The 113th anniversary of the birth of national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, who pioneered the poems of rebellion espousing the spirit of revolt against orthodoxy and oppression, was observed with various programmes across the country on Friday.
Nazrul, a poet, lyricist, composer, dramatist, short-story writer, revolutionary thinker, journalist and political activist, was born on May 25, 1899 in a poor Muslim family at Churulia of Burdwan in West Bengal. He died in Dhaka on August 29, 1976.
This year, Bangladesh and India jointly organised programmes to mark Nazrul’s birth anniversary and the 90th anniversary of the publication of his poem Bidrohi (rebel) which earned him the epithet of Rebel Poet.
Nazrul faced the wrath of the British rulers who jailed him several times. The poet composed about 3,000 songs which created a new genre of Bengali music.
Nazrul’s songs and poems were a great source of inspiration for the freedom fighters during the country’s war of independence against the Pakistani junta in 1971.
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Friday inaugurated a two-day programme at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka which was attended by Indian law and justice minister Salman Khurshid.
Hasina at the programme said, ‘Nazrul is a poet of equality and non-communalism. People of all classes and strata, irrespective of their religion, caste, creed and being rich and poor, were equal to him.’
‘We want to build a Bangladesh where every citizen will enjoy equal and basic rights,’ she added.
A cultural show, featuring music rendition, recitation and dance, based on Nazrul poems by leading artistes of both the countries, followed the inauguration.
In the evening, a seminar on ‘Nazrul’s rebellious self and the poem “Bidrohi”’ was held at the National Theatre Hall at the Shilpakala Academy, which was followed by rendition of Nazrul’s songs.
People started thronging the poet’s grave on the Dhaka University campus in the morning to pay tribute to the national poet. The poet’s family laid a wreath on the grave.
The information minister, Abul Kalam Azad, Dhaka University vice-chancellor professor AAMS Arefin Siddique, the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the Bangla Academy, the Nazrul Institute, the Shilpakala Academy, the Nazrul Academy, Nazrul Abritti Parishad, Nazrul Sangeet Shilpee Parishad, National Museum, Nazrul-Pramila Parishad and several other organisations also placed wreaths on the grave.
Dhaka University pro-vice-chancellor Harun-ur-Rashid spoke about the life of Nazrul in a programme which the poet’s granddaughter Khilkhil Kazi also attended.
Chhayanaut, the Bangla Academy, the Nazrul Institute, the Dhaka University, Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote and other social and cultural organisations also chalked up various programmes to observe Nazrul`s birth anniversary.
Both state-run and private television channels and radio stations aired special programmes portraying the great poet’s life and work.
Programmes were also organised at Trishal in Mymensingh, the area where the poet had spent a brief period of his life. Programmes also held in Chittagong and at Daulatpur in Comilla where Nazrul spent some time in his life.
Channel i organised a daylong programme called Nazrul Mela at its office at Tejgaon on the day.
As part of the Bangladesh-India joint Nazrul’s birth anniversary celebrations, a discussion titled ‘Nazrul song in correct lyric and tune’ will be held at the National Theatre Hall today. Nazrul singer Leena Taposi Khan will read out the keynote paper.
The day’s programme will also feature Nazrul’s song and the staging of Nazrul’s play ‘Shilpi’ by Shilpakala Academy artistes.
An exhibition of Nazrul’s books, audio albums, photographs and belongings will be on display at the lobby of the National Theatre Hall during the programme.
-With New Age input