|Born||14, January 1912|
|Known for||Exponent of the Bengali folk music|
Hemanga Biswas (Bengali: হেমাঙ্গ বিশ্বাস Hemango Bish-shash) was an exponent of the Bengali folk music (Lokgeet), including Bhatiali originally popular among the fishermen of Bangladesh. He was born in 14, January 1912 and died on November 1987. Since his name was originally in Bengali, it can also be spelt as Hemang Biswas or Hemango Biswas.
In the meeting of commission on music in Bombay Conference of IPTA, difference of opinion arose between two exponents of people's culture, Hemango Biswas and Salil Choudhury. Hemango Biswas, who was setting most of his lyrics to folk tunes, was in favour of relying only on folk tunes for mass songs with an eye to take it to the peasant masses. Salil Choudhury, on the contrary was of the view of blending folk tunes with harmony of western music. He went to the extent of making oblique remark to Com. Biswas to give up traveling by train, as that is a gift of western civilization and accept bullock cart that is used by the peasant masses. Com. Biswas, in reply accused Com. Choudhury of propounding formalism in people's art. During later part of his life, however Com. Biswas could realize shortcoming of his position and went on to compose mass songs with diverse experimentation. It may be mentioned here that during the debate in Bombay Conference, both Com. Biswas and Com. Choudhury touched upon certain important aspect of people's culture, which was not dealt with till then, but ultimately entire exercise ended in personal accusations.
Hemanga Biswas translated The Internationale to Bengali.
Amra Karbo Joy
In West Bengal, India and in Bangladesh there are two versions of "We shall overcome", both popular among school-children and political activists. one of those versions, Amra Karbo Joy was translated by the Bengali folk singer Hemanga Biswas and re-recorded by Bhupen Hazarika.
Ajadee hoyni tor
Ajadee Hoyni Tor [English: Freedom you did not get] written & sung by Hemanga Biswas, is one of many songs in the legacy of the movement of the progressive left of India.
Negro bhai amar
This song is not written and composed by Hemanga Biswas. It is composed and written by Kamal Sarcar based on Subhas Mukhopadhyaya's translation of Najim Hikmet's poem. The song was sung extensively by Hemanga Biswas' troop which often went by the name "Mass Singers" or "Gono Gayen". Kamal Sarcar was an active member of the troop for a long time.
His son, Moinak Biswas, teaches Film Studies at Jadavpur University. His daughter Rongili Biswas, an economist by profession, is a writer and folk music performer.
- Hemanga Biswas-er Gaan
- Hemanga Biswas at the Internet Movie Database
- Listen Songs by Hemanga Biswas
- Rhyming Revolution: Marxism and Culture in Colonial Bengal
- Translated chapter from Biswas's travelogue: "Abar Chin Dekhe Elam" (Trip To China Again), 1975
- Hemanga Biswas’s popular songs presented at University of Dhaka, in Bangladesh, celebrating his 99th birth anniversary