The 131st death anniversary of the legendary Sufi saint of Bangladesh Lalon Fakir was observed in the country on Saturday. A programme ‘ Lalon Smaran Utsab’ was organised at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) to pay tribute to Lalon on this occasion.
During the programme a discussion on life and philosophy of Lalon Fakir was organised at the BSA. It was followed by a ‘Sadhumela’ in which some of the best known Lalon singers such as Kangalinei Sufia, Shafi Mondol, Somir Baul among many others performed his songs.
A felicitation ceremony was held to honour Lalon researchers like Professor Abul Ahsan Choudhury from Bangladesh and Prof. Shaktinath Jha from India. Lalon devotees Fakir Muhammad Ali Shah, Fakir Ajmal Shah, Shuru Bala Roy from Bangaldesh and Parvathy Das Baul from India were also felicitated.
However, the annual programme of Lalong festival at Lalon Academy in Kushtia was not held because of the prevailing corona pandemic and restrictions on large public gatherings.
Fakir Lalon Shah is considered the most prominent figure of the Baul tradition of Bangladesh. He was born in 1774 at Horishpur in Jhenaidah district of Bangladesh. He is revered as a great mystic saint, philosopher and social reformer of his time. He composed thousands of songs which were compiled later by his disciples. His songs celebrate the spirit of humanism blending elements of various religions.
His philosophy combines elements of Islam, Vaisnavism, Shahajiya Budhhism and Jainism. He inspired and influenced people like Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam and the American poet Allen Ginsberg among others. He is believed to have died on the first day of the Bangla month of Kartik in 1890.
– Rajesh Jha/Dhaka