Bangladeshis remember Dhallywood screen icon Razzak

The death of iconic actor Abdur Razzak has left the nation in shock and grief.

Published : 21 August 2017, 05:28 PM
Updated : 21 August 2017, 05:32 PM

Long time co-workers are in a sombre mood while the president and prime minister have led tributes highlighting his role in Bangladesh's film industry and the cultural arena.

Razzak, fondly called Nayak Raj or King of Heroes, died at a hospital in Dhaka on Monday evening. The 75-year-old was suffering from pneumonia and old-age complications.

“It is hard to believe that he is no more with us. It is an extremely painful feeling. I worked with him for so long,” said Razzak’s long-time co-star Sarah Begum Kabori.

The celebrated onscreen couple first appeared together in Abirbhab directed by Subhash Dutta.

The two superstars kept delighting audience with their chemistry in films like Neel Akasher Niche, Moynamoti, Ka Kha Ga Gha Umo and Dheu Er Pore Dheu.

Rangbaj and Beiman are to be named among Razzak-Kabori starrers that soared to fame as blockbusters after independence.

Kabori said she was not much in touch with Razzak lately.

“I was thinking of visiting him at his place but could not manage time. It’s been long since we met,” said Kabori, also an Awami League MP.

In her memoir published in this year’s Ekushey Book Fair, the actress wrote: “The cinema lovers used to imagine themselves as Razzak and Kabori, don’t they?”

Razzak was among the few who worked hard for the film industry, said his co-actor Masud Parvez, better known as Sohel Rana.

“No-one like him ever came to this industry and it is unlikely that anyone will replace him in near future,” said Sohel Rana in his instant reaction to Razzak’s death.

“Everyone will die sooner or later. But I am shocked at his sudden death,” said the actor who shared the silver screen with Razzak in some films.

“We worked in three or four films together. He was senior to me.”

He also praised the way Razzak carried himself off-screen.

“He was extraordinary as an artiste and a great human being. I never saw him boasting about anything. He was hardworking, modest to his co-actors and dedicated to films.”

“He was a nice man, a lionhearted man.”

President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led the nation in paying tributes to the iconic film actor.

They prayed for the actor and extended sympathies to his bereaved family in separate condolence messages.

"Nayak Raj Razzak's contribution to making Bangla films popular to the viewers will be remembered forever," Hamid said in the message, according to the President's Press Secretary Joynal Abedin.

"Generations after generations will remember him for his role in spreading Bengali culture across the world through film," he added.

Hasina said: "Bangladesh's film industry and the cultural arena have lost a legend which has created a void that will remain unfilled."

The prime minister remembered Razzak's role in taking Bangladesh's film industry forward after independence.

A wave of sadness hit Facebook where members of the film fraternity—young and old, directors and actors—are sharing posts on the legend.

Fans, writers and musicians are following suit.

Film actor Symon Sadik has posted a photo where he is seen posing with the icon. Prayers for Razzak are written in the caption.

Director Redoan Rony’s post reads: “He will live among us forever representing a glorious history of Bangladeshi films. Sleep easy Nayak Raj.”

Actress Ashna Habib Bhabna writes: “Legends don’t die.”

The matinee idol of yesteryear had started his career in television before making it to the silver screen in the 1960s.

He received Bangladesh’s highest civilian honour, Independence Award, in 2015 for his contribution to the cultural arena.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher