Hummingbird News Desk
KOLKATA, 4 JULY: Veteran Bengali director Padma Shri Tarun Majumdar, who was known for his compelling work in Bengali cinema, died on Monday at the age of 91 due to prolonged illness.
The nonagenarian director was suffering from kidney ailments for a long time and was admitted to the hospital on 14 June. His condition deteriorated late on Saturday night and he had to be put on ventilator support. He died around 11.15am today.
His family members donated his body to the state-run SSKM Hospital for medical research and education, keeping with his last wish. There was no gun salute, rally or funeral. His body was first taken to the NT1 studio at Tollyguge in south Kolkata for everyone to pay their last respect before it was taken to the SSKM hospital where it was handed over to the anatomy department. Keeping his wish, no one was allowed to place any garlands or wreaths.
Born on 8 January 1931 in the Bengal Presidency of British India, Majumdar’s father Birendranath Majumdar was a freedom fighter.
In 1985, he debuted as a director in the film industry with Basanta Choudhury in Alor Pipasha. Previously, he worked under Yatrik—a group of filmmakers that included Tarun Majumdar, Dilip Mukhopadhyay, and Sachin Mukherjee. Yatrik separated in 1963.
Majumdar went on to direct blockbusters such as ‘Balika Badhu’ in 1967, ‘Kuheli’ in 1971, ‘Shriman Prithviraj’ in 1973, ‘Fuleswari’ in 1974, ‘Dadar Kirti’ in 1980, ‘Bhalobasa Bhalobasa’ in 1985, and ‘Apan Amar Apan’ in 1990.
Tarun Majumdar has four National Film Awards to his credit for Kancher Swargo, Nimantran, Ganadevata and Aranya Aamar. He was honored with Padma Shri in 1990.
Talking about his films, earlier in 2015, Tarun Majumdar had said, “I have always been intrigued by human relationships and values. I think the quest of a man is to become a better human being. I think I understand the middle-class milieu better and hence interpreted it in various ways on celluloid.”
In his decades-long career, he worked with several notable actors such as Uttam Kumar, Suchitra Sen, Chhabi Biswas, Soumitra Chatterjee and Sandhya Roy, to name a few.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, chief minister Mamata Banerjee and other veteran actors and directors expressed their condolences.
“I express my deepest condolences. His demise is a huge loss to the film industry,” said Banerjee.
“We have lost a great filmmaker and a guardian today. I knew him personally over the past 40 years. He has given us films on various topics and tastes. He was extremely meticulous and never started a shot unless everything was perfect. I am heart-broken,” said Goutam Ghose, filmmaker.
“He was the most undisputed king of our film industry. Those who worked under him are lucky. I have seen Balika Badhu 18 times. It’s a huge loss,” said Mithun Chakraborty, actor.