Ahad, Abdul (1920-1994)
renowned exponent of tagore
songs, lyricist and music director, was born in Rajshahi town.
His paternal home was Fukurhati in bhanga
His father, Abdus Samad Khan, and maternal grandfather, Khan Bahadur Mohammad
Sulaiman, were employees of the Department of Education.
Abdul Ahad showed great interest in music from early life. After
matriculating in 1934, he was admitted to City College, Calcutta.
While at college he took lessons in classical
music from Ustad Bali and Ustad Manju Sahib. He performed
on Radio Calcutta. He took part in the 1936 All-Bengal Music Competition
and came first in Thungri and ghazal.
In 1938 he made a mark by becoming the first Bengali Muslim to
take admission in santiniketan.
After spending four years at Santiniketan, he joined
His Master's Voice in Calcutta in 1941 as a music teacher. Famous artistes
kumar mallik and Hemanta Kumar Mukhopadhyay recorded Tagore
songs under his direction. He was also very popular as a music director
in feature films such as Duhkhe Jader Jiban Gada, Asiya,
Nabarun and Dur Hyay Sukh Ka Gaon.
In 1947, after partition, Abdul Ahad joined Radio Pakistan,
Dhaka as a producer. The partition had created a void in the field of
music in East Pakistan as many Hindu artistes had migrated.
This vacuum was somewhat filled by the able role played
by Abdul Ahad who inducted many fresh music talents. For about two decades,
he produced music programmes on Radio Pakistan, Dhaka and thus helped
organise and develop the music world of East Pakistan. He was also a talented
composer and composed music for a large number of Bangla songs as well
as Urdu ghazals.
Abdul Ahad published a number of books on music. Naba Diganter Gan is a collection of his compositions, while Sindhu Desher Sangit is a collection of songs in translation. He also wrote an account of his visit to China in Gana Chine Chabbish Din and an
autobiography, Asa Jawar Pather Dhare.
The government of Pakistan awarded him Tamgha-i-Imtiaz
in 1962 and Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 1969 for his contribution to music. The
Bangladesh government awarded him Swadhinata Dibas Award in 1978. [Mobarak