Monday, December 11, 2023

Nazrul: The wonder of 20th century literature

International Nazrul Conference ends in the capital
While inaugurating the International Nazrul Conference at the Osmani Memorial Hall on June 24, chief guest of the programme Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged that Nazrul’s works be promoted globally. She also presented the Nazrul Award 2011 to National Professor Kabir Chowdhury and eminent singer Nilima Das for their rich contribution in promoting Nazrul’s literary creations.
To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the publication of Nazrul’s “Bidrohi” (The Rebel), the most outstanding of the National Poet’s creations, Nazrul Institute, joining hands with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs organised the two-day conference that ended yesterday. The prestigious conference, held at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, brought together scholars and delegations from USA, Netherlands, China and India.
Chaired by National Professor Kabir Chowdhury, the opening day’s event kicked off with a welcome speech delivered by Rashid Haider, the executive director of Nazrul Institute.
Poet Mohammad Nurul Huda presented his keynote paper titled “Universalisation of the Rebel” while guests of honour Dr. Peter Custers, writer and journalist from the Netherlands; Young Weing Ming, editor and presenter, China Radio International and Dr. Rachel Fell McDermott, Barnard College, New York, USA; gave in depth presentations on Nazrul at the conference.
In his keynote paper, enriched with apt quotations, allusions and references, Huda drew attention to the different layers of meaning in Nazrul’s “Bidrohi”.
“All the best works of arts are innovations in some way or other, not excluding ‘Bidrohi’ –a text that would be reinterpreted and reorganised into newer texts by the extraordinary talents of the coming generations with a view to catering to their needs. Thus Nazrul would be reborn in each of them, which is another expression of an artiste of the highest order belonging to any bend of time eternal,” he concluded.
In his brilliant bilingual speech (Bengali and English), Dr. Peter Custers focused on various concepts popularised by Nazrul like “National Awakening”, “The Muslim Renaissance”, “Firm Opposition to Communalism”, “Tolerance and Equality”, “Mysticism and Syncretism” and “The legacy of Religious Tolerence”. His paper was titled, “Kazi Nazrul Islam: Bengal’s Prophet of Tolerance”.
Terming Nazrul as Mahakabi, Custers said, “Nazrul needs to be institutionalised internationally as his poems, songs and love are not for the people of a single religion, rather for universal humanity. Nazrul focussed on religious scriptures like ‘Mahabharata’ and ‘Ramayana’ from different perspectives. He termed the exploited and downtrodden people as ‘Gods’ in his literature.”
In her presentation, (in Bangla) titled ‘Banglar Nazrul: China-r Nazrul’, Young Weing Ming said, “My Nazrul practice started with the recitation of ‘Bidrohi’. Just after reading the poem, an astonishing feeling swept my body and mind which is comparable with a volcanic eruption or Tsunami.” The speaker has been learning Bengali for the last 11 years and is now learning Nazrul Sangeet. She also elaborated on how Nazrul is finding a firm place in China. Then, she recited a Chinese translation of one of Nazrul’s poems.
In her paper titled “Ninety Years of Rebellion? The Present Legacies of Bidrohi in Bangladesh and India”, Rachel Fell McDermott, a researcher of Nazrul’s Shyama Sangeet broadly cited four legacies of Nazrul: memorising Nazrul, Nazrul’s achievements, Nazrul as the National Poet of Bangladesh and Nazrul as a socio-political critique.
“Just as Russians are obsessed with the death of Pushkin, their national poet, whose early demise in a duel has been repeatedly relived in Russian literature and imagination since 1837, so too with Nazrul: the mystery and tragedy of his life from 1942 until 1976 continue to haunt his modern-day heirs. In this sense, Nazrul’s tragic humanity is emphasised.” she said.
McDermott went on to add: “There are 130 shyama sangeet written by Nazrul which are very much different from those written by Ram Prashad and Kamola Kanta. Nazrul wrote 385 songs on Radha-Krishna and 200 Islamic songs.”
Chairman of Nazrul Institute’s Trustee Board, Dr. Rafiqul Islam presented crests to the guests while Professor Kabir Chowdhury wrapped up the discussion said, “…The sky and the air free of the piteous groans of the oppressed…Only when the battlefields are cleared of jingling bloody sabres… Yet we see the depiction of such brutality being carried out in Palestine by the terrorist Israel.”
Leena Taposhi began the cultural evening with her rendition of the song “Gagoney Saghono”. Khairul Anam Shakil’s “Parodeshi Bo(n)dhua” followed. Ferdous Ara rendered a jhumur, “Kalo Pahad Alo ” while Suman Chowdhury, Khalid Hossain and Selina Hossain respectively rendered “Pashaner Bhangaley Ghum”, “Ashiley E Bhanga Gharey” and “Shoi Nadir Dharey” .
Among the guest artistes from West Bengal, India, Ramanuj Dasgupta, Susmita Goswami and Khishna Majumdar performed “Amar Aponar Cheye”, “Brojogopi Kheley” and “Hey Namaji” respectively. The programme wrapped up with a performance by several dancers led by Munmun Ahmed to the accompaniment of the song “Aami Purob Desh-er”.
The second day’s (June 25) programme was presided over by Professor Emeritus Sirajul Islam Chowdhury. Guests of honour Professor Winston E. Langley, University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA and Professor Pabitra Sarkar, former Vice Chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, India presented a paper on Nazrul’s works. Professor Mohit Ul Alam took part in a discussion at the event.
Chairman of Nazrul Institute’s Trustee Board, Dr. Rafiqul Islam, presented the vote of thanks as the two-day conference wrapped up.
The cultural programme that featured on the concluding day featured rendition of Nazrul Sangeet by eminent artistes of Bangladesh and India, recitation, dance performance and staging of a Nazrul play.
A three-day (June 24-26) exhibition featuring Nazrul’s literary works and publications on the poet is being held at Nalinikanta Bhattashali Gallery of Bangladesh National Museum, Shahbagh, Dhaka. The exhibition is open between 10am to 5pm and ends today.


Courtesy of The Daily Star

Related News

Manik Bandopadhyay’s death anniversary today

Cultural Desk : Today is the 67th anniversary of the death of Bengali novelist and short story writer Manik Bandopadhyay. Born on May 19, 1908 to Harikar Bandopadhyay and Niroda Devi in Dumka, a small town in Santal Parganas district in the state of Bihar, British India, Manik Bandopadhyay was the fifth of the ... Read more

Qayyum Chowdhury ’s death anniversary today

Cultural Desk : Today is the ninth anniversary of the death of acclaimed artist Qayyum Chowdhury. Born on March 9, 1932 in Feni, Qayyum Chowdhury’s works delve deep into folk, rustic life and traditions. Fish, flowers, women, birds and greenery are recurring objects on his canvas. He graduated from the Government Institute of Arts ... Read more

‘Quarantine’ exhibition by artist Mahbubur Rahman begins today

Cultural Desk : The opening ceremony of the exhibition comprising multi-dimensional artworks of artist Mahbubur Rahman will be held today at 5 pm. The exhibit titled, “Quarantine”, has been organised at the Kamrul Hasan Exhibition (level 1) of Bengal Shilpalay in Dhanmondi. Professor Bulbul Osman, women and human rights activist Khushi Kabir and artist ... Read more

SM Sultan’s 29th death anniversary today

Cultural Desk : Today is the 29th anniversary of the death of renowned artist SM Sultan. Different organisations, including Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, SM Sultan Foundation and Narail district administration will pay tribute to SM Sultan organising daylong programmes at different venues in Narail’s Sultan Smriti Sangrahasala, Shishu Swarga and Zila Shilpakala Academy. Born on ... Read more

‘Tasher Desh’ staged at Scholastica school

Cultural Desk : With immense zeal and fervour, Scholastica Senior Campus, Mirpur staged the splendid play ‘Tasher Desh’, a masterpiece by the revered poet Rabindranath Tagore. The school’s STM hall served as the majestic environment for this two-day annual drama festival, culminating on a Friday. The talented students, members of the esteemed drama, music, ... Read more

Poet Asad Chowdhury passes away

Cultural Desk : Noted poet Asad Chowdhury died of old-age complications while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Toronto, Canada on Thursday. He was 80. The poet ‘died at 3:03am Canada time’ and ‘at 1:03pm Bangladesh time’, the poet’s son-in-law Nadim Iqbal posted on facebook Thursday afternoon. The poet died at the Lakeridge Health ... Read more

Shilpakala inaugurates nationwide puppet festival

Cultural Desk : A twelve day long puppetry festival titled “Gonojagoron er Putul Natya Utshob” inaugurated on Friday. Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy has organised the nationwide festival . According to BSA, puppetry is one of the most effective means of folk education. Through its presentation and stylistic approach over the ages, puppetry has played a ... Read more

SD Burman’s birth anniversary today

Cultural Desk : Today is the 117th anniversary of the birth of legendary singer and music director Sachin Dev Burman. SD Burman, born in 1906 in Cumilla, composed playbacks for over 100 films. Leading singers of the Indian subcontinent like Lata Mangeskhar, Mohammad Rafi, Geeta Dutta, Manna Dey, Asha Bosle, Mukesh and Talat Mahmud ... Read more

Shilpakala Academy organizes exhibition of artist Ismail Chowdhury’s artwork

Cultural Desk : Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy organized a solo painting exhibition of painter Ismail Chowdhury. Painter Ismail Chowdhury has participated in more than half a hundred solo and joint exhibitions in various countries including Bangladesh, Japan, USA, Italy, Nepal, and Bhutan, reads a press release. The elite and talented artists of the country have ... Read more

Feroza Begum’s 9th death anniv today

Cultural Desk : Today is the ninth anniversary of the death of the legendary Nazrul Sangeet singer Feroza Begum. Feroza Begum was born on July 28, 1926 to Khan Bahadur Mohammad Ismail and Begum Kawakabonnessa. Drawn to music at an early age, Feroza Begum started her formal music education under the tutelage of Chitta ... Read more

Bhupen Hazarika’s birth anniv today

Cultural Desk : Today is the 97th anniversary of the birth of eminent singer, lyricist and musician Bhupen Hazarika, who is still popular among music lovers in Bangladesh. He conquered the heart of thousands in Bangladesh rendering timeless songs, including Manush Manusher Janya, Ami Ek jajabar, Amra Korbo joy, Bistirna Duparer, Megh Thom Thom ... Read more

IUB organises musical evening to celebrate Rabindra-Nazrul Jayanti

Cultural Desk : A musical evening was organised at the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) campus in Dhaka’s Bashundhara Residential Area on Thursday (27 July) to mark the birth anniversaries of Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam. Renowned singers Adity Mohsin and Bijon Chandra Mistry performed Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul Geeti respectively. IUB’s Kazi Nazrul ... Read more

Dhaka Theater to celebrate golden jubilee this year

Cultural Desk : Marking the golden jubilee of one of the prolific theatre troupes of the country, Dhaka Theater will celebrate its 50 years on July 29. Established in 1973 by freedom fighter and noted cultural personality Nasir Uddin Yusuff, along with some brave freedom fighters, the troupe earned acclaim in both nationally and ... Read more

Sourav Chowdhury’s 5th solo exhibition underway at AFD

Cultural Desk : The 5th solo art exhibition of Sourav Chowdhury titled “Eternal Existence” has begun at Alliance Française de Dhaka. The inaugural ceremony of the exhibition was held on Friday, 21 July 2023 at 6 pm at La Galerie. Eminent artist Prof. Rafiqun Nabi, Chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of France in Bangladesh, ... Read more

Ten Years After Rana Plaza show opens at Drik Gallery on Friday

Cultural Desk : Ten Years After Rana Plaza, an immersive exhibition marking ten years of the Rana Plaza disaster through interdisciplinary works on the subject by Bangladeshi photographer and filmmaker, Ismail Ferdous, is set to begin on Friday (21 July) at Drik Gallery, Dhaka, said a press release. Following the tragic collapse of the ... Read more

Bangla Academy pays tribute to Dr Muhammad Shahidullah

Cultural Desk : Bangla Academy paid tribute to educationist, writer, philologist and linguist Dr Muhammad Shahidullah organising a commemorative programme at its Syed Waliullah Conference Room on Tuesday. The academy organised the programme marking the 138th anniversary of the birth of Dr Muhammad Shahidullah, which was also streamed on the Facebook page of the ... Read more

25th National Fine Arts Exhibition 2023 ends July 15

Cultural Desk : The 5th National Fine Arts Exhibition-2023 is ongoing under the management of the fine arts department organised by Shilpakala Academy. The opening ceremony of the 25th National Fine Arts Exhibition was held on May 28th. The exhibition in which artists from all over the country have participated is coming to a ... Read more

Parents should encourage children pursue dance: discussants

Cultural Desk : Discussants have said that children should be encouraged to pursue dance so that they can grow up healthy individuals. The made the remarks while speaking at a programme organised by dance organisation Nrittangan at the auditorium of National Music and Dance Centre of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Wednesday. The organisation arranged ... Read more

Shilpakala stages ‘Hamlet’

Cultural Desk : Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy staged its acclaimed production titled Hamlet at the National Theatre Hall of the academy on Friday. The play, written by William Shakespeare, has been translated into Bangla by Syed Shamsul Haq. Thespian Ataur Rahman has directed the production. Set in Denmark, Hamlet depicts Prince Hamlet and his attempts ... Read more

Renowned Indian author Samaresh Majumdar dies

Cultural Desk : Renowned Indian author Samaresh Majumdar died in a hospital in Kolkata of Indian state of West Bengal on Monday late afternoon, reports Anandabazar Patrika Online. The report said that the author died at about 5:45pm on Monday. He was 81. Samaresh was suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for more than ... Read more