Indian artiste composes for Bangladesh's Shahbagh movement

Shahbagh movement

Bangladesh's Shahbagh movement may be homegrown but the song which has almost become its anthem is written and composed by a leading Indian folk artiste. The Shahbagh movement began on February 5, hours after fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah was sentenced to life in prison for genocide during Bangladesh's Liberation War in 1971. The demonstrators are demanding death penalty to all war criminals and a ban on the politics of religion. "I have written and composed the song 'Shahbagh Dicchay Daak' (Shahbagh Calling) expressing solidarity with the Shahbagh movement. Organisers of the movement have told me that the song has gone viral on the cyber world and mainstream media. Demonstrators were also seen rendering the song at the venue," Kalikaprasad Bhattacharjee of Bangla folk band Dohar told PTI from Kolkata.

"Actually, we were to perform in Bangladesh on February 15 but the programme got cancelled. Since then, I was thinking being a Bengali how to contribute to one of South Asia's biggest mass movements in recent times. Then the idea of the song came into my mind," Bhattacharjee, the lead vocalist of the band, said. Assam-born Bhattacharjee, regarded an authority in Bangla folk music and other folk forms of northeast India, said he has dedicated the song to the people of Bangladesh. "After the song went viral on Internet, organisers of the movement contacted me for permission to use the song and I told them that the copyright of the song belongs to all Bangladeshis and I will be happy if it helps the movement," he said. "I am happy to see that my song is inspiring Bangladeshi youths in fight against fundamentalist forces," Bhattacharjee said.

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