|Biographical detail : ||Bangladeshi poet, journalist and human rights advocate.
The unofficial poet laureate of Bangladesh, Shamsur Rahman was among the country’s most important political poets during its independence movement. He wrote in Bengali and helped adapt the language to modern poetic forms.
Some of his most famous poems were powerful contributions to the campaign that began with the Bengali language movement of the 1950s, resisting the adoption of Urdu as the national language of East Pakistan and culminated in Bangladesh’s 1971 war of liberation from Pakistan.
Rahman who wrote of oppression and slaughter during the fight for his country’s independence was widely regarded as the greatest Bangladeshi poet. He delved into dark realms of revolution, solitude and social conflict. His most famous poem, written at the height of the 1971 war, was Shabhinota Tumi (My Liberation).
He published more than 60 volumes of poetry, only a few of which have been translated into English, such as, ‘The Best Poems of Shamsur Rahman’ in 2005 and ‘The Devotee, the Combatant: Selected Poems of Shamsur Rahman’, in 2000.
He made his living as a journalist in print and on Radio Pakistan, becoming editor of the state-run, now defunct, daily newspaper, Dainik Bangla, from 1977 to 1987.
An outspoken opponent of religious extremism, Rahman survived an attempt on his life by a radical religious group, in January 1999.
Shamsur Rahman died in his hometown Dhaka – a city he loved and was always reluctant to leave – of heart and kidney failure.