river Meghna, a village named Pahartoli, near the Raipura Police Station in Narshingdi district.
While studying English literature at the University of Dhaka, he joined a student group known as Progressive Writers and Artists Association, reading his verse at Madhu’s Canteen and staunchly supporting the movement to retain Bengali as the official language of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
After graduating with honours in 1953, he went on to make his living working for Radio Pakistan and editing at the daily newspaper Dainik Bangla.
He is also remembered as the “unofficial poet laureate of Bangladesh.” Rahman published more than sixty books of poetry, ranging from love sonnets to patriotic verse to whimsical lines about his cat. His well-known 1971 poem, “Shadhinota Tumi” (“Ode to Freedom”) was written in the throes of Bangladesh’s battle for independence from Pakistan.
His life and work earned him numerous accolades including the Bangla Academy Award, Ekushey Padak and the Shadhinota Award, the highest honour given by the government of his beloved homeland.He died on 17 August 2006 of heart and kidney failure after having been in a coma for 12 days.