A discussion session and a musical soiree were recently held at the Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium of Central Public Library, Shahbagh in the city. The event was jointly organised by cultural troupe Banhishikha and Central Public Library to celebrate the birth anniversary of the renowned poet-composer Rajanikanta Sen.
Cultural Minister Asaduzzaman Noor was present as chief guest at the event. Hasan Arif, general secretary of Sammilita Sangskritik Jote, and Golam Kuddus, president of Banhishikha were present as special guests at the event. In the discussion session speakers talked about Rajanikanta Sen's life and contributions to Bangla music and poetry. The musical soiree featured some of the timeless songs by Rajanikanta Sen. Along with artistes of Banhishikha singers invited from India also contributed with songs at the musical soiree.
The musical soiree began with a dance recital staged by performers of Banhishikha. In a solo performance, local singer Abida Rahman Setu entertained the audience with a well-rehearsed rendition of Sokha Tomare Paile.
Rajanikanta Sen (1865-1910), mostly known for his devotional and patriotic songs, is considered to be among the five great poets of Bengali language, more commonly revered as the 'Panchakabi.' The other four poets are Kazi Nazrul Islam, Rabindranath Tagore, Dwijendralal Ray and Atulprasad Sen. Born in the village of Bhangabari in present-day Pabna, Rajanikanta demonstrated his poetic prowess at the age of 15 by composing songs dedicated to the goddess Kali. Bani (1902) and Kalyani (1905) are two of his most notable works. He also wrote two other books titled Pathachintamani, a book of Kirtan songs and Abhay Bihar, a book of his lyrical poems.
Rajanikanta was born in the village of Bhangabari, Pabna. He was the third child of Guruprasad Sen and Manomohini Devi. Guruprasad served as sub-judge in many parts of Bengal, during which period he published a collection of 400 Vaishnava brajabuli poems, padachintamanim AlA. Guruprasad was posted in Katwa when Rajanikanta was born. Guruprasad's elder brother, Govindanath, was a successful advocate. However, much of the family wealth was unwisely invested, and Rajanikanta faced increasing poverty throughout his life. His mother Manomohini was a competent housewife.
Rajani studied in Boalia Zilla School (now Rajshahi Collegiate School). He was a very mischievous and playful child. Though he spent less time for his studies, yet he scored well in all his examinations. He has later mentioned in his diary. He learnt Sanskrit from Rajnath Tarkaratna, a neighbour in his village Bhangakuthi during school vacations. Rajani got Gopal Chandra Lahiri as his academic mentor. He passed entrance examination in 1882 with second division and got rupees ten per month as stipend. He passed FA in 1885 with second division and joined City College. He completed Bachelor of Arts degree in 1889 and Bachelor of Law degree in 1891 from the same college.