The 120th anniversary of birth of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam was celebrated across the country on Saturday with due respect and festivity.
Born on May 25, 1899, at Churulia village in Burdwan district of West Bengal in India, Nazrul through his fiery poems had inspired people to fight against injustice, superstition and repression of colonial rule.Marking the occasion, government and various socio-cultural and political organisations chalked out elaborate programmes, including discussion on life and works of the poet.
This year’s theme was “Bangabandhu’s Bangladesh in Nazrul’s Conscience.”
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages recalling Nazrul’s fight against misrule and injustice in society.
Political leaders, teachers, students and socio-cultural activists placed wreaths at the grave of the national poet on the premises of Dhaka University Central Mosque.
Dhaka University vice-chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman paid tributes to the national poet by placing wreaths at his grave and participated at a memorial meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Akhtaruzzaman recalled the ingredients of communal harmony and secularism in Nazrul’s poems and songs.Leaders and activists of ruling Awami League and its student organisation, Bangladesh Chhatra League, observed the day by placing wreaths at the grave of the poet and holding discussion meetings.
Nazrul Institute and Shilpakala Academy organised discussions and cultural programmes.
The Ministry of Cultural Affairs and different organisations paid tributes to the poet by placing wreaths at his grave in the morning.
Newspapers published special supplements while Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar as well as private TV channels aired special programmes marking the day.
Different educational institutions across the country celebrated the day by holding seminars, poetry recitals and cultural programmes.
A three-day national programme started at Darirampur in Mymensingh’s Trishal.
Jointly organised by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Mymensingh district administration, the national programme will be held at Darirampur Nazrul Mancha. The programme, including processions, discussions and live performances, will conclude on May 27.
According to a book “Nazrul Jiboner Trishal Oddhay” written by researcher Rashedul Anam, also an assistant director of the Institute of Nazrul Studies at Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, the poet stayed at Kazir Shimla and Darirampur in Trishal for a year during his boyhood and studied at Darirampur High School (now Nazrul Academy).
Kazi Rafizullah, a sub-inspector of police then working in Bardhaman, brought Nazrul to his village home in Kazir Shimla in 1913 and admitted him in class VI at the school.
Bipin Chandra Chakraborty was the then headmaster of the school. English teacher Mohim Chandra Khasnabish said: “Nazrul remained silent and absent-minded in class.” Nazrul was good at poetry recitation, Mohim Chandra had apparently said.
Nazrul later shifted to Bechutia Bepari’s house in Trihsal Namapara to shorten his six-mile journey from Kazir Shimla. As per several accounts, young Nazrul was often found playing flute under a banyan tree on the way to school.
Kazi Nazrul left Trishal for West Bengal the same year, leaving a heartfelt letter for his headmaster that apparently moved the teacher. Before leaving, Nazrul only informed Bepari’s daughter-in-law Saforjaan Banu.
Initiated by PA Nazir, the then deputy commissioner (DC) of Mymensingh, also hailed from Bardhaman, Nazrul’s birth anniversary celebration programmes started in Trishal in 1965.
With his versatile talent, the poet played a great role in Bangla literature as a novelist, essayist, poet, writer and musician. His songs include a significant part of his literary work.
Nazrul Islam composed nearly 3,000 songs. He created a new section in Bangla music through his Islamic Ghazal.
The rebel poet breathed his last in Dhaka on August 29, 1976. As per his desire that he expressed in his poem `Azan`, Nazrul was buried beside a mosque on Dhaka University campus.