Rahim, Zahidur

Rahim, Zahidur (1935-1978) renowned singer of tagore songs. Though he was born in the city of bogra, his ancestral home was in the village of Lochana Para under shahjadpur thana in pabna district. Later on, he lived in dhaka permanently. Zahidur Rahim graduated with a degree in Commerce from Dhaka University in 1957. He learnt music from Atiqul Islam, a noted Tagore song artist, and later at bulbul lalitakala academy.

For some time Zahidur Rahim worked in a private company as well as in the Education Department. But his interest in music led him to take it up as a full-time career. He got admitted to Bulbul Lalitakala Academy and passed the music course with credit in 1961. He then joined the Academy as a teacher. He had a deep and sonorous voice and soon established himself as a Tagore song artist. His rendition of some of the songs for rabindranath tagore's dance dramas Shyama and Chandalika was highly appreciated. His first record of Tagore songs was brought out in 1972.

Apart from Bulbul Lalitakala Academy, Zahidur Rahim also taught at chhayanaut, of which he was one of the founders, Agnivina, Murchhana, Altaf Mahmud Sangit Niketan, Nazrul Parishad, etc. He joined the Bangladesh Radio as a music producer and served there as a staff artiste till 15 December 1977, when the then military government dismissed him.

Zahidur Rahim was a man of firm determination and secular outlook. When the Pakistan Government prohibited the singing of Tagore songs in the 1960s, he continued to sing Tagore songs at various meetings and cultural functions, ignoring the threats of the government. He widely popularised the Tagore song, Amar Sonar Bangla, which later became the national anthem. Through his performances of Tagore songs, Zahidur Rahim made valuable contributions to the reawakening of Bengali nationalism in the 1960s. Zahidur Rahim died on 18 June 1978. [Mobarak Hossain Khan]