Photography on Bangabandhu and me – Lutfor Rahman

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On the 7th March, 1971 the Bengali Nation discovered a leader Bangabondhu Sheikh Muzibur Rahman with his tremendous fearless address to us. That was an igniting thunder to uproot the autocratic government of Pakistan. Bangladesh has won victory and a red-green flag was weaving over the sky after a sacrificed one river of blood. Muzib, the Father of the Nation had returned from Pakistan on the 10th January, 1972 after the independence. Immediate after, he presented the nation as referendum in 1973 in the manner of election.

I was much more agar to take his photo on the election booth at Dhanmondi. Everybody advised me not to do so. But I couldn’t prevent myself. Already I have caught cataract on my both eyes. However, I managed someone to take me there and performed the job. I had been lost with a huge crowd and have taken photo from other side. That photo was a nice too much that still the media still print out the same. My office was then at Film and publication department, but I can’t see. One day I heard that my salary had been stopped. I needed a fitness certificate, and as per guidance I went to the civil surgeon office and told the matter. I had to become disappointed. Then as per Bangabandhu’s recommendation, I got an opportunity for my eyes to be operated at Islamia Hospital by Dr. Wadud. I then understood that right medicine poured into the right place. I have started to see this world and I see everybody again.

That time the spokesman of Radio Pakistan was Mr. Allan and the most responsible person was then Mr. Fazle e-Khoda. Mr. Khoda who advised me during the turbulent movement of country in 1971,”The name of our periodical would be changed”. I questioned him and in reply, he told me the name should be “Betar Bangla” and radio’s name would be “Bangladesh Batar.”Next day we moved to Dhaka University and discussed the matter with the student leaders and at that time Kamal was also present. Next day they informed that Bangabandhu gave his consent to do so. The leader also ordered, “Change every name in Bengali”.

Bangabandhu was then the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, one day the most eminent singer Hemanta Mukherjee was on a trip to Dhaka as a member Indian cultural team. Freedom fighter Kamal Lohani was then the Regional Director of Dhaka Batar. He was in a meeting with Hemanta, and I have clicked my camera. That moment HemantaBabu expressed that he would like to meet Bangabandhu and wished to pay his admiration to the great leader.

And that was finalized and Bangabondhu also made a time to meet. When Bangabandbu has come in front of us, Hemanta all on a sudden tried to pronam the great leader. Bangabondhu then enveloped the great artist to his chest in saying, “What are you doing? HemnataBabu! Since you’re a great singer and the Bengali people of the whole world wait in hearing of your melodious songs. You came to pay me pronam to a simple person like me.”  Hemantababu then replied,” I have paid my admiration to the Father of the Bengali Nation”. It was in 1973-74, I took part a photography competition by sending two of my photos to America through the Ministry of Information and Culture. It was a great surprise to all that my two pictures have achieved honor and was placed 1st and 2nd positions in the contest. Many prizes I have won at 60’s and after the liberation period. Indian Government presented me two certificates for my photography. It was the milestone of my photography history that my pictures of Bangabondhu taken at the different times, and were selected for 5, 10, and 100 currency notes. One specialist that time asked me whether I had given these pictures to anyone or not. I replied that those were given to three persons. Then he moved to find out the persons along with police force and had recovered from them instantly at my presence. After the printing of 5 and 10 currency notes and circulated in the markets, really I was then astonished a lot. I was honored by the foreign printing company of the currency at the Hotel Intercontinental with a new precious camera, and on behalf of Bangabondhu, I received Taka 3,000/ from the Press secretary Mr. Aminul Haque Badsha. Bengali nation never did a mistake to become ignited by Bhangabandhu’s voice of thunder,” This struggle for Freedom, Struggle for Independence”. Indeed, from this platform, we have started a new chapter in creation of Bengali Nation. A new movement and a new history are thus originated from the core of Millions’ hearts.

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