Chakravarty, Sukhendu

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Chakravarty, Sukhendu (1928-1980) folk singer, lyricist, composer, music director, was born in 1928 at Thakurpara, comilla. He was known to the common people as 'Khoka Chakravarty'. His father was Nalini Chakravarty and mother was Harasundari Devi.

Sukhendu Chakravarty took his music lessons from his elder brother Satya Chakravarty. Later on, he became a disciple of Comilla';s music teacher Samarendra Pal and Ustad Muhammad Husain Khosru for learning classical music. He acquired expertise in playing esraj, sitar and tabla.

Sukhendu Chakravarty participated for the first time in a radio programme on 29 June 1943. He became later a music producer for the commercial service of Radio Bangladesh. He earned considerable reputation in the movement for self-determination in the sixties when he produced the popular song 'Dim parey hasey khay bagh dasey' written by Ferdous Husain Bhuiya. He was also associated with various cultural activities of udichi shilpigoshthi from its inception. He worked closely with a number of other people-oriented cultural groups.

Sukhendu Chakravarty presented many songs at meetings and conferences. Among the popular songs that brought him fame were: 'Banglar buke oi mrittur kalodoot', 'Ondhokar thekey alor prithivi hatsani diye amay daksey', 'Amader hater muthi tader pishey dolbey', 'Ora naki amader khet o khamarer sobujer sopno kere nite chay' and 'Manik tomar yuddhey jabe mago biday dao'. He created a stir by singing songs at Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani's historic Kagmari conference, at the Youth Conference in Dhaka and at the grand conference of comilla victoria college. He sang on the lives of the ordinary people like newspaper hawkers, hawkers of household goods, fishermen, blacksmiths, potters and cobblers. Although known as a singer for the masses, he also sang other variety of songs. His expertise in classical music and his close connection with the traditional folk songs made him a guru. For many years he used to teach music at Shamsunnahar hall of dhaka university.

Sukhendu Chakravarty was a liberation war activist. He died on 7 July 1980 in Comilla. [Saim Rana]