About Abdul Jabbar Khan
Abdul Jabbar Khan was the director of the first Bengali movie from East Pakistan or currently Bangladesh, “Mukh o Mukhosh”. Abdul Jabbar Khan had such a significant and crucial role in Bangladesh’s movie industry. He was the pioneer of movie direction in Bangladesh which led the industry in the current situation. He is remembered through different events in his birth and death anniversary, despite he deserves to have better recognition.
The life story of Abdul Jabbar Khan
Abdul Jabbar Khan was born on 16th April 1916 at Masadgaon Village, Lohajang Upazila in Munshiganj, Bengal Presidency British India. His father was Hazi Mohammad Jamsher Khan. Jamsher Khan was a jute businessman at Dhubri of Assam. He had 8 children, 4 sons, and 4 daughters. Among them, Abdul Jabbar was the second one. On 28th December 1993 Abdul Jabbar Khan died, suffering from heart failure.
As a student, he involved with acting. When Jabbar was in class 9-10, he got the major roles in the drama. He acted in “Shohrab Rustam”, He acted in “Shindhu Bijoy” drama of Promotesh Barua. Sometimes he went to the house of Promotesh Barua and watched dramas. He got the opportunity to act in two movies of Promotesh Barua “Mukti” and “Shap Mukti” but eventually he could not do respectively for natural disaster and did not get father’s permission. Meanwhile, he continued to perform in stage shows where he performed in numerous dramas including “Shomajpoti”, “Matir Ghor”, “Tipu Sultan and many more.
In 1941, he completed a diploma from Ahsanullah Engineering School and later joined in a job. Consequently, he moved into Dhaka permanently. During 1949, he formed a drama group “Kamalapur Dramatic Association”. This group “Isha Kha (1950)”, “Protigga (1951)”, “Dakaat (1953)” and “Jogodesh (1959)”.
Making of “Mukh o Mukhosh”:
Before partition, usually, only movies from Lahore and Kalkata were exhibited in East Pakistan. Back then a non-Bengali producer made some negative comments about producing a movie in “East Pakistan”. It inspired Abdul Jabbar Khan to take initiative to make a movie here. However, it was a challenging job as there was high logistic scarcity. In 1953, Abdul Jabbar started this movie and in 6th August 1954, it was introduced at Hotel Shahbag. This program opened by Governor Iskander Mirza.
This movie based on “Dakaat” drama (later turned into a novel). It’s written by Abdul Jabbar Khan. Also, he was the lead character of the movie. Apparently, his son “Master Julu” worked in his own child character in this movie. Due to the unavailability of a production studio, it sent to Lahore to develop negative. Finally, the work of the first Bengali Language completed in 1956.
Exhibition and business of Mukh o Mukhosh:
Initially, Jabbar did not get permission to bring the movie in East Pakistan. So the first exhibition of the movie took place in Lahore. Later, when got permission to bring the movie, he did not get the expected response from the hall owners. However, this situation did not continue for long, soon the movie exhibited in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Chittagong and Khulna. The premiere of the show unveiled in the “Rupmahal” theatre. In the first release, the movie earned 48,000 rupees.
After Mukh o Mukhosh:
Later, Abdul Jabbar Khan directed Joyar Elo (1962), Bonshari (1968), Kach Kata Hira (1970), Khelaram (1973) movies. He also directed an Urdu movie “Nach Ghor (1963)”. During the liberation war, Jabbar involved with the Film Exhibition and Distribution of Mujib Nagar Government. After the liberation war, he involved with Sensor Board, Jury board of National Film and many other film-related associations.
Despite his very important contribution in Bangladesh Film, Abdul Jabbar was not recognized significantly. There is a library in FDC in his name. Also, there is a road (Sonargao SAARC fountain to Tangi Diversion road) named after him.
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