The nation will observe the 47th death anniversary of national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam today.
The poet, who was a revolutionary, journalist, lyricist, composer, playwright, and novelist, is one of the most celebrated cultural icons of the nation.
His raga-based songs had shaped their tastes and inspired them to discover the timeless beauty of love.
The nation got inspiration from his poems and songs during the Liberation War in 1971. His literary works also ignited the spirit of the people in all democratic movements and struggles. There will be a number of public functions to recall the great poet and celebrate his creations.
Dhaka University teachers, students and officials led by Vice-chancellor Prof Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman, delegation of different political parties, family members of the poet, different social and cultural organisations and the mass people will bring out a procession and place floral wreaths on the grave of Kazi Nazrul Islam.
Dhaka University, Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Bangla Academy, Nazrul Institute, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Chayanaut and many other socio-cultural organisations will arrange special programmes to observe the death anniversary of the national poet.
Bangladesh Television and other private television channels, Bangladesh Betar and FM radio stations will air special programmes and newspapers will publish special contents highlighting the life and works of Nazrul.
Initially, he joined a professional leto troupe, where he was introduced to the richness of Bangla and Sanskrit literature.
He returned to school a year later and enrolled in Matharun English School, but dropped out of class-VI due to poverty.This time, he worked with a Kabi Gaan troupe and subsequently took up a job at a bakery.
While working there, Nazrul started writing poems, and his talent soon attracted the attention of a police officer named Kazi Rafikullah, who gave him shelter at his house in Mymensingh’s Trishal in 1914 and enrolled him in class-VII at Darirampur School.
He joined the British Army in 1917. During his two and a half years of service, the young poet was introduced to Persian literature and learned to play different instruments following notation.
Nazrul’s literary practice took a formal shape at that time. His first poem, Mukti, first novella ‘Bounduler Atmakahini’, novel ‘Badhon Hara’ and a number of other writings were published in that period.
From 1920, he concentrated on creating his literary masterpieces. Many of his famous poems appeared during that time.
Nazrul came to Cumilla in April 1921 and met Promila Devi, a young Hindu girl whom he loved and married subsequently.
In 1922, he began editing a fortnightly called Dhumketu, which literally stormed the British rulers in India.
On October 13, 1922, Nazrul Islam, the first person in the sub-continent, placed the demand for independence in an article published in Dhumketu.
For his political poem Anondomoyir Agomone, he was sentenced to a one-year jail term.
While staying in prison, the poet began a hunger strike protesting the mistreatment by the British jail superintendent. He was released consequently, but the British government banned most of his books throughout the 1920s.
In his short creative life, Nazrul also worked as a lyricist and music composer for popular music brand HMV (His Master’s Voice). He developed 17 new ragas and created six new taals (rhythms).
He acted in a film and directed music as well. He joined All India Radio Kolkata in October 1939.
But, Nazrul suddenly fell sick in 1942 and was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder named Pick’s disease that led to the loss of his voice and memory. He was sent abroad for treatment but couldnot recover.
In his short artistic career of just over 20 years, he penned 3,174 songs, 600 poems, three novels, and 43 essays.
After independence in 1972, Nazrul was declared the national poet, and Bangabandhu brought the ailing poet with due honour to Bangladesh.
Nazrul was awarded an Honorary D Litt by the University of Dhaka in 1974 and Ekushey Padak in 1976 by the Bangladesh government.
Nazrul died in Dhaka on August 29, 1976 (Bhadra 12, 1383) and was buried beside the Dhaka University Central Mosque.