Monday, 27 September, 2021

Kazi Nazrul: A Poet of Humanity and Egalitarianism

Md. Hafizur Rahman

Kazi Nazrul Islam is the national poet of Bangladesh. But the bigger identity is that he is a poet of humanity. He is a poet of equality and peace. His poems and songs played a vital role in building resistance against the Pakistani aggressors in the great war of liberation. There is no alternative to his poems and songs to immerse the subjugated nation in the divine incantation of liberation. His songs and poems became a tool of war for the lives of the hungry and naked people who were deprived of their rights. Kazi Nazrul is the beacon of non-communal consciousness. He was a pioneer against injustice and exploitation. That is why at the same time he received respect and reception from many famous people.

He was given a grand public reception at the Albert Hall in Calcutta on 15, December 1929. Nazrul was then only 29.  Addressing the young poet Nazrul, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, a renowned political figure of India, said, “I have traveled all over India, but I have not found any song like the Durgam Giri Kanta Maru. Kazi Nazrul Islam will be the great poet.” His foretelling came true in the long run.

After the independence of Bangladesh, Netaji's prophecy was fulfilled by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Bangabandhu loved the rebellious poet Kazi Nazrul Islam very much. Dreamer of Bangladesh's independence loved Nazrul’s patriotic songs and poems indeed. On January 10 1972, in response to the warm welcome of millions of people at the Racecourse Maidan (now SuhrawardyUdyan), Bangabandhu recited the verses of 'Kandari Hushiar' at the beginning of his speech.

Nazrul's songs and poems have provided immense inspiration in every movement and struggle of the Bengalis. During the war of independence in 1971, it was aired on Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra - `Karar oi loh kapat, / bhenge fel karre lopat, / rakta jamaat / shakal puja pashan bedi’; Sikol pora chol/ toder oi sikol pora chol’; The mass songs composed by him have inspired the peasant workers and students of the country to jump into the war of liberation. It gave him the courage to fight directly with the invading Pak-army. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s historic speech on March 7 has given a similar inspiration - ‘Be prepared for whatever you have. Remember, when we have given blood, we will give more blood. … This time the struggle is for our liberation. This time the struggle is for freedom.”

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman brought Nazrul and declared him as the national poet of Bangladesh. And thus the successful realisation of the dream seen by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in 1929 took Bangabandhu by the hand. The then President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said in a message, ‘Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam is the embodiment of the rebellious soul of Bengal and the independent-historical-entity of Bengalis. In the dark night of Bengal, in the deep sleep of the revolution, the youth of Bengal heard the laughter of Rudra-Bidhata, the terrible roar of Kal-Bhairab, in Nazrul's life, poetry, music and his voice. Like the tidal wave of the sea, like the flames of volcano, in the thick darkness of the subjugated nation, Nazrul was sent to this world in a unique mold. '

If we want to love Nazrul, we have to plant the seedlings of his consciousness in the fertile soil of the heart of the nation. It must be attended to with utmost care. Insects, diseases and weeds must be controlled at the right time. By applying the dream irrigation and fertilization, the sapling has to be turned into a mammoth tree. Poets, artists, writers, journalists, students, teachers, intellectuals, civil society and politicians have to play a leading role in this work. Besides, Nazrul's dream is to build a prosperous Bangladesh.

National poet Kazi Nazrul Islam in his writings has declared rebellion against all injustices, discriminations and inequalities of the society; He also pledged to break down all the walls of division among the people and establish equal rights. To him, all the people of the world, irrespective of race, religion and caste, are equal. There is no difference between people. So, he has no difference between men and women.

Bless all the great creations in the world forever./ Half done by women, half by men. Hidden in her immortal statement is the promise of women's empowerment and equal rights. You have seen the stones of the Taj Mahal, you have seen his soul / his Momtaz woman in his heart, Shahjahan outside. There is a joint contribution of men and women behind every great work of the world.

Nazrul had a lifelong longing towards a secular, profane and communist state. Humanity, love, secularism, equality, etc. were Nazrul's main consciousness.

That is why he wrote ‘Sing the song of equality / In my eyes there is no difference between men and women. How many poets of the world have spoken about women's rights in their poems? If a woman is imprisoned in a dark wall of a curtain, a man must die in a dark cave without eating. How many poets have spoken such truth?

In Nazrul's literary work, two ideas can be identified separately. One is his intense resentment towards the various inequalities in the society. And the second is his genuine love for people irrespective of race, religion and caste. The first is the communist consciousness in him and the second is the inspiration of world human religion. The ever-cherished call for the struggle has been repeatedly heard in the poetic voice in Agniveena, Bisher Bashi, Bhangar Gaan, chokherchatok, Chayanat, Chakrabak, Jinjir, proloyshikha, etc.

There is no compromise between his struggle and his aspiration for the revolution of truth, inequalities and humanity. There is no pause, no fatigue and exhaustion. His rebellion was against British socialism and imperialism. His struggle is against the feudal lords and the prevailing law. His struggle is definitely against so-called moralism, religious, fundamentalism and communal poisoning and against cosmopolitanism. He has written about the rights of coolie- laborers, weavers-porter,blacksmiths-potters, farmers-fishermen, kings-tenants, ruler-ruled, strong-weak, men and women. Above all, his principle of secularism and humanity has immortalized him.


The writer is a lyricist, Bangladesh Betar and Television