Jalal was born at the village Asadhati, of Netrokona district in 1894 and died in 1972. He composed over hundreds of songs, mainly spiritual ones that are now rendered by folk artistes throughout the country.
Singers Sunil Karmakar, Barek Baideshi, Jesmin Akhtar and Maruf Hasan Emon, Swapon Sarker and Nusrat Imam performed at the cultural programme. They rendered several popular songs of Jalal to an appreciative audience.
On the occasion, a discussion was held with Professor Nazrul Hayat in the chair. Among those who spoke at the discussion were the grandson of Jalal, Golam Faruq Khan, and writer-columnist Professor Jatin Sarker.
Calling Jalal a Baul, poet and an accomplished man, the speakers said that Jalal wrote his songs for everyone — irrespective of caste and creed. If we imbibe the spirit of Baul songs, we can eliminate fundamentalism and intolerance from the country, the speakers were of the view. The writings of Jalal should be preserved as priceless asset to enrich our culture and literature, they added.
Talking to this correspondent, Sarwar Kamal Robin, secretary of Udichi’s district unit, said that a fortnight long workshop was held in Dhaka recently to generate interest in Jalal’s writings among the young. The training department of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy held the programme at its auditorium.
Baul Sunil Karmakar, the trainer of workshop, said that while Jalal’s songs are easy to comprehend, they have a depth and convey spiritual messages.
Many of Jalal’s songs — “O Amar Dorodi Agey Janley,” “Arey O Bhatial Gang-er Naiyya,” “Doyal Murshider Bajaree” and “Shekhaney Tor Boshot Bari” — were recorded by renowned folk singers Abbas Uddin, Abdul Alim and Indra Mohon Rajbongshi, informed Professor Nurul Hayat, a researcher on Jalal songs. A volume titled “Jalal Geetika Shamagra,” containing 702 of Jalal’s songs, was published in 2005, said Hayat.