Freedom, humanity, love and revolution are the constant themes in Kazi Nazrul Islam’s literary creations
Friday marked the 45th death anniversary of national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, widely revered for his limitless contribution to Bengali literature.
To commemorate the life and works of the rebel poet, different organizations and institutions organized multiple programs throughout the day.
In the morning, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs paid its tribute to the poet by placing floral wreaths on his grave beside the Dhaka University Central Mosque.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid, Cultural Affairs Secretary Md Abul Monsur, Bangla Academy Director General Nurul Huda, Bangla Academy Secretary AHM Lokman, Kabi Nazrul Institute Executive Director Mohammad Zakir Hossain all paid tributes to the rebel poet.
At around 10am, a webinar was organized by Kabi Nazrul Institute, followed by a cultural program. The online programs — streamed live on the institute’s Facebook page — was joined by Khalid as the chief guest while Secretary Mansur and Kazi Nazrul's granddaughter Khilkhil Kazi were virtually present as special guests.
Kabi Nazrul Institute’s Trustee Board Member Sayeda Motahara Banu and Cultural Affairs Additional Secretary Manirul Alam also participated in the discussions in the virtual program, presided over by the institute’s Executive Director Mohammad Zakir Hossain.
Dhaka University also organized a virtual event at 10:30am. Presided over by Vice-Chancellor Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman, the program was joined by National Professor Dr Rafiqul Islam.
Bangla Academy is also slated to hold a virtual event on its Facebook page at 4pm, which will be joined by Khalid as the chief guest. The event will be chaired by Bangla Academy President National Professor Dr Rafiqul Islam, while Director General Nurul Huda will deliver the welcome speech.
Prof Syed Azizul Huq will read an essay at the event, while Prof Khaled Hossain will participate in the discussion.
The country’s leading cultural institution, Chhayanaut, will also stream an online program, “Milone Birohe Nazrul”, on its Facebook group and YouTube channel at 9pm.
Besides, several television channels, radio stations and online platforms will broadcast special programs commemorating the life and works of Kazi Nazrul.
Life and works
Known and regarded as the rebel poet for his iconoclastic and majestic literary creations, Kazi Nazrul was born in Churulia village of Burdwan in the Indian state of West Bengal in 1899.
According to the Nazrul Institute, Kazi Nazrul wrote 2,600 songs, 600 poems, three novels and 43 articles in a career spanning 21 years before losing his speech.
After the death of his father, Kazi Nazrul obtained a job as a caregiver and also worked as a muezzin at a mosque to support his family. At the age of nine, he had to drop out of school to join a Churulia-based professional “leto” company.
He was introduced to Bangali and Sanskrit literature while working for the group. He returned to school a year later and enrolled at Matharun English School, but dropped out again in Class VI due to poverty.
After a while, police officer Kazi Rafizullah took him in at his home in Trishal, Mymensingh, and enrolled him in Class VII at Darirampur School.
Serving the British Army in 1917 as a soldier, Kazi Nazrul started his literary career within a few years. His cult-classic poem ‘Bidrohi’ (The Rebel) was published in 1921. A year later, he started a fortnightly magazine named ‘Dhumketu’ (The Comet).
His nationalist participation in the Indian Independence Movement landed him in the hands of colonial British authorities on several occasions.
While in prison, Kazi Nazrul authored the 'Rajbandir Jabanbandi' (Deposition of a Political Prisoner), and his creations later encouraged the Liberation War.
Freedom, humanity, love and revolution are the constant themes in Kazi Nazrul's majestic literary creations. He was against all sorts of religious, caste-based and gender-based discrimination and extremism.
He wrote short stories, novels and essays, but his songs and poems are his most critically acclaimed literary creations. He popularized Bengali ghazal melodies and is noted for his liberal usage of Arabic and Persian terms in his writings.
Kazi Nazrul created a new genre in music called Nazrul Geeti, a collection of 4,000 songs that he wrote and created the music for, many of which were recorded on HMV.
In 1942, Kazi Nazrul began to lose his voice and memory due to an unexplained ailment. Later, a medical team in Vienna identified his illness as Pick's disease, a rare and incurable neurodegenerative disease.
His family travelled to Bangladesh at the invitation of then Bangladeshi government and settled down in Dhaka in 1972. For his iconic contribution to Bangla literature and culture, Dhaka University awarded him an honorary post-doctoral degree in 1974. He was awarded the Ekushey Padak in 1976.
Kazi Nazrul breathed his last in Dhaka on August 29, 1976.
Awami League pays homage
Awami League leaders led by its General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader placed the wreath at the grave of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam on DU central Mosque premises in the morning.
After paying homage to the national poet, they also offered Fateha and joined a doa mahfil there.
Awami League Organizing Secretaries Ahmed Hossain, BM Mozammel Haque, SM Kamal Hossain and Advocate Afzal Hossain, Relief and Social Welfare Secretary Sujit Roy Nandi, Office Secretary Barrister Biplab Barua, Science and Technology Affairs Secretary Engineer Md Abdus Sabur and Central Working Committee Member Anwar Hossain were present on the occasion, among others.
Obaidul Quader said: "Today's oath is to uproot the poisonous tree of the communal force imbued with the humanitarian spirit of Kazi Nazrul Islam."
Khalid: Nazrul's poems, songs inspired Bangalees in Liberation War
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid on Friday said that the Bangalee nation got inspirations from Nazrul's poems and songs during the great Liberation War and all democratic movements and struggles.
"Nazrul's poems and songs were a source of great inspiration in various movements and struggles of the Bangalee nation. From the anti-British movement to the great Liberation War, Nazrul's writings had given us inspiration and courage. In particular, Nazrul-Geeti “Karar Oi Louho Kopat” gave courage and inspiration to the brave freedom fighters of 71'," he said.
The state minister was speaking at a virtual discussion and a cultural program, organized by the Kabi Nazrul Institute, as the chief guest on the occasion of the 45th death anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam here, a press release said.
During the discussion, he added that Kabi Nazrul Institute, under the Ministry of Culture Affairs, is conducting research on Nazrul's life, literature, music and his overall contribution.
He said Kazi Shimla and Darirampur in Trishal of Mymensingh district are being developed as attractive places to draw the attention of visitors as those places have lots of memories of the poet.
A Nazrul museum, library and auditorium have been set up at Bichutia Bepari Bari in Darirampur, he added.