Monday marks the 84th birth anniversary of Zahir Raihan (August 19, 1935–January 30, 1972), who was a Bangladeshi novelist, writer and filmmaker. He is perhaps best known for his documentary ‘Stop Genocide’ made during the Liberation War of Bangladesh.
In 1960, Zahir Raihan made his directorial debut with the film ‘Kokhono Asheni’, which was released in 1961. In 1964, he made Pakistan’s first color movie ‘Sangam’, and completed his first Cinema Scope movie ‘Bahana’ the following year. His other popular films include – ‘Kancher Deyal’, ‘Behula’, ‘Anowara’ and ‘Jibon Theke Neya’, among others.
He also wrote many novels and short stories. His popular novels are—‘Sesh Bikeler Meye’ (A Girl in the Late-Afternoon), ‘Hajar Bochhor Dhore’ (For Thousand Years), ‘Arek Falgun’ (Different Spring), ‘Borof Gola Nodi’ (River of Melted Ice) and ‘Ekushey February’ (21 February).
However, Raihan disappeared on 30 January 1972 trying to locate his brother, the famous writer Shahidullah Kaiser, who was captured and killed by the Pakistan army and local collaborators during the final days of the Liberation War. It is believed that he was killed with many others when armed Bihari collaborators and soldiers of the Pakistan Army in hiding fired on them when they went to Mirpur, a suburb of the capital city of Dhaka that was one of the few strongholds for Pakistani/Bihari collaborators at that time.