Dasgupta, Kamal

Kamal Dasgupta

Dasgupta, Kamal (1912-1974) singer, Nazrul song composer and music director, was born on 28 July 1912 in narail, jessore. In 1957 he was converted to islam and took the name Kamal Uddin Ahmed. He married Feroza Begum, a renowned nazrul songs artist.

Kamal Dasgupta matriculated in 1928 from Calcutta Academy and later completed BCom from comilla victoria college. He earned his doctorate in Music (1943) from Benaras Hindu University for his work on Mira Bai, the composer and singer of bhajans. His early inspiration came from his father, Tara Prasanna Dasgupta. He took his first music lessons from his brother, Bimal Dasgupta. Later he studied under dilip kumar roy, Kana Kesta, and Ustad jamiruddin khan.    

Kamal Dasgupta was a versatile musical genius. He sang modern songs in Bangla, Urdu, Hindi, and Tamil. He was also a brilliant composer, composing the music for about eight thousand songs. His work was based on classical music and tended towards the thungri style, though he also drew inspiration from other sources.

Kamal Dasgupta composed the music for about eighty Bangla films, among them Tufan Mail, xhyamaler Prem, Ei Ki Go Shes Dan. His last film as a music director was Badhu Baran. He also composed the background music for an American film, War Propaganda. His active life as a composer covered about fourteen years. His unique contribution music is his invention of a shorthand method for swaralipi (notations).

In 1935 Kamal Dasgupta joined the Gramophone Company of India as a music director. During his term there, he developed a close association with kazi nazrul islam and composed the music for almost four hundred of his songs. The gramophone records for which Kamal Dasgupta composed music were very popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Among his songs still popular today are 'Sanjher taraka ami' (I am the star of twilight), 'Prthivi Amare Chay' (The world needs me), and 'Ami bhorer yuthika' (I am the jasmine of morning). Kamal Dasgupta died on 20 July 1974 in Dhaka. [Mohsin Hussain]