R.I.P. Rashid Talukder, 1939 – 2011

Renowned photojournalist Rashid Talukder, the first Bangladeshi to win prestigious Pioneer Photographer Award, has passed away at a hospital in the city. He was 72. Talukder died at Square Hospital around 6:30pm on Tuesday while undergoing treatment there, his cousin Sheikh Mohammad Sumon told media. He was admitted to the hospital on Oct 19 following a brain stroke.

© Monirul Alam

Talukder was born on Oct 24, 1939, in Chabbish Pargana, West Bengal, India. He developed interest in photography while he was in school. He began working in the darkroom in 1945 when he was a student of class 8. Talukder joined the Daily Sangbad as a photojournalist in 1962, and has been a press photographer since then, for 46 years. He worked with the Daily Ittefaq for 29 years.

His photographs of the 1971 liberation war are considered invaluable documents. For several decades, he recorded various aspects of Bangladeshi life.

Talukder received several awards and honours at home and abroad. He got a lifetime achievement award at Chobi Mela, an international festival of photography in Dhaka, for his contribution to the field.

His photograph of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s historic speech on March 7, 1971 was nominated for the Encyclopaedia on Southeast Asia, published by Cambridge University, England.

Talukder has been a member of advisory councils of several photographic organisations, including Bangladesh Photographic Society. He is also the founder of the Bangladesh Photo Journalists’ Association.

National Mourning Day

Nation observed the National Mourning Day to mark the death anniversary of its founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who was killed in a military-led putsch on this day in 1975. Twenty-eight people, including his wife and three sons, were killed. The survivors included his two daughters who were abroad. Sunday 15 August was a public holiday with prayer meetings being held in mosques, churches and temples.

Dhaka, August 2010. People place wreath at the portrait of Banggbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi. Copy Right:Monirul Alam

Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s LIFE

Mujib was born on Mar 17, 1920 at Tungipara in Gopalganj.

He came to limelight with the formation of Purba Pakistan Chhatra League following the end of British rule in the Indian sub-continent.

Mujib continued to rise in national politics because of his active involvement in the language movement in 1952, 1954 general elections, and six-point declaration in 1966. His arrest in the Agarata conspiracy case catapulted him into the national limelight, making him the undisputed leader of the Bengali’s freedom struggle against Pakistani exploitation.

He was given the title of ‘Bangabandhu’ – friend of the Bengal- after he was freed from jail in 1969.

On Mar 7, 1971 Mujib delivered the historical speech at Racecourse Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan), which inspired the countrymen to join the war of independence.

Dhaka, August 2010. Nation observed the National Mourning Day to mark the death anniversary of its founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Copy Right:Monirul Alam

A handful of renegade army officials on Aug 15, 1975 killed Mujib along with his wife Begum Fazilatunnesa, sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russel, daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal Khuki and Parveen Jamal Rosy, Mujib’s younger brother Sheikh Abu Naser, nephew Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni, Moni’s pregnant wife Begum Arju Moni, Mujib’s brother-in-law Abdur Rab Serniabat, Serniabat’s daughter, son, nephew and grandson, Mujib’s security chief Col Jamiluddin Ahmed, three guests and four domestic workers.

Mujib’s daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana, were in Europe and thus escaped the massacre on that fateful night.