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18/05/24 | 10:06 am

Indo-Bangla Baul Music Festival inaugurated to mark 250th birth anniversary of Fakir Lalon Shah

A Indo-Bangla Baul music festival began in Dhaka on Friday to celebrate the 250th birth anniversary of the mystic saint and humanist bard Fakir Lalan Shah. In the nine day long festival, famous Baul artists of India and Bangladesh will participate. The festival will be held on May 17 to 19 at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy premises in Dhaka, on May 20 to 22 at Sherpur, Mymensingh Division and on May 24 to 26 at Muksudpur in Gopalganj district.

The event is being organised by the cultural and research organisation Lalon Biswasangha working to popularise the work and promote research on Lalan Fakir. The High Commission of India and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs of Bangladesh are supporting the event.

Inaugurating the programme, Bangladesh Social Welfare Minister Dipu Moni said Fakir Lalon Shah put humanity at the highest pedestal. He believed in the essential unity of human beings cutting across the divisions of language, region and culture.

Renowned Baul singer and scholar Farida Parveen said Lalon is revered as a great mystic saint, philosopher and social reformer of his time. He composed thousands of songs which were later compiled by his disciples. His songs celebrate the spirit of humanism blending elements of Islam, Vaishnavism, Sahajiya Buddhism and Jainism.

The speakers highlighted the deeply humanist worldview espoused by Fakir Lalon Shah in his songs and philosophical discourses.

CEO of Lalon Biswasangha Abdel Mannan thanked the Indian High Commission for the help provided to organise the event. He said Bauls from both sides of the border are participating in the event which symbolised the unity of people that formed the core of Lalon’s teachings.

Director of Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre, High Commission of India Mrinmoy Chakravarty welcomed the initiative in organising the event. He said Lalon Fakir can’t be confined to the barriers of language, culture or political boundaries.

Fakir Lalon Shah is considered the most prominent figure of the Baul tradition of Bangladesh and India. Born in 1774 at Horishpur in Jhenaidah district of modern Bangladesh. He inspired and influenced people like Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam and the American poet Allen Ginsberg among others.

By: Navalsang Parmar (Dhaka)

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