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Nazrul Islam

  

25.05.1898 - 29.08.1976

'Bidrohi Kabi' - Rebel poet Nazrul expressed his feelings through his poems and songs. His ' Bidrohi ' poems inspired the Bengali people. His rebellion was not only against the foreign ruler, but against all crimes and sin, oppression and injustice. He voiced his protest through his poems and songs. He wrote songs in favour of rationality, women's freedom in society and against religious fanaticism. He also had a beautiful voice.

He lost his father at a very young age and had to face a lot of hardship. At the young age of 11 he was given money in recognition for writing story and songs ideal for 'Leto' dance. At one time he left his village to work in a bread shop in Asansol for a meager salary of five rupees. During the World War I with he joined the army to serve his motherland. Habildar Nazrul wrote many songs, poems, stories for Bangladeshi magazines from the battleground. In 1919, his poem 'Mukti' (Freedom) was first published in the 'Bangiya Musalman Sahitya Patrika.' In the same magazine his 2 stories 'Byathar Dan' and 'Hena' were  published in 1919. In `1920 he returned to Calcutta from 49th Bengal Regiment and began writing for newspapers and magazines. He was instrumental in making the magazine ' Moslem Bharat ' popular. On 12.07.1920, along with Muzaffar Ahmed he published the daily ' Nabajug' ( New Age). His article ' Muhajirin hatyar janya dayi ke ' ( Who is responsible for the killing of Muhajirin) in this magazine resulted in the magazine to be banned by the British government. Later on 'Nabajug' was restarted after a deposit of 2000 rupees were made. The magazine ' Dhumketu ' launched on 12.08.1922 under his editorship soon became popular among the educated Bengali youth. In the 13.10.1922 issue of  'Dhumketu,' Nazrul clearly wrote ' Dhumketu first of all demands complete independence of India.  .....Not even an inch of Indian soil must be under foreign rule. .....We must completely give away with the idea of begging our rights infront of the foreign power.' It was not surprising that the magazine was banned and Nazrul was arrested. He had to go to jail for a year where with other political prisoners he launched a hunger strike. Rabindranath requested him to give up the strike and sent him a telegram - Give up hunger-strike, our literature claims you. He gave up the strike finally after 39 days. He was shifted as special prisoner to the Beharampur District Jail. Rabindranath dedicated his play 'Basanta' to Nazrul while he was still in Alipore District Jail. He was released from jail in December, 1923.

In 1924 he married Kumilla's Giribala Devi's daughter Pramila Sengupta. At this time he stayed at Hooghly. Many of his famous songs and poems were written when he was in Hooghly. His poem 'Samyabadi' was published in the first issue of 'Langol' ( 25.12.1925). In 1926 he shifted to Krishnanagar. As a member of the Bengal State Congress Committee, at the state conference organised at Krishnanagar he accepted the responsibility of forming a group of volunteers and teaching them to parade. He wrote the song ' Kandari Husiyar' for the state conference. His poem 'Chatradaler Gan' was written for the youth conference. With the help of Hemantakumar Sarkar, Nazrul set up a ' Sramajibi Naisha Vidyalay' -  a  night school for people from the working class. In  1928 he again returned to Calcutta and got a job in the Gramophone Company. This very company which had earlier not paid any heed to Nazrul as he was associated with politics, now invited him to join. He was at first a trainer in the company  and later also became a composer. He wrote about 3,000 songs. Apart from composing songs for a number of films he was the story writer in films like Vidyapati, Dhruvo, Sapure. In 1939 his wife Pramila Devi was crippled with paralysis. In the same year along with his other books he mortgaged the royalty of all the songs he sang for gramophone records to Calcutta High Court attorney Ashimkrishna Dutta. In 1942 he also became paralysed and lost his voice. The Bengal Government agreed to pay Rs. 200 monthly for his upkeep. In 1953 along with his wife he was sent to Europe for treatment. In 1972 Bangabandhu Mujibur Rehman took him to Bangladesh and accepted the responsibility of his treatment. Soon he was given citizenship of Bangladesh and on Sahid Divas, 1975 he was awarded ' Ekushe Padak ' He passed away in 1976 in Dhaka.

Translated by Sourish Dey from Sangsad Bangiya Charitra Avidhan

This page is maintained by Sourish Dey sdey@india.com sdey.org

 

 

The best place to look for more information on Kavi Nzrul Islam is www.nazrul.com

There is a wonderful collection of his songs, speeches, recitation at the site. This site is a must visit for anyone lookinf for information on the topic.

The song collection is reachable at http://www.globalwebpost.com/nazrul_audio/songs.htm

Google search results on Nazrul

 

The 2 images here have been taken from Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq website.  www.nazrul.com

 

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