The 42nd death anniversary of national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899–1976) will be observed today. Socio-cultural organisations, television channels and radio stations have planned elaborate programmes marking the day.
The day’s events will begin with placing wreaths at the poet’s tomb beside Dhaka University Central Mosque in the morning. Nazrul Institute will hold a commemorative programme in the afternoon at Sufia Kamal Auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum. The institute will confer prestigious Nazrul Purushkar at the programme.
Eminent Nazrul singer Khairul Anam Shakil and Nazrul researcher Rashidun Nabi will receive the award.
Nazrul Academy will also hold a cultural show and a discussion at its auditorium in the afternoon. The programme will be aired live on Youtube channel Nazrul TV too, which is run by the academy.
Bangla Academy will hold its commemorative programme featuring a solo lecture and cultural show on Aug 30 at its Shamsur Rahman Seminar Hall, while Bangladesh Nazrul Sangeet Shilpi Parishad will organise a programme on Sep 8 at Chhayanaut Auditorium.
Ruling Bangladesh Awami League leaders would place wreaths at the tomb in the morning, which would be followed by doa and milad mehfil.
Kazi Nazrul Islam, known as the rebel poet, contributed to almost all genres of Bangla literature. In his short creative career spanning just over 20 years, before he lost his speech, Nazrul penned 3,174 songs, 600 poems, three novels and 43 essays and others, according to Nazrul Institute.
Born into a poor family on May 24, 1899 or 11th Jaishthya, 1306 at Churulia under Asansol of Burdwan in India’s West Bengal, Nazrul had to leave his study at an early age to earn his living.
At the age of nine, Nazrul joined a Churulia-based professional leto troupe to earn his livelihood. While working for the troupe, he was introduced to works of Bangla and Sanskrit literature. A year later, he resumed education and got enrolled at Matharun English School but dropped out from class six due to poverty.
This time, he worked with a Kabi Gaan troupe and subsequently took up a job at a bakery shop. At this stage of his life, Nazrul started writing poems and his talent soon grabbed the attention of a police officer named Kazi Rafizullah, who gave him shelter in his house at Trishal in Mymensing and got him enrolled in class seven at Darirampur School.
In 1917, Nazrul joined the 49 Bengal Regiment of British Army as a soldier. While in the service for two years and a half, he was introduced to Persian literature and learned to play different musical instruments.
His literary practice took a formal shape during his army days: his first poem Mukti, first story Bounduler Atmakahini, and a number of other writings such as Byathar Dan and Meher Nigar were published.
After the abolishment of the 49 Bengal Regiment by the British Army in 1920, Nazrul wandered around for a while and dedicated himself to writing revolutionary poems, essays and other writings. He started a fortnightly magazine, Dhumketu, in August 1922.
For his political poem Anondomoyeer Agomonay, Nazrul was sentenced to a one-year jail term. While in prison, the poet wrote some of his masterpieces Aji Srishti Sukher Ullase, Abhishap, Jater Namey Bajjati, Bhangar Gaan and Shikal Pora Chhal.
In his creative life, Nazrul also worked as a music composer for popular music brand HMV (His Master’s Voice). He acted in a film, Bhokto Dhrubo, for which he also penned, composed and directed the music.
Nazrul also worked for another film, Patalpuri (1935), as a music director. He joined the All India Radio Calcutta sometime between 1938 and 1939.
In 1972, an ailing Nazrul was brought to Bangladesh. He was conferred on Ekushey Padak in 1976.
Nazrul died in Dhaka on Aug 29, 1976, or 12th Bhadra, 1383.