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Hason Raja (Bengali: হাসন রাজা, Sylheti: ꠢꠣꠍꠘ ꠞꠣꠎꠣ; 21 December 1854 – 6 December 1922)[1] was a Bengali mystic poet and songwriter from Sylhet, Bengal Presidency (now Bangladesh). His unique style of music made him one of the most prominent figures in Bengali culture.

Dewan Hason Raja
Hason Raja.jpg
Native name
হাসন রাজা
Born
Dewan Hason Raja

(1854-12-21)December 21, 1854
DiedDecember 6, 1922(1922-12-06) (aged 67)
ResidenceLaxmansree, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Bengal Presidency, British India
OccupationLandlord, musician, songwriter, mystic poet and philosopher
ChildrenKhan Bahadur Dewan Ghaniur Raja Chowdury
Dewan Hasinur Raja Chowdury
Khan Bahadur Dewan Eklimur Raja Chowdury (কাব্য বিশারদ)
Dewan Aftabur Raja Chowdury

BiographyEdit

Early lifeEdit

Raja was born on 21 December 1854 in Lakshmansree,[2] now Sunamganj. His father was Dewan Ali Raja, a direct descendant of Birendraram Singhdev (later converted from Hinduism to Islam and renamed as Dewan Raja Babu Khan). Hason Raja's mother was Hurmutjan Bibi, the last and fifth wife of Ali Raja. Hason Raja spent most of his childhood in Lakshmansree with his mother as his father married widow of his first cousin late Amir Baksh Chowdhury who was living at Lahshmansree (Sunamganj) the most north-eastern part of now Bangladesh. His father started on and off living in Lakshmanshree of Sunamganj, 33 miles away from Rampasha, for at least three or four months of the year. Ali supervised and managed his wife's properties at Lakshmansree. That is why Lakshmansree, Sunamganj was hisbirthplace of the poet.[3]

The death of Raja's elder step-brother, Ubaidur Raja, followed by the death of his father (in about 40 days gap), put the power and responsibility of the whole family upon Hason Raja at a very young age.[4]

Later lifeEdit

Raja established schools and religious centres like mosques and he is said to have been widely engaged in charities within his immediate communities. He donated vast land properties for the well-being of the people. He was interested in the well-being and protection of birds and animal life. He spent a large quantity of his money on those lives. The 12 June 1897 Assam earthquake was one of the biggest earthquakes that occurred in the Assam and Sylhet area. The largest known Indian interpolate earthquake (at 8.0 on the moment magnitude scale) resulted in the destruction of structures over much of the Plateau and surrounding areas, and caused widespread liquefaction and flooding in the Brahmaputra and Sylhet floodplains. He found out many of his kin and relatives as well as his people wounded and killed. His thatched house was fully damaged. He lost many of his tamed birds and animals.[5]

DeathEdit

Raja died on 6 December 1922.[note 1] Two museums were established in his name in two places. One, Hason Raja Museum sponsored by "Hason Raja Museum Trust" at Sunamganj[7] at his birthplace, Lokkonshri, Sunamganj, and another, Museum of Rajas' at RajaKunjo, Sylhet, sponsored by "Educationist Dewan Talibur Raja Trust".[4]

In popular cultureEdit

Raja's songs are collected in books Hachhan Udas and Shaukhin Bahar[1] It was reported by Washington Bangla Radio in May 2013, that an epic Bengali feature film Hason Raja is under production, based on the life and music of Raja played by Mithun Chakraborty, directed by Ruhul Amin, and produced by Galaxy Films between UK, India and Bangladesh.[11] A volume called Hason Raja Samagra was also published. It contained 500 poems and songs.

Critical responseEdit

Author Humayun Ahmed brought Hason Raja's work in limelight again in modern days after using Raja's various popular folk songs in his movies and television dramas.[12][13] Author Rabindranath Tagore quoted on Hason Raja, 'We realise it through admiration and love, through hope that soars beyond the actual, beyond our own span of life into an endless time wherein we live of all men.' and 'It is a village poet of East Bengal who preaches in a song the philosophical doctrine that the universe has its reality in its relation to the Person.'[14]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Sources vary regarding the month and day of his death. Banglapedia (Second edition) says he died in November.[1] The Hason Raja Museum Trust, Dewan Muhammed Azrof and Dhaka Tribune say he died on 6 December.[6][7][8] Banglapedia (First edition) says he died on 7 December.[9] The Daily Star says he died on 8 December.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Islam, Tasiqul (2012). "Hasan Raja". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. He died in November 1922.
  2. ^ BanglaAcademy-Publication-Jan1998-/Prashanga-Hason-Raja/book/Moromio Kobi Hason Raja-ProvathKumarShorma
  3. ^ openlibrary.org/books/OL24244644M/Loker_Raja_Hason_Raja
  4. ^ a b "Hason Raja". Sylhoti.multiply.com. 21 November 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2010-11-20.
  5. ^ Khan Bahadur Dewan Ganiur Raja, "Din Panjika" Manuscript Diary, Sunamganj, 1932
  6. ^ BanglaAcademy-Publication-Jan1998-/Prashanga-Hason-Raja/book/Dewan Hason Raja-DewanMuhammedAzrof
  7. ^ a b "Hason Raja". Hason Raja Trust. Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. – 6 December 1922
  8. ^ "Hason Raja's 92nd death anniversary today". Dhaka Tribune. 6 December 2014. Hason died on December 6, 1922
  9. ^ Tasiqul Islam. "Hasan Raja". Banglapedia (First edition). Retrieved 20 December 2013. He died on 7 December 1922.
  10. ^ "Musical programme on Hason Raja on Banglavision". The Star. 6 December 2009. Hason Raja died on December 8, 1922.
  11. ^ Uddin, Romuz (8 May 2013). "Interview-Film-Maker Ruhul Amin on HASON RAJA Bangla Movie Starring Mithun Chakraborty and Raima Sen". Washington Bangla Radio. Washington. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  12. ^ "Humayun Ahmed's musical creations under spotlight". The Daily Star. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  13. ^ "Humayun's Love For Music". Daily Sun. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  14. ^ Rabindranath Tagore, "The Religion of Man: The Man of My Heart, Being The Hibbert Lectures for 1930", The MacMillan Company, New-York, 1931
 'The Lark of Sylhet" a documentary film on Hason Raja made by Tareque Kazi, Music directed by Bitan Purokayastha

Further readingEdit

  • Raja, Dewan Mohammad Tasawwar (2006). Museum of Rajas' [Hason Raja Museum] (in Bengali). Sylhet, Bangladesh: Educationist Dewan Talibur Raja Trust.
  • Raja, Dewan Mohammad Tasawwar (2009) [First published 2000]. Hason Raja Shomogro হাছন রাজা সমগ্র [Hason Raja's Oeuvre] (in Bengali). Dhaka, Bangladesh: Pathak Shamabesh. ISBN 978-9848120323.

External linksEdit