Today is the 123rd birth anniversary of the national poet, Kazi Nazrul Islam.
The birth anniversary of Nazrul, widely known as the rebel poet, is observed in Bangladesh on Jaishtha 11 according to the Bangladeshi Bangla calendar.
A poet, lyricist, composer, playwright, novelist, revolutionary and journalist, Nazrul sang equally for freedom and love.
In his short artistic career of just over 20 years, before be lost his speech in 1941, Nazrul penned 3,174 songs, 600 poems, three novels and 43 essays, according to the Nazrul Institute.
Different government and socio-cultural organisations, television channels and radio stations have planned elaborate programmes to mark the day.
The day’s programme will begin with placing wreaths at the poet’s grave beside the Dhaka University Central Mosque this morning.
The cultural affairs ministry in association with Kabi Nazrul Institute and other departments and organisations under the ministry will place floral wreaths at the grave of Nazrul at about 6:30am.
The main celebration programme of the ministry will be held in Cumilla at 11:00am.
The theme of this year’s Nazrul birth anniversary celebration is ‘the Centenary of Bidrohi’.
Besides, Kabi Nazrul Institute, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Bangla Academy, Chhayanaut, Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University and others will pay tribute to Nazrul by organising different programmes.
Kabi Nazrul Institute will organise a discussion and cultural programme at Rabindra Sarobar in Dhanmondi in Dhaka at 6:00pm.
Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television and private television channels and radio stations will air special programmes highlighting Nazrul’s life and work.
Born into a poor family at village Churulia of Bardhawan in West Bengal of India on Jaishthya 11, 1306, Nazrul had to leave his study at an early age for earning his living.
At the age of nine, Nazrul left school and joined a Churulia-based professional ‘leto’ troupe to earn his living. While working for the troupe, he was introduced to Bangla and Sanskrit literature. Although he resumed education a year later and got enrolled at Matharun English School, again he dropped out of the school at Class VI for poverty.
Afterwards, he worked with a ‘kabi gaan’ troupe and also took up a job at a bakery.
Nazrul’s talent 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. While serving, for two years and a half, the young poet was introduced to Persian literature and learned to play different instruments following notation.
During his tenure as a soldier, Nazrul’s literary practice took a formal shape: his first poem Mukti, first story Bounduler Atmakahini, and a number of other writings such as Byathar Dan and Meher Nigar were published in that period.
His life as a journalist began with the publication of the evening daily Nabajug in 1920. He started a fortnightly magazine Dhumketu in 1922.
For his political poem Anandamoyeer Agomone, Nazrul was jailed for one year. While in 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.
An ailing Nazrul and members of his family were brought to Dhaka from Kolkata in May 1972.
Dhaka University awarded the poet the honorary degree of DLitt in 1974 for his contribution to Bangla literature and culture. Bangladesh government granted him citizenship of Bangladesh in 1976 and awarded him the Ekushey Padak.
Nazrul died in Dhaka on 12th Bhadra, 1383. He was buried beside Dhaka University central mosque.
– With New Age input