Bangladesh observing Kazi Nazrul Islam’s birth anniversary Monday

Tanzil Rahaman | Published: 22:34, May 24,2020 | Updated: 18:40, May 25,2020


The 121th anniversary of the birth of national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, also known as rebel poet, is being observed in Bangladesh.

Different government and cultural organisations, including cultural affairs ministry, Nazrul Institute, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and Chhayanaut, are celebrating the birth anniversary of the national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam with online recorded cultural shows and video compilations, including dance shows and music shows, as outdoor programmes have been banned because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Cultural affairs ministry in association with Nazrul Institute made a 47-minute video to pay tribute to the national poet.

Senior information officer of the ministry Faisal Hasan said, ‘The video programme titled “Jago Amrita Piyashi” was telecast by state-run BTV along with all private channels at about 11:00am.’

He said, ‘The video comprises prime minister’s written statement recited by an artiste along with state minister for cultural affairs KM Khalid and secretary Abu Hena Mustafa Kamal’s video messages and national professor Rafiqul Islam’s statement read by an artiste. It will also feature songs, poem recitation and dance recitals. The ministry has initiated the programme and Kabi Nazrul Institute implemented the entire production.’

The ministry and the institute placed wreaths at the grave of the national poet at the Dhaka University at about 11:00am.

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy uploaded on its Facebook page a video of a recorded programme held in 2015.

Academy’s public relation officer Hasan Mahmud said that they selected the 2015 programme as it was the best programme among the previous years. The two-day programme will be shown in the coming four days.

Cultural organisation Chhayanaut is going to celebrate the national poet’s birth anniversary through an hour-long video production titled ‘Naba Jug Oi Elo Oi’ featuring speech by its president Sanjida Khatun along with reading of a part from Kazi Nazrul Islam’s book Rudra Mangal, two chorus songs and nine solo songs. It will be aired on its YouTube channel named Chhayanaut Digital-Platform at 7:00pm.

Apart from being a poet, Nazrul was also a lyricist, composer, playwright, novelist, journalist and revolutionary who equally sang for freedom and love.

The rebel poet, as he is called, took up his pen against the colonial rule, oppression and exploitation of his motherland.

Nazrul’s poetry and music espoused renaissance and fierce rebellion against colonial rule and oppression. He is known for his impassioned writings for political and social justice.

On the occasion, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in separate statements conveyed their tributes for the poet and prayed for him.

Nazrul was born in village Churulia of Bardhawan in West Bengal in 1899.

Nazrul’s anniversary of birth is observed in Bangladesh on Jaishtha 11 according to the Bangladeshi Bangla calendar.

Nazrul and members of his family were brought to Dhaka from Kolkata in state honours in May 1972. The poet also spent many days of his boyhood and youth at places in Bangladesh and created some evergreen poems, songs and essays during those stays.

In his short artistic career of just 21 years, before he lost his speech, Nazrul penned 2,600 songs, 600 poems, three novels and 43 essays, according to Nazrul Institute.

Nazrul lived an ordinary but eventful life. His talent generally considered be gifting but honing by years of practice and determination despite continued odds and challenges, led him into writing such poems, songs and prose that stood the test of time.

His poems based on themes of love, revolt against injustice and a deep compassion for the common people will continue to inspire and move those who come in touch with them.

At the age of just nine, he left school to join a Churulia-based professional ‘leto’ troupe to earn his family’s living. While working for the troupe, he was introduced to Bangla and Sanskrit literature. A year later, he resumed education and got enrolled at Matharun English School but again dropped out at Class VI for poverty.

Subsequently, he worked with a ‘Kabi Gaan’ troupe and also took up a job at a bakery.

At this stage, Nazrul started writing poems and his talent soon grabbed the attention of police officer Kazi Rafizullah, who gave him shelter at his house at Trishal in Mymensingh in 1914 and got him enrolled in Class VII at Darirampur School.

Nazrul joined the British Army in 1917 as a soldier. During his job in the army for two years and a half, he was introduced to Persian literature and learnt to play different instruments and music following notations.

After the abolition of 49 Bengal Regiment, in which Nazrul was working, by the British Army in 1920, he dedicated himself to writing of revolutionary poems and essays.

He started a fortnightly magazine, Dhumketu, in August 1922.

For his political poem Anandamoyeer Agomone, Nazrul was sentenced to jail for one year. While in the prison, the poet wrote his masterpieces Aj Srishti Sukher Ullashe, Obhishap, Jater Namey Bajjati, Bhangar Gaan and Shikal Para Chhal.

The rebel poet is particularly noted for his unique and unparalleled poem Bidrohi.

In his creative life, Nazrul also worked as a lyricist and music composer for the popular music brand HMV.

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