Lalon Shah was a Bengali baul, mystic, songwriter, social reformer and the first secularist of Bengal. October 17 was his 125th death anniversary. Confirmations regarding his biography still remain a mystery. Most reliable accounts affirm that he took birth in 1174 in a Kayastha family at Bharora village in Kushtia. He was later taken in by Siraj Sai a muslim and his wife Matijan, one of Lalon's first disciple in critical physical conditions from a river. As he grew up he became a baul or fakir. He started living with his wife in his personally established shrine in Cheuria. Lalon's songs inspired and influenced many poets and social and religious thinkers, including Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Allen Ginsberg. Kangal Harinath Majumdar was Lalon's direct disciple. He was both praised and criticised in his lifetime and after his death. His disciples mostly live in Bangladesh and West Bengal. He is also regarded as the founder of the Baul music.
To pay tribute to Fakir Lalon Shah on his 125th death anniversary a nine day programme in Dhaka, Sherpur and Kushtia has already started from October 2. Three days was allocated to each of the districts to solemnise the great bard's demise. However the events in Kustia have been extended to five days. The Kushtia phase was inaugurated on October 16 by the lawmaker of Kustia-3 constituency Mahbubul Alam Hanif in Lalon's Akhara or shrine in the village Cheuria in Kustia. It has been organised by Lalon Academy, caretaker of Lalon's shrine and tomb and Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Syed Belal Hossain, deputy commissioner of Kushtia presided over the inaugural ceremony in which Professor Dr Sarowar Murshed from Islamic University, Kushtia was expected to present the keynote. A fair, musical shows and Shaddushanga have been arranged for the festival. Lalon died on October 17 in 1890 aged 116.