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Our rebel poet: A timeless inspiration

  • Published at 07:10 pm August 27th, 2018
Kazi Nazrul Islam
Our rebel poet, Kazi Nazrul Islam

‘I am hell's mad terrific sea of wrath!’

Our national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam was a symbol of revolution and hope against fascism and oppression. His poetry and revolutionary songs and nationalist activism earned him the title of “Bidrohi Kobi” (Rebel Poet). 

Kazi Nazrul was a writer, poet, lyricist, revolutionary, musician, and philosopher. He composed around 4,000 songs. 

In 1921, Nazrul published his seminal poem titled "Bidrohi” (The Rebel). The poem immediately established his identity as a countercultural maestro of impassioned verses. His revolutionary songs played an important role during the Liberation War. 

Nazrul’s rebel songs have served as a significant source of inspiration for people who fight for justice, and continue to inspire youths today. His songs have been remixed and rearranged by different bands and musicians over the years. 

Rock band “Dreek” released their version of “Jhornar moto chonchol” in 2012 as tribute to the freedom fighters and the language martyrs of Bangladesh. 

When contacted, Zaman Saif, lead singer of Dreek, said:  “When we were planning to cover Nazrul song, we picked ‘Jhornar moto chonchol’ because the song always inspired us to move forward and was suitable for the band.”

In 2013 “Musicians Alliance” presented a rock version of “Chol Chol Chol.” One of the artists in the alliance, Rafa, told the Dhaka Tribune:  “It is a national marching song, and its tune and lyrics are quite inspirational. So, we couldn’t think of any other song to motivate people through our music.” 

Rock icons Artcell released a cover of “Kandari Hushiar” in a band mixed album called “Rock 303.” Lincoln’s heavy vocals accompanied by Ershad’s riffs and Cezanne’s bass and Shaju’s drums gave the song a complete makeover to huge acclaim. 

Kazi Nazrul Islam is a secular icon for his works for mass people regardless of their religious beliefs, socio-economical position, and gender. 

He expressed his beliefs of harmony through poems and songs. Yet, his poems and songs on love remained just as tender, melodic, and heartbreaking. 

Nazrul’s “Bhalo Lagar Smriti”, which has been translated as “Memories of Liking”- is recognized as one of the most melodic poems in Bangla literature. 

The rebel poet died on Bhadro 12 of the Bangla calendar year 1383 (August 29, 1976), and he was buried next to the Dhaka University Mosque following his request in one of his most famous songs to "Bury me beside a mosque.”