Today marks the 85th birth anniversary of Bangladeshi poet, songwriter, senior government official, minister Abu Zafar Obaidullah. He was born in Barisal district on this day of 1934. His father Justice Abdul Jabbar Khan was a former speaker of the Pakistan national assembly.
Poet Abu Zafar Obaidullah is a prominent person of the post-47 Bengali literature. After the division of subcontinent in 1947, he roamed in the poetical ground which was created by the prominent writers like Farrukh Ahmed, Abul Hossain, Ahsan Habib. But his journey was never smooth. The country`s division, the consciousness of the new nationalism and the absence of that spirit stroked his poetic heart. He expressed his immense pain in his poetry. Instead of the excitement of achieving a new state after 1947, he focused on the story of Bengal`s misery in his writing.
Abu Zafar Obaidullah was originally a poet of 50s. In the 1950s, he became the poet and published his first book `Satnari Har` (1955). Hasan Hafizur Rahman`s inspiration behind his writings was outstanding. He is the composer of the first anthology of Ekushey "Kono Ek Ma-key" ("To a Mother"). His poems are pronounced from every Shaheed Minar in the country on language martyr day. For poetry, he chose a classical fable of rhyme and poetry. For this reason, from the very beginning, he was separate and distinct from other fellow poets of the 50s. Obaidullah was an innovator in terms of both style and subject matter. He frequently wrote about ordinary people and their lives and dreams, as well as Bangladesh`s Great Liberation War.
Although he has published himself in the folk style, in his poetry there was no shortage of modernity and modern poetry. He spoke folk tales and lyrics, but his consciousness clearly represented the mind of a modern man. Although his first poem was published in 1955, his second poem `Kokhono Rong Kokhono Shoor` was published in 1970 after a long break. Then, in 1974, his ‘Kamol-erChokh` came out. His most popular poem ` Aami Kingbodontir Kathaa Bolchi` was published in 1981. Originally this poem was the turning point of Abu Zafar Obaidullah`s poetic career.
Abu Zafar Obaidullah is a significant contributor to every movement of Bangladesh. He received EkusheyPadak, Bangla Academy Literary Award for his special contribution in composing poetry. He founded "Padaboli" which became the leading poetry movement of Bangladesh in the 1980s. Obaidullah was one of the pioneers of the Dhaka-centric group theatre movement that originated in the 1950s. Along with Syed Maksudus Saleheen, Taufiq Aziz Khan and Bazlul Karim, he established Drama Circle in 1956.
Abu Zafar Obaidullah died on 19 March 2001 at the age of 67. He was born and brought up in the British era, had his youth in Pakistan era and had his consequences, and successful end in the independent Bangladesh.