K.M. Abu Taher Choudhury

K.M. Abu Taher Choudhury, a journalist and community worker, was born in 1956 in Maulvi Bazar, Sylhet. In 1984, he set up Renaissance Shahitya Majlish a literary society established to build the confidence of aspiring writers and poets. Mr Choudhury has spent 30 years serving the Tower Hamlets community on a voluntary basis, running homework clubs, support class for GCSE and A Level students, and various other education projects. Mr Choudhury’s inspiration for writing came from his father who has produced over hundred volumes of books on Islam and his uncle, who had set up ‘Lal Jalal’ a newspaper press in Sunamganj, Sylhet, during the British period in 1927. His poetry mainly focuses of local issues, life and nationalism. Mr Choudhury’s poetry has been published by various publications in UK, USA and Bangladesh. 

Listen: Mr Choudhury talking about his inspiration for writing poetry
Listen: Mr Choudhury talking about the establishment of Renaissance Literary Society

Listen: Mr Choudhury talking about the community support in the publicity of RLS 
Listen: Mr Choudhury reading Rokter Shiri

Rokter Shiri (Steps Of Blood)

O the children of Bongo1!
Whenever the 8th of Falgun2 arrives
Your memory returns.
I remember how your bosoms
Were riddled with bullets
As you stood for the mother tongue’s honour.
On that blood spilling day
The pitch covered avenues of Dhaka
Were stained red with your own blood;
That’s why we remember you today with reverence.

O indomitable boys-
You have taught us
How to stand against injustice,
Snubbing the red eye of autocracy.
You created history.
Treading on that bloody historical step
We have snatched away the red sun of independence
That independence is imperilled today
By the conspiracies of the national traitors.

O heroic soldiers-
Whenever Ekush 3 is due, preparations start
For acting as ultra-revolution, like-
Placing of floral wreaths at the alter-foot,
Walking of bare-foot to the Shahid Minar4,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Observance of one minute’s silence
           by standing up at seminars,
And dancing- singing sessions everywhere.
This is merely cheating
For self-publicity.

On this blood spilling day
I pray for the salvation of your souls

1 Bengal or ancient East Bengal. 2 The 10th month of Bangla calendar. 3 Twenty-first February (of 1952). 4 Martyrs memorial.

Fruits Of Independence

The loss of life that started
 At the mango garden of Polashi1
Due to Mirjazar’s2 betrayal,
Continues to date.

The same cause acted behind the brutal
Killings at Jallianwalabagh3 and Chittagong,
Because the traits of oppressor and oppression
Have not after hundreds of years altered.

The independence that the valiant boys have snatched
At the cost of a sea of blood,
Its fruits are still not enjoyed by the people of Bengal;
Screams for food and clothes can be heard
Even today in the sky and wind of Bengal.

1 Or Plassey known for the Battle of Plassey fought in 1757, between the armies of the British East India Company  led by Robert Clive and the king of Bengal Nawab Sirajud Daulah who lost due to treachery of his own generals 2 Nawab Sirajud  Daulah’s Commander in chief who betrayed his king. 3 Jallianwala Bagh in Punjab where a massacre took place on the 13th of April 1919 when a crowd of nonviolent protesters were fired upon by troops of the British Indian Army under Colonel Reginald Dyer..