Thursday, 1 June, 2023

Need for the Revival of Kazi Nazrul’s Spirit

Md. Nurul Haque

Need for the Revival of Kazi Nazrul’s Spirit

Popular News

One of the most critical areas where poet Kazi Nazrul Islam has made a substantial contribution is equality. He is often referred to in the Indian subcontinent as the poet of equity and parity. Nazrul despised oppression, unfairness, and injustice against people. In addition to detesting inequity, he also spoke out against it. Because of this, Nazrul earned the title "Rebel Poet." The intertwining of the roles of the sexes and their equal significance to human life were heavily highlighted in Nazrul's poetry. He condemned religious extremism and called it evil. Nazrul fought against oppression and encouraged people to fight for their freedom and dignity. Nazrul highlighted two major literary trends: the first, an intense love for Earth and an examination of the human race's habitat, and the second, a desire to soar above and beyond Earth to discover and reach the skies. His egalitarian image is strengthened by his commitment to gender equality, racial harmony, and religious tolerance. His literary and musical works demonstrated his unbiased use of the cultural and religious practices of India's major religions, Islam and Hinduism. Another theme in Nazrul's art is the universal belongingness that protects humanity from its destructive powers. Although he experienced British Colonialism in India, his battle had a specifically universalist orientation. Nazrul asked everyone to embrace the spirit of universalism, which acknowledges its roots while also feeling and forging connections with others. It is a spirit that transcends localized pettiness and defends social justice for all people.
Kazi Nazrul Islam, the National Poet of our nation, is one of the most creative minds who have worked in various literary genres. Despite being referred to as a rebel, his inventiveness demonstrates that he is more than just that—a poet of the highest caliber, an artist, a freedom warrior, a secular idol, and, most importantly, a humanitarian. Unlike many of his outstanding contemporary writers, he developed his own literary style in the Post Tagorean Bengali literature that went beyond the accepted norm.
He is now considered to be a modern architect. His writings on Persian literature, Sufism, and mysticism are among the many that attest to his creative spirit. He also had a strong understanding of the Hindu Puranas, and many of his works also reflect Hinduism. His intentional blending of several religions in his works helped promote the message of interfaith harmony, which is consistent with his idea of universalism.
Between 1920 and 1942, when Nazrul worked mostly, he explored his abilities as a journalist, author, and lyricist in the Indian subcontinent. The discrepancy in the First World War, which occurred between 1914 and 1918, impacted him. He enlisted in the military and served in Nawshera and Karachi. He carefully observed the events and expressed his emotions in writing. Following the fall of the Ottoman Empire, France, Britain, and Spain seized and colonized several Middle Eastern nations. Nazrul was severely affected by the loss of the Arabs' status as a sovereign nation, which was reflected in his early writings. After returning to Kolkata, he began publishing articles critical of colonialism. He published his first works, "Bounduler Attokahini" (Autobiography of a Vagabond) in 1919.
His debut poetry, "Mukti" (Freedom), was published in Mujaffar Ahmed's "Bangio Musolman Shahitto Potrika." He was influenced by Muzaffar Ahmed's philosophy and personality. With the backing of well-known politicians A. K. Fazlul Haque and Mujaffar Ahmed, he later launched an evening daily newspaper called "The New Age" (Nobojoog). Nazrul's protest language combines an extraordinary metaphor from Hinduism and Islam. In his newspaper, he spoke up for farmers' and workers' rights and took a stand against inequity and persecution.
In January 1921, the British government outlawed the newspaper under the pretext that Nazrul's publishing was against the government's interests. He launched "Dhumketu" (Comet), a biweekly newspaper, in August 1922. He stressed in Dhumketu the injustice that prevailed in modern society toward people with disabilities.
Workers and peasants were inspired by his writings to band together and rebel against the British Government. The British government outlawed Dhumketu in November 1922, detained Nazrul, and condemned him to a year of solitary confinement. A number of poems, including "Shikol Porar Chhol" (The Guise of Being Enchained), "Sristi Shukher Ullashe" (The Delight of Creation), and "Karar Oi Louho Kopat (The Iron Gate of Prison)," were written by him when he was in prison.
Nazrul married Promila in Cumilla after being released from prison in December 1923. He wrote a few poems about egalitarianism, such as Nari (Women). With Russian rebel, the Irish Renaissance, and Kamal Atraturk's new Turkey, he reflected the subcontinent's independence. He advocated for laborers' and farmers' rights in the journal.
The Indian independence movement from British control went through a significant phase known as the Non-Cooperation Khelafat Movement. Nazrul joined the campaign and backed Mawlana Mohammad Ali and Mahatma Gandhi because he lived in Cumilla. Nazrul composed some thought-provoking songs to advance the cause. Nazrul originally spoke for and pushed for Indian independence in his publication "Dhoomketu" in 1923, while Congress did so in 1929.
When the British-owned Gramophone Company signed a deal with Nazrul to record his music, it helped to advance his musical career. Nazrul's Islamic melodies loosened the Muslim family's traditional adherence to music. Nazrul entered the theatrical and cinema industries in 1931. Later, he worked for Calcutta Radio as a writer of stories, scripts, and music. In 1942, Nazrul was concerned that he would lose both his ability to speak and his mental skills.
There were several anti-colonialism, anti-oppression, and anti-invasion movements during the 20th century. The conflicts were between different states. Even if tyranny, invasion, and colonialism are still prevalent in the twenty-first century, the approach is different. The conflict today is within the same nation, usually between individuals. It is no longer between states. Brotherhood was emphasized by Nazrul. Nazrul was opposed to all forms of colonialism, invasion, and oppression. He forbade inhumane and brutal treatment. Nazrul instilled ideals in all people, regardless of gender, color, or religion. He was the poet of both humanity and human instinct, according to Monushotto.
Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel Prize-winning poet, made significant contributions to Bengali literature, which was respected by Nazrul. Despite living at the same time, each of them made a unique contribution. The works of Tagore had a significant influence on only few modern writers. Nazrul was one of the well-known poets who, via the great poem "Bidrohi" (Rebel), redirected and elevated Bengali literature away from Tagore's influence and into a new realm. Jibonanondo Dash acknowledged Nazrul's impact on his early writings. After Nazrul's writings, a group of fresh poets developed in Bengali literature.
At the initial stage, Nazrul wrote songs on nationalism, class awareness, folk music, and "Mass- Song," a song about a battle or struggle. He invented the genre of Gono Shongeet. He wrote songs on various creatures, birds, people, places, and events. He wrote music with Arabic and Parsi elements. The second stage saw Nazul focus on creating Gazal, a song and poem hybrid that was inspired by Urdu literature. Nazrul is responsible for introducing Gazal to Bengali literature for the first time. Gazal enhanced the Bengali song and introduced new rhythms and words to it. In the third stage, Nazrul introduced Islamic and religious songs into Bengali literature and joined the Muslim family firmly rooted in tradition. The song has previously been outlawed and disregarded within the Muslim community. The Bengali song gained a new depth thanks to incorporating Islamic songs and Gazal. This is how egalitarian the poet Kazi Nazrul Islam was, as seen in his poetry and lyrics, songs and music, novels, literature, involvement in politics, the advancement of society, and philosophical contributions.
Now in Bangladesh, with its political, social, economic, cultural, and ongoing changes, the need for the spirit of Nazrul is so acute and increasing that his works should be deeply studied and reviewed for the restoration of non-communality, equality, and egalitarianism in our so-called developed and modern era.

The Writer is an assistant professor of English at International University of Business Agriculture and Technology, Dhaka