Siren of the flags

Posted in music by jrahman on March 24, 2019

Most Bengalis are aware that Rabindranath Tagore penned the national anthem of two countries.  I wonder how many know of the teenage girl whose voice, broadcast over radio, inspired soldiers of two countries in the battlefields of two different wars in two different corners of the subcontinent.  Shahnaz Begum did just that, before she became Shahnaz Rahmatullah.

I am not surprised that the older of the two songs is forgotten — who really cares about the 1965 war in Bangladesh.

I am, however, shocked that this is not widely shared.

As long as those two countries born of blood and tear survive, Shahnaz Begum’s voice will live.




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