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Art & Culture

The district head quarter was the original center of cultural heritage of Noakhali. ‘Rai Bahadurs’, the then zemindars of the area were the chief patrons of cultural activities. There was a special arrangement for observance of the ‘ Chaitra Sankranti’ every year. A big pandal would be constructed in the ‘Rai Bahadur 

A H M A Hye

A notable artist

Ferdous Ara

Artist of Nazrul song 

House, to accomodate a musical soiree where renwoned singers, drummers and dancers would come to join from Lukhnow, Pandichari and Delhi. Among local artists Monomohan Nandi, father of Saitya Gopal Nandi, participated. He was expert in Thumri & Drum. New singers like Bhaktimaya & Dhiren were regular artists. Monomohan Chowdhury, father of Paresh Chowdhury, used to play madal. Khitish Roy Chowdhury, the eminent dentist of Noakhali district

Ataur Rahman 

Drama director

Aleya Ferdousi


and younger brother of Paresh Chowdhury was a bright star in the field of songs of this town. He took lesson from Indian Sangitacharja Kamini Ganguly & famous Ustad Fuljhuri Khan of Pakistan. After that chapter, those who continued their participation in songs were Paresh Babu, Khitish Babu, Bhaktimaya, Jagattara and bidi-canvasser Salam. Khitish Babu got the new artists united. ‘Micado club’ was established with the financial support of Ray  Chowdhury Madan Mohan Saha. This organization turned into a mass organization in the long run. In  1965, ‘Lalitakala Bidyalaya’ was established in the heart of the town. Saitya Gopal Nandi and Bimalendu Majumder joined here as teachers. In the year 1966, ‘Shilpa Bitan’ was established at Sonapur with the effort of Late Kazi Muhfuzul Haq (Madhu Meah), the noted

Md. Hasem 

Eminent artist 

of regional song 

journalist, litterateur, dramatist and drama artist of Noakhali. In the last part of 1966, K G Mostafa, the composer of Bangladesh Betar, Abu Taher, news editor of Dainik Khabar; former BLF Chief Mahmudur Rahman Belayet, Prof. Ramnath Sen and many others established the ‘Shilpa-o- Sahitya Sangsad’. The children  &   the   youth  assembled  through the children organization ‘Moumachi Kachi Kanchar Mela’, ‘Moumachi Sangit Bidyalaya’ was established in the year 1972 at the initiative of the then Deputy Commissioner Mr. Manzurul Karim and Addl.

Bijoy Mela in Noakhali 

Cultural festival of great liberation war, held annually 

Deputy Commissioner Mr. Imtiaz Khan. This was the first institution of musical education at the district town Maijdi after Liberation. ‘Noakhali Sangit Bidyalaya’ was established on 15 November 1972. Shilpi Mohammad Hashem has made the local songs popular outside Noakhali. He is a composer, tuner and a singer. Late Eakub Ali, Nirmal Majumder and Kazi Mahfuzul Haq (Madhu Meah) succeeded to build ‘Noakhali Naitya Mancha’. Babu Nirmal Majumder, Kazi Mahfuzul Haq (Madhu Meah) and Nikunja Bihari were the main organizers of cultural movement. The drama ‘Ulka’and ‘Dipantar’ were

 staged under their guidance. The then 1st class Magistrate Ershad Ali acted in ‘Siraj-ud-Doula’ and Tafan Babu in ‘Keranir Jiban’. Their performances are still in the memory of old people. M/S Mafizul Haider Chowdhury, Akber Hossain, Nazmul Ahsan  Montu , Nripendra Paul, Bimalendu Majumder and Dr. A. Gafur have greatly contributed towards the development of drama movement.

In those days boys had to play the role of girls. The drama-artists were not honored in the society. In the fifty’s, Shambu Dey, Akbar Hossain Majnu, Nuruzzaman of Noakhali Public Library and Bimalendu Majumder mainly participated in the drama as actresses. Nazmul Ahsan Montu and Nazmul Haq Nezu were the make-up men. In the 

year 1966, the first man-woman acted drama of the ‘Natya Niketon’ was staged with the effort of Police Super Habibur Rahman, Shahabuddin Eskander and Kazi Mahfuzul  Haq. Renowned drama-artists Ramendu Majumder, Kazi Mahfuzul Haq, Anjuman Banu Saki, Aleya  Ferdousi, Maya Haq and Fauzia acted in the drama ‘Agnigiri’, ‘Daiyee Kay’ and ‘Shesh Rater Tara’. In 1967, another drama organization named ‘Falguni Natya Gosthi’ was formed. K. G. Mostafa was the Chairman and Abdul Gofran, Asstt. Engineer of the then Pourasava, was the General Secretary. ‘Bahubrihi’, a new drama organization was formed at the initiative of reputed dramatist Ramendu Majumder, Kazi Mahfuzul

 Haq (Madhu Meah), Mohammad Abu Taher and  Jagadish Saha. ‘Bahubrihi’ first staged the drama ‘Aguntuk’ of Jitendra Mohan Bagchi and  ‘Danda’ of Munir Chowdhury. These cultural activities were carried on centering Noakhali Town Hall. In the year 1968, there was an assemblance of old and new social workers in the children organization ‘Kachi Kanchar  Mela’. The drama movement re-started from this organization. A group of youngsters including Azizur Rahman Iqbal, Mahiuddin Faruque, Mahmudul Haq Faiz, Bakhtear Sikder, Pradip Majumder, Nehal Siddiqui, Lutfun Nahar Rehana, Niyati and Chhanda joined this movement. Dramas like ‘Raster Chhele’, ‘Abhijan’, ‘Duie Mahal’ etc  were staged in Kachi Kanchar Mela. That time, other drama organizations like Kakali, Natyangan, Amra Kajan, Natya Sangstha, Natya Shibir, Chaitali Sangsad, Jonaki, Provati and Suravi Club were established.

During Pakistan period a Govt. organization named ‘Art Council’ was established. Late popular leader Abdul Malek Ukil was the General Secretary of the Art Council. After independence, it was turned into ‘Zilla Shilpakala Academy’. Side by side, ‘Shisu Academy’ was established for the nourishment of juvenile talents. Lalitakala Academy and Moumachi Kachi Kanchar Mela established in the post-independence period are still active. By this time, Noakhlai Sangit Bidyalaya has been merged with the Zilla Shilpakala Academy. The drama organizations Charanik, Noakhali Theatre and Abhinoy Noakhali, estasblished after the independence of Bangladesh and once quite popular, are no longer in existence. ‘Prangan Sangha’, ‘Junior Roushan Club’, ‘Dabanal Sangha’ and ‘Uzzalpur Theatre’ established in the eighty’s are absent today in the field of drama. ‘Lakshminarayanpur Theatre’ and ‘Bhulua Theatre’ are moving slow. ANM Sajjadur Rahman (alias Sajjad Rahman), a young dramatist established a new drama organization ‘Tarangini Naitya Kendra’. This new organization is participating in various cultural shows including national programs like ‘Bejoy Mela’ every year. Important Tarangini staged dramas are Kando Nadi Kando, Dateline Ekattor, Ora Kadam Ali, Judha Chalse Chalbe, Ghatotkoch, Pindi Chatkai, Pathshala Khulbey, Bifaley Mulya Ferat, Abhijan etc. Besides, at the same time, Jatiya Kabita  Parishad, Swarasruti, Palashkuri Khelaghar Asar and ‘Joy Bangla Sanscritic Jote Noakhali’ are irregularly carrying the cultural activities. ‘Bejoy Mela’ upholding the ideals of liberation war, has been established as the main annual cultural festival of Noakhali.