Shah Abdul Karim , known as the Emperor of Folk Songs , died of old age complications at a Sylhet hospital this morning. He was 93.
The coffin of the 'Baul Samrat' will be brought to the Sylhet Shaheed Minar at 1:00pm for the people from all walks of life to pay their tributes to the poet. Before the death, the legendary folk artist was kept on artificial life-support system at the Intensive Care Unit after his condition deteriorated Friday morning, his physician at the Nurjahan General Hospital said. He was suffering from respiratory problem along with other complications, his doctor added.
Abdul Karim was born in 1916 in a low land area (locally known as 'Bhati anchal') called Ujandhol in Sunamganj district. The place remains submerged almost eight months of a year. Karim never had a chance to attend any school. Growing up with poverty and hardship, he started expressing his thoughts and emotions musically from very early age. Ektara, a traditional single string instrument has been his constant companion. His songs had spell-binding effects on the people in and around his village, not to mention his melodic, soothing and pleasingly rustic voice. He was so indulged in music that unlike other typical Bangladeshis he failed to engage in some 'jobs' and continued entertaining people with his music (by and large, music is yet to be recognized as a full grown profession in Bangladesh
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina , on Saturday expressed her deep shock at the death of renowned folk lyricist, singer and composer `Baul Samrat’ Shah Abdul Karim.
In a condolence message, the prime minister said the demise of Shah Abdul Karim is an irreparable loss to the cultural arena of the Bengali nation.
She said the nation will always remember with respect the contributions of Abdul Karim as a non-communal and humanitarian lyricist.
Sheikh Hasina prayed for the salvation of the departed soul and conveyed her heartfelt sympathy to the members of the bereaved family.