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.