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Khan, Mumtaz Ali


Khan, Mumtaz Ali (1920-1990) singer, lyricist, composer, collector of songs. He was born on 1 August 1920 in Manikganj. His father was Afsar Ali Khan and mother Bedoura Khatun.

Mumtaz Ali Khan learnt classical music as a disciple of Ustad Nisar Husain. For his excellence in music he was enlisted as an artiste at Calcutta Station of All India Radio. There he came in contact with poet jasimuddin ahmed and artiste Kashem Mullick.

Mumtaz Ali Khan earned fame as a singer, lyricist and composer. He enriched Bengali music by moving around the countryside and collecting folksongs. He gave tunes to these folksongs apart from writing songs himself. He set tunes to many songs of lalOn shah, pagla kanai, hasan raja, Kanu Shah and poet Jasimuddin.

Mumtaz Ali Khan was also a good music teacher. Many well-known singers were his disciples. They included lEila arjumand banu, abdul alim, Ferdousi Rahman, Nina Hamid, Indramohan Rajbangshi and Meena Barua. Many songs were set to tunes by him and many of them were sung by Abbasuddin Ahmed, Sachin Devburman, Purnadas Baul, Abdul Alim, Abdul Latif, Laila Arjumand Banu, Mustafa Zaman Abbasi, Ferdousi Rahman and Nina Hamid. All his six daughters including Pilu Mumtaz were devoted to music.

Two of the songs sung and set to tunes by him can be illustrated here. One popular song written by poet Jasimuddin and sung by Sachin Devburman was 'Bandhu Rabgila, Rangilare/Amare chharia bandhu koi gelare' (O my playful friend, where have you gone leaving me behindFoodgrain) Another song set to tunes by him was 'Ei je duniya, kiser lagiya/ eto jatone garaichhen saai' (O lord why have you created this transient world with such care?) He was the lyricist and composer of innumerable songs. For his extraordinary contribution to Bengali music he was awarded Ekushey pada in 1980. He died in Dhaka on 31 August 1990. [Khalid Hasan Komol]