The 119th anniversary of birth of the national poet, Kazi Nazrul Islam, will be celebrated today in Bangladesh according to Bangla calendar.
A poet, lyricist, composer, playwright, novelist, revolutionary and journalist, Nazrul sang equally for freedom and love. He is widely known as rebel poet.
In his short artistic career of just over 20 years, before be lost his speech in 1941, Nazrul penned 3,174 songs, 600 poems, three novels and 43 essays, according to Nazrul Institute.
Celebrating the birth anniversary of the national poet, socio-cultural organisations, television channels and radio stations have planned elaborate programmes.
The day’s programme will begin with placing wreaths at the poet’s tomb beside Dhaka University Central Mosque in the morning.
The cultural affairs ministry, in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and Nazrul Institute, has organised a programme at Trishal in Mymensingh where the poet studied at a school.
Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy has also organised a Nazrul birth anniversary celebrations programme at the National Theatre Hall of the academy in the evening while private organisation Nazrul Academy will celebrate the day organising a programme at its office at Moghbazar.
Nazrul Institute will launch a CD of Nazrul’s letters at its auditorium on Sunday while Bangla Academy organised a discussion meeting on Thursday morning.
On the occasion, president Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina in separate statements conveyed their honour to the poet and prayed for his departed soul.
Born into a poor family on May 24, 1899 or Jaishthya 11, 1306 in village Churulia under Asansol of Burdwan in India’s West Bengal, Nazrul had to leave his study at an early age for earning his living.
At nine, he had to join a Churulia-based professional leto troupe to earn his livelihood. While working for the troupe, he was introduced to works of Bangla and Sanskrit literature. A year later, he resumed education and got enrolled in Matharun English School but dropped out from Class VI for poverty.
This time, he worked with a Kabi Gaan troupe and subsequently took up a job at a bakery. At that stage of his life, Nazrul started writing poems and his talent soon grabbed the attention of a police officer named Kazi Rafizullah, who gave him shelter in his house at Trishal in 1914, and enrolled him in Class VII at Darirampur School.
In 1917, Nazrul joined the British Army as a soldier. While serving, for two years and a half, the young poet was introduced to Persian literature and learned to play different instruments following notation.
During his tenure as a soldier, Nazrul’s literary practice took a formal shape: his first poem Mukti, first story Bounduler Atmakahini, and a number of other writings such as Byathar Dan and Meher Nigar were published in that period.
From 1920, Nazrul got himself totally into literature writing in abundance. Many of his famous poems appeared during that time. In 1922, Nazrul started a fortnightly named Dhumketu.
For his political poem Anondomoyeer Agomone, Nazrul was sentenced to a one-year jail term. While in prison, the poet wrote his masterpieces Aji Srishti Sukher Ullase, Abhishap, Jater Namey Bajjati, Bhangar Gaan and Shikal Para Chhal.
In his creative life, Nazrul also worked as a music composer for popular music brand HMV (His Master’s Voice). He acted in a film, Bhokto Dhrubo, for which he also penned, composed and directed the music. Nazrul also worked for another film, Patalpuri (1935), as a music director. He joined the All India Radio Kolkata sometime between 1938 and 1939.
In 1972, an ailing Nazrul was brought with state honours to Bangladesh. He was awarded Ekushey Padak in 1976.
Nazrul died in Dhaka on August 29, 1976 or Bhadra 12, 1383.
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