Legendary singer and freedom fighter Fakir Alamgir passed away at 10:56pm today in the capital’s United Hospital.
The news was confirmed to The Daily Star by his son, Mashuque Alamgir Rajeeb.
He had been suffering from Covid-19, and was 71 years old at the time of passing.
He had also suffered from a heart attack at around 10:00pm while in ventilation at the Covid unit.
Fakir Alamgir was one of the leading exponents of Gono Sangeet — the songs of the masses — in the country. Synonymous with voicing out for the rights of the voiceless – the perceived weak, the workers and the voiceless, he was one of the most beloved artistes of his generation.
Soon after the demise of the Ekushey Padak-winning singer, President M Abul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed shock and conveyed their sympathies to the bereaved family.
In a condolence message, President Abul Hamid said the void that was created in the country’s music arena due to the death of Fakir Alamgir will never be filled.
His songs have played an important role in the revival of patriotism and the development of the consciousness of the Liberation War among the younger generation, stated the message.
The president also prayed for the salvation of his departed soul.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said he will be remembered for his great role in popularising Gono Sangeet among the masses.
Praying for the salvation of his departed soul, the premier also expressed her sympathy to the bereaved family.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and opposition leader Raushan Ershad also expressed shock over the death of Fakir Alamgir.
Born in Faridpur, Fakir Alamgir started his music career in 1966. During his student life, he was active in politics, while also writing Gono Sangeet to instill a sense of justice among the masses. He was a student of Mass Communication and Journalism in Dhaka University.
He played an important role as a member of Kranti Shilpi Gosthi and Gono Shilpi Gosthi, during the mass upsurge in 1969. The legendary singer worked with Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra during the Liberation War.
After the announcement of victory on December 16, the singer sang “Bijoy Nishan Urchey Oi” with his fellow artist, weeping tears of joy.
Post-war, created an amalgamation of earthy tones and western influences to make unique creations, which reached out to the masses.
Alamgir had played a pivotal role influencing the sound of modern Bangladeshi music, alongside Ferdous Wahid, Azam Khan, Pilu Momtaz and others by combining indigenous tunes with western music.
Throughout his illustrious career, he sang songs like “O Sokhina Gesos Kina”, “Shantahar”, “Nelson Mandela”, “Naam Tar Chhilo John Henry”, “Banglar Comrade Bondhu”, among countless other hits, which resonated in the hearts of all listeners.
“O Sokina Gesos Kina” is considered his seminal work, being on the lips of every other Bangladeshi after it aired in BTV’s Anandamela in 1982.
He founded ‘Wrishiz Shilpi Gosthi’ in 1976, an organisation that has served this country’s music scene for over four decades. He has also served as the president of Gono Sangeet Shamanya Parishad (GSSP).
Also an avid writer, he published his first book “Chena Chena” in 1984. “Muktijuddher Smriti Bijoyer Gaan” and “Gono Sangeeter Otit O Bortoman” are some of his notable books. “Amar Kotha”, “Jara Achhen Hridoy Potey” and “Smriti Alaponey Muktijuddho” were also very popular.
Fakir Alamgir’s name will forever be synonymous with Bangladesh’s Gano Sangeet, one which people belonging to all walks of life could take pride in.
“We were all ready to give our lives for freedom, we were that determined for revolution”, Fakir Alamgir had said In his last interview with The Daily Star.
Even though he is no more, he has left behind his legacy in the very existence of Bangladesh, alongside courageous freedom fighters with whom he selflessly served the country with.
The Daily Star, The London Times and other media outlets extends its condolences to the legendary singer’s family.