More Details about Kazi Nazrul Islam

General Information  
Author(s)Basudha Chakravartry
PublisherNational Book Trust
Edition2nd Edition
Publish YearJanuary 2011


Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976) was the rebel poet of Bengal whose contribution to India's freedom struggle in noteworthy. Filled with love for nation, the stories and novels of Nazrul Islam beautifully reflect love and other human emotions. He also carved a niche for himself in the field of easy-writing. In 1942, on a special invitation from the Bangladesh government, Nazrul migrated to Dhaka with his family. After obtaining citizenship of Bangladesh and a doctorate from the Dhaka University, Nazrul left his heavenly abode in 1976 in Dhaka. This Biography includes some of his select poems.

Basudha Chakravarty contributed his articles for various national and international journals in Bangla as well as in English.  


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This country has produced remarkable personalities in every walk of life since the earliest times. Our history is crowded with names of outstanding persons who have made notable contribution in art, literature, politics, science or other fields. Some are household names.

I. Birth and Early Life


The nineteenth century was drawing to a close. India had already experienced the first stirrings of political awakening. Bengal, in a few years' time, was to be engulfed by a movement which, though immediately aiming at annulment of the partition imposed on the province by the British government in 1905, spontaneously projected itself into a sustained struggle for national freedom.

II. The Poet-Rebel Arrives


Havildar Kazi Nazrul Islam, as he had come to be called, soon emerged as a prolific writer. Poems, songs, ballads, stories and essays of the belles-lettres type poured from his pen in rapid succession. Moslem Bharat, a monthly first published by Muslim writers in April, 1920, was at this time the chief vehicle of publication of Nazrul's writings though he wrote for several other journals as well.

III. In the Fray


Contemporary writers have noticed in their recollections the tremendous enthusiasm with which Nazrul Islam's political writings used to be received. This was particularly true of his articles in Dhumketu. Every week, on the day of publication of the paper, hundreds of people waited at street corners for the hawkers to come and there was a scramble for copies.

IV. Seeking the Beautiful


Sindhu Hindol, a book of poems by Nazrul Islam, begins with a poem in three parts addressed to the sea. The poet calls these parts Waves. Waves indeed they are in delineation of the rolling sorrow which meets the poet's eye in the surging waters.

V. In Tune with Life


Rabindranath Tagore invited Nazrul Islam to stay at Santiniketan to teach songs to students there and himself learn music from Dinenfranath Tagore, the poet's nephew, who set up the notations to Tagore's songs. Tagore did not like that Nazrul, being the creative artist that he was, should be pre-occupied with politics.

VI. The Swan song


Thus passed the thirties. Grim destiny was already laying hands on him. Yet he did once more burst forth in an output of poems which had lain somewhat in abeyance during the period that he roamed freely in the world of melody.

VII. The Poet of the People


Nazrul Islam does not seem to have been the kind of poet that needs seclusion for the flowering of his genius. He must have had many private moments with himself. He must have, for many a while, withdrawn into nature. But he never gave the impression of needing complete retirement for the perfection of his literary work.

VIII. The Poet in the Future


Even as he is not alive, Nazrul Islam's day is done. That tragic fact makes it possible to look upon him somewhat in retrospect and to try to determine his place in the future. Now when the country is free, Nazrul is looked upon as the abiding messenger of revolt for political and social freedom.

Translation of some Poems


Say, courageous one-
Say, high I hold my head!
The Himalayas look up at mine and humbly bow their peaks.
Say, I pierce through the great sky of the universe,
I reach above the moon, the sun, the planets and the stars,

Select Works of and on Kazi Nazrul Islam


Agniveena (1922)
Dolan Champa (1923)
Bisher Bansi (1924)
Bhangar Gan (1924)
Chhayanat (1924)
Puber Hawa (1925)