|Shah Abdul Karim|
Shah Abdul Karim in his later life
February 15, 1916|
Derai, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Bengal Presidency, British India
|Died||September 12, 2009(aged 93)|
Shah Abdul Karim (Bengali: ?; 15 February 1916 - 12 September 2009) was a Baul musician from Bangladesh. He was awarded the 2001 Ekushey Padak for his outstanding musical achievements. He also received the Drouhee Kotha-Shahitayk Abdur Rouf Choudhury Award in 2000. He died in Sylhet on 12 September 2009 due to respiratory problems.
Karim was born on February 15, 1916 in Ujan Dhol village, Derai Thana, in Sunamganj District in Sylhet Division. He didn't go to School and was a cowboy at a very early age. Growing up in poverty, he started expressing his thoughts and emotions musically from a very early age. The ektara, a traditional single-stringed instrument, has been his constant companion. However, poverty forced him to seek work in agricultural labor. As he was growing up, he received training in spiritual and Baul music from Shah Ibrahim Mastan Baksh. Mastan was from Sreepur Peer Mohol. He was banned from the society and left his village for an unknown journey. His song speaks about the raw human emotion, anarchy in the society, God, and the hardships of the impoverished life. After his long struggle, he came to the mass audience in the 90s through his mesmerizing public performances in Dhaka University.
Shah Abdul Karim had a son named Shah Nur Jalal.
Karim wrote and composed over 1500 songs. These songs are organized in six books: Aftab Sangeet, Gano Sangeet, Kalnir Dheu, Dholmela, Bhatir Chithi and Kalnir Kooley. The Bangla Academy has translated ten of his songs into the English language..
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