July 25, 2024, 5:50 am

Azam Khan: A Timeless Icon in Bangladeshi Music

sarakhon desk
  • Update Time : Tuesday, June 11, 2024

‘In that slum by the railway line A boy was born His mother cried, The boy has died, Oh dear, oh dear Bangladesh, Bangladesh’

This iconic song by Azam Khan in the mid-1970s resonated deeply with the people of Bangladesh, especially the youth. The lyrics reflect the country’s struggle and pain during its post-independence era, encapsulating the despair and hopes of a war-torn nation. Azam Khan’s rise to fame was marked by his ability to touch hearts with such poignant songs.

Heartfelt Lyrics and Lasting Impact

Azam Khan’s music struck a chord because it was born from his experiences. As a participant in the 1971 Liberation War, he witnessed the suffering and loss of his people firsthand. His songs, filled with simple yet powerful lyrics, continue to resonate with audiences today.

Early Life and Personal Background

Born on February 28, 1950, in Dhaka, Azam Khan, whose full name was Mohammad Mahbubul Haque Khan, is regarded as the pioneer of pop and band music in Bangladesh. He grew up in Kamalapur with his parents, four brothers, and one sister. He began his education at Provincial School and later graduated from T&T College in 1970. His education was interrupted by the Liberation War.

Azam Khan married in 1982 and, after the passing of his wife Saheda Begum, led a solitary life. He is survived by two daughters and one son.

Role in the Liberation War

During the 1969 mass uprising, Azam Khan was an active member of the Kranti Shilpi Goshthi, promoting protest songs. At 21, he joined the Liberation War in 1971, inspired by his father. He walked to Agartala with friends to join the war effort and received training in Meghalaya, India. Azam Khan participated in several guerrilla attacks around Dhaka and inspired freedom fighters with his songs.

Musical Journey and Legacy

Azam Khan’s musical career took off after the Liberation War. His band “Uchharon” gained nationwide recognition with hits like “Eto Shundor Duniya Kichu Robe Na Re.” In 1974-75, his song “Bangladesh” (Rail Line Er Oi Bostite) became a sensation. He continued to influence the music scene with his unique style and heartfelt performances.

More Than a Singer

Beyond singing, Azam Khan took on various roles as an actor, model, and cricketer. He played a baul character in BTV dramas, appeared in the film “Godfather,” and featured in advertisements. He also played first-division cricket for Gopibagh Friends Club from 1991 to 2000.

Legacy and Influence

Azam Khan’s impact on Bangladeshi music is profound. He inspired generations of artists, including the late Ayub Bachchu. His simple lifestyle and dedication to music earned him the title “Pop Guru.” Despite battling oral cancer, Azam Khan’s legacy lives on, celebrated through tributes and concerts in his honor.

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