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Poets Biography

Monday Horoscope August 29

Aries  March 21-April 19 This could be a challenging day, so keep that sense of humor of yours and do not take things people say during a busy time too seriously. You can demonstrate great understanding and sensitivity to the needs of others--keep this uppermost in your mind. If you take on the frustrations of others as your own, there could be trouble--easy does it. In a word, it is your emotions and gusto that can make or break you today. There are opportunities to make good decisions and there are clear choices available to you. You are at your most practical and what happens with your emotions during this busy day may have a lasting effect on the direction of your work. Laughter this evening is a must and contagious!

Virgo  August 23-September 22 This is a great time to be with others and to work together. You may be sought after as just the person for a particular job. Your directional abilities are in high focus. This is a perfect time for new ideas, a breakthrough in thinking; a novel approach. Your goals come to mind this evening and deciding the path to take in obtaining your goals could be a problem. The rebel in you likes to ignore your dreams and just let come what may. You enjoy your freedom and independence and pursue it at the expense of what you know you really want. It may now be time to reassess just exactly what the steps are in getting your goals accomplished. A few new life experiences would be grand! No more talking . . . dive in and start swimming!

Taurus  April 20-May 20 A sense of humor is important today, for yourself as well as others. As usual, when you need it, it is available. Being on the go and keeping a finger to the winds of change make you feel in touch. Learning and communicating is important and if you are in real estate, you may happen on a buyer without realizing it. You may prefer a career that accents your own devotion to your ideals and dreams. Working with groups in a spirit of cooperation and communion is a natural for today. Many things need attention and the group you are in today is bent on completing every task. Things are happening and your career or path depends on your own enthusiasm and drive--which are strong now. Keep to your old positive self and all opportunities will become clear.

Gemini  May 21-June 21 There are good practical job-related thoughts and ideas available today. The ability to communicate with superiors or describe what you see comes easily as well. A greater appreciation for things of value may be on your mind this day. This could be a period of great material gain; it is certainly a time when material things have a great deal of attraction for you. CAREFUL--this could turn out to be a negative since some unexpected expenses may come up in the next few days. If you feel strongly about an expensive item, confer with others that might be knowledgeable of your purchase. Matters that need change may come to your attention and a great deal of intensity and purpose may arise. You could be a spokesperson for a cause.

Cancer  June 22-July 22 The atmosphere is improving around the work arena today. This may mean emotional as well as physical comfort. Because of your cooperation with some difficult situation, you may find that by mid-morning something breaks the spell and life is once again--easy. You may even wonder what had really happened over the last few days. When it comes to images and finding a connection you are fun to work with and can teach the art of being flexible. The tendency to see unity in the world around you sets the tone for you at this time. There is every chance of having what you might call a lucky afternoon. You or a close friend or partner could be the lucky winner and whoever wins is happy to share! Dinner away from home is a possibility.

Leo  July 23-August 22 You are more interested in seeking out your dreams than you are in financial prosperity. However, you will find that the right financial investments will bring enough financial rewards to be very helpful toward reaching your dreams. This is a most beneficial time for you to secure, concentrate, change or otherwise find ways to make steady a good income. You are an intuitive, rather than a rational thinker--psychological thought through the psyche; mysticism and religion are natural for you. Place yourself in a position that will give you opportunities for expression. This is a very nice day, perhaps filled with some renewed appreciation for what you have gained in life. Your taste in art and appreciation are heightened.

Libra  September 23-October 23 Habits are in a cycle of change; variety satisfies a deep inner need. Being on the go and keeping a finger to the winds of change make you feel in touch. Learning and communicating about what you have learned is a fascinating project you enjoy and find yourself repeating often. You work to remember the source and often will ask for a source when receiving information. You may have decided this weekend to get in on some missionary group project. You create ways to make your ideas work. Making things work, healing past relations, creating harmonious surroundings will be the goals you will work hard to achieve now. This is a good day, filled with some renewed appreciation for all that is beautiful and fine. This evening is for planning.

Scorpio  October 24-November 21 Your mind is sharp and ready to solve problems today. Ideas are flowing and come to you easily. You can make many suggestions but it might be better to fine-tune your thoughts and put them in writing. Your ideas are excellent but higher-ups want to see the money and if you can show how something will benefit the company, you are talking their language. You are aggressive in the pursuit of gaining insight into all that is new, different and out of the ordinary. Electronics, computers, communications and telecommunications, etc., could be a big part of your life now. You are an expert at working with communication technology. You would make an excellent teacher for you cannot help but enchant all who come to know you.

Sagittarius  November 22-December 21 You could find yourself mentally acute and in a problem-solving mood. A new pattern of doing things may be a bit difficult to handle but you seem to catch on fairly quickly. You find yourself diving in to help others--at least until the routine is understood. Easy does it--sometimes a slow start ends with an accurate and good outcome. You could be most persuasive with others and expressive in your abilities to make your presentation heard; this is where you may find yourself today: making speeches, presentations or just airing your views to listeners. The situation is a natural for self-expression and people are listening to your particular ideas. If needed, there is much support available to you now. Relax this evening with a loved one.

Capricorn  December 22-January 19 Your inner resources and emotions are accented. Expect a sense of support and goodwill from those around you. You are at your most practical when it comes to dealing and working with others. You know just what to do and can act without haste and emotion. You may be called on to make use of your natural abilities and common sense. This afternoon you may find yourself just plain witty. Conversations with friends will have ideas rolling off your tongue. This is a good time for communication--by phone, letter or in person. Your home environment, friends and surroundings in general become uncomplicated and receive encouragement. Your work or career is in real harmony with the rest of your life. You gain from young people tonight.

Aquarius  January 20-February 18 Communication, particularly with authority figures, could prove rewarding. You may find that you have something to say; others listen. Do not try to push your ideas--the people that needed to hear will hear and will respond in positive ways. You hate the lack of clarity and may have found a good way to clear away any difficulties. Perform your own research, ask questions and get instructions on paper, if possible--proof of your own ideas. You enjoy discipline and any limitations are seen as opportunities rather than as handicaps. You enjoy working with your mind and can usually find a solution to even the worst problems. There are puzzles and dilemmas for you to solve today. You will enjoy a positive evening with loved ones.

Pisces  February 19-March 20 Work and career are the primary focus at this time. There are several opportunities opening up to you to make good decisions--clear choices come easily. Trust in your choices. You are at your most practical now. The things that take place today have a lasting effect on your life direction. Your love of job and practical skills makes you a fine business person. You bring a great deal of love to your work. You are excellent at manipulating a situation to the benefit of all concerned and this is where most of your energies are directed this afternoon. You are too sensitive to be subjected to ill-mannered people and you enjoy time with a hobby after your workday has ended. You love the young people in your life and may help them learn a hobby as well.

Bangladeshi Rebel Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam 1899 - 1976

Kazi Nazrul Islam (Bengali: কাজী নজরুল ইসলাম Kazi Nozrul Islam) (25 May 1899–29 August 1976) was a Bengali poet, musician and revolutionary who pioneered poetic works espousing intense spiritual rebellion against fascism and oppression. His poetry and nationalist activism earned him the popular title of Bidrohi Kobi (Rebel Poet). Accomplishing a large body of acclaimed works through his life, Nazrul is officially recognised as the national poet of Bangladesh and commemorated in India.

Born into a Muslim quazi (justice) family, Nazrul received religious education and worked as a muezzin at a local mosque. He learned of poetry, drama, and literature while working with theatrical groups. After serving in the British Indian Army, Nazrul established himself as a journalist in Kolkata (then Calcutta). He assailed the British Raj in India and preached revolution through his poetic works, such as "Bidrohi" ("The Rebel") and "Bhangar Gaan" ("The Song of Destruction"), as well as his publication "Dhumketu" ("The Comet"). His impassioned activism in the Indian independence movement often led to his imprisonment by British authorities. While in prison, Nazrul wrote the "Rajbandir Jabanbandi" ("Deposition of a Political Prisoner"). Exploring the life and conditions of the downtrodden masses of India, Nazrul worked for their emancipation.

Nazrul's writings explore themes such as love, freedom, and revolution; he opposed all bigotry, including religious and gender. Throughout his career, Nazrul wrote short stories, novels, and essays but is best-known for his poems, in which he pioneered new forms such as Bengali ghazals. Nazrul wrote and composed music for his nearly 4,000 songs (including gramophone records), collectively known as Nazrul geeti (Nazrul songs), which are widely popular today. At the age of 43 (in 1942) he began suffering from an unknown disease, losing his voice and memory. It is often said, the reason was slow poisoning by British Government. It caused Nazrul's health to decline steadily and forced him to live in isolation for many years. Invited by the Government of Bangladesh, Nazrul and his family moved to Dhaka in 1972, where he died four years later.

Full name Kazi Nazrul Islam
Born 25 May 1899(1899-05-25)
Burdwan, Bengal, British India
Died 29 August 1976(1976-08-29) (aged 77)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Era 20th century philosophy
School Hanafi Sunni
Main interests Poetry, music, politics, society

Early life

Nazrul in the Army

Kazi Nazrul Islam was born in the village of Churulia in the Burdwan District of Bengal (now located in the Indian state of West Bengal).[2] He was born in a powerful Muslim Taluqdar family and was the second of three sons and a daughter, Nazrul's father Kazi Faqeer Ahmed was the imam and caretaker of the local mosque and mausoleum. Nazrul's mother was Zahida Khatun. Nazrul had two brothers, Kazi Saahibjaan and Kazi Ali Hussain, and a sister, Umme Kulsum. Nicknamed Dukhu Mian (Sad Man), Nazrul began attending the maktab & madarsa ; the local religious school run by the mosque & dargah where he studied the Qur'an and other scriptures, Islamic philosophy and theology. His family was devastated with the death of his father in 1908. At the young age of ten, Nazrul began working in his father's place as a caretaker to support his family, as well as assisting teachers in school. He later became the muezzin at the mosque, delivering the Azaan and calling the people for prayer.

Attracted to folk theatre, Nazrul joined a leto (travelling theatrical group) run by his uncle Fazl e Karim. Working and travelling with them, learning acting, as well as writing songs and poems for the plays and musicals. Through his work and experiences, Nazrul began learning Bengali and Sanskrit literature, as well as Hindu scriptures such as the Puranas. The young poet composed a number of folk plays for his group, which included "Chashaar Shong" ("The drama of a peasant"), "Shakunibadh" ("The Killing of Shakuni a character from the epic Mahabharata"), "Raja Yudhisthirer Shong" ("The drama of King Yudhisthira again from the Mahabharata"), "Daata Karna" ("Philanthropic Karna from the Mahabharata"), "Akbar Badshah" ("Emperor Akbar"), "Kavi Kalidas" ("Poet Kalidas"), "Vidyan hutum" ("The Learned Owl"), and "Rajputrer Shong" ("The drama of a Prince"),

In 1910, Nazrul left the troupe and enrolled at the Searsole Raj High School in Raniganj (where he came under influence of teacher, revolutionary and Jugantar activist Nibaran Chandra Ghatak, and initiated life-long friendship with fellow author Sailajananda Mukhopadhyay, who was his classmate), and later transferred to the Mathrun High English School, studying under the headmaster and poet Kumudranjan Mallik. Unable to continue paying his school fees, Nazrul left the school and joined a group of kaviyals. Later he took jobs as a cook at the house of a Christian railway guard and at the most famous bakery of the region Wahid's/Abdul Wahid and tea stall in the town of Asansol. In 1914, Nazrul studied in the Darirampur School (now Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University) in Trishal, Mymensingh District. Amongst other subjects, Nazrul studied Bengali, Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian literature and classical music under teachers who were impressed by his dedication and skill.

Studying up to Class X, Nazrul did not appear for the matriculation pre-test examination, enlisting instead in the Indian Army in 1917 at the age of eighteen. He joined the British army mainly for two reasons: first, his youthful romantic inclination to respond to the unknown and, secondly, the call of politics. Attached to the 49th Bengal Regiment, he was posted to the cantonment in Karachi, where he wrote his first prose and poetry. Although he never saw active fighting, he rose in rank from corporal to havildar, and served as quartermaster for his battalion. During this period, Nazrul read extensively, and was deeply influenced by Rabindranath Tagore and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, as well as the Persian poets Hafez, Rumi and Omar Khayyam. He learnt Persian poetry from the regiment's Punjabi moulvi, practiced music and pursued his literary interests. His first prose work, "Baunduler Atmakahini" ("Life of a Vagabond") was published in May, 1919. His poem "Mukti" ("Freedom") was published by the "Bangla Mussalman Sahitya Patrika" ("Bengali Muslim Literary Journal") in July 1919.

Rebel poet

Young Nazrul

Nazrul left the army in 1920 and settled in Calcutta, which was then the "cultural capital" of India (it had ceased to be the political capital in 1911). He joined the staff of the “Bangiya Mussalman Sahitya Samiti” ("Bengali Muslim Literary Society") and roomed at 32 College Street with colleagues. He published his first novel "Bandhan-hara" ("Freedom from bondage") in 1920, which he kept working on over the next seven years. His first collection of poems included "Bodhan", "Shat-il-Arab", "Kheya-parer Tarani" and "Badal Prater Sharab" and received critical acclaim.

Working at the literary society, Nazrul grew close to other young Muslim writers including Mohammad Mozammel Haq, Afzalul Haq, Kazi Abdul Wadud and Muhammad Shahidullah. He was a regular at clubs for Calcutta's writers, poets and intellectuals like the Gajendar Adda and the Bharatiya Adda. In October 1921, Nazrul went to Santiniketan with Muhammad Shahidullah and met Rabindranath Tagore. Despite many differences, Nazrul looked to Tagore as a mentor and the two remained in close association. In 1921, Nazrul was engaged to be married to Nargis, the niece of a well-known Muslim publisher Ali Akbar Khan, in Daulatpur, Comilla. But on June 18, 1921—the day of the wedding—upon public insistence by Ali Akbar Khan that the term "Nazrul must reside in Daulatpur after marriage" be included in the marriage contract, Nazrul walked away from the ceremony.

Nazrul reached the peak of fame with the publication of "Bidrohi" in 1922, which remains his most famous work, winning admiration of India's literary classes by his description of the rebel whose impact is fierce and ruthless even as its spirit is deep:.

I am the unutterable grief,
I am the trembling first touch of the virgin,
I am the throbbing tenderness of her first stolen kiss.
I am the fleeting glance of the veiled beloved,
I am her constant surreptitious gaze...
I am the burning volcano in the bosom of the earth,
I am the wild fire of the woods,
I am Hell's mad terrific sea of wrath!
I ride on the wings of lightning with joy and profundity,
I scatter misery and fear all around,
I bring earth-quakes on this world! “(8th stanza)” I am the rebel eternal,
I raise my head beyond this world,
High, ever erect and alone! “(Last stanza)” (English translation by Kabir Choudhary)

Published in the "Bijli" (Thunder) magazine, the rebellious language and theme was popularly received, coinciding with the Non-cooperation movement — the first, mass nationalist campaign of civil disobedience against British rule.

Nazrul explores a synthesis of differ forces in a rebel, destroyer and preserver, expressing rage as well as beauty and sensitivity. Nazrul followed up by writing "Pralayollas" ("Destructive Euphoria"), and his first anthology of poems, the "Agniveena" ("Lyre of Fire") in 1922, which enjoyed astounding and far-reaching success. He also published his first volume of short stories, the "Byather Dan" ("Gift of Sorrow") and "Yugbani", an anthology of essays.


Nazrul with his first son Bulbul; his wife Pramila seated right and his mother-in-law Giribala Devi seated left, behind whom stands Bulbul's nanny

Nazrul started a bi-weekly magazine, publishing the first "Dhumketu" (Comet) on August 12, 1922. Earning the moniker of the "rebel poet”, Nazrul also aroused the suspicion of British authorities. A political poem published in "Dhumketu" in September 1922 led to a police raid on the magazine's office. Arrested, Nazrul entered a lengthy plea before the judge in the court.

I have been accused of sedition. That is why I am now confined in the prison. On the one side is the crown, on the other the flames of the comet. One is the king, sceptre in hand; the other Truth worth the mace of justice. To plead for me, the king of all kings, the judge of all judges, the eternal truth the living God... His laws emerged out of the realization of a universal truth about mankind. They are for and by a sovereign God. The king is supported by an infinitesimal creature; I by its eternal and indivisible Creator. I am a poet; I have been sent by God to express the unexpressed, to portray the unportrayed. It is God who is heard through the voice of the poet... My voice is but a medium for Truth, the message of God... I am the instrument of that eternal self-evident truth, an instrument that voices forth the message of the ever-true. I am an instrument of God. The instrument is not unbreakable, but who is there to break God?

On April 14, 1923 he was transferred from the jail in Alipore to Hooghly in Kolkata, he began a 40-day fast to protest mistreatment by the British jail superintendent. Nazrul broke his fast more than a month later and was eventually released from prison in December 1923. Nazrul composed a large number of poems and songs during the period of imprisonment and many his works were banned in the 1920s by the British authorities.

Kazi Nazrul Islam became a critic of the Khilafat struggle, condemning it as hollow, religious fundamentalism. Nazrul's rebellious expression extended to rigid orthodoxy in the name of religion and politics. Nazrul also criticised the Indian National Congress for not embracing outright political independence from the British Empire. He became active in encouraging people to agitate against British rule, and joined the Bengal state unit of the Congress party. Nazrul also helped organise the Sramik Praja Swaraj Dal, a political party committed to national independence and the service of the peasant masses. On December 16, 1925 Nazrul started publishing the weekly "Langal”, with himself as chief editor. The "Langal" was the mouthpiece of the Sramik Praja Swaraj Dal.

During his visit to Comilla in 1921, Nazrul met a young Hindu woman, Pramila Devi, with whom he fell in love and they married on April 25, 1924. Pramila belonged to the Brahmo Samaj, which criticised her marriage to a Muslim. Nazrul in turn was condemned by Muslim religious leaders and continued to face criticism for his personal life and professional works, which attacked social and religious dogma and intolerance. Despite controversy, Nazrul's popularity and reputation as the "rebel poet" rose significantly.

Weary of struggles, I, the great rebel,
Shall rest in quiet only when I find
The sky and the air free of the piteous groans of the oppressed.
Only when the battle fields are cleared of jingling bloody sabres
Shall I, weary of struggles, rest in quiet,
I the great rebel.

Mass music

Nazrul on a hunting trip with friends in Sundarpur, India

With his wife and young son Bulbul, Nazrul settled in Krishnanagar in 1926. His work began to transform as he wrote poetry and songs that articulated the aspirations of the downtrodden classes, a sphere of his work known as "mass music." Nazrul assailed the socio-economic norms and political system that had brought upon misery. From his poem Daridro (Pain or Poverty):

O poverty, thou hast made me great.
Thou hast made me honoured like Christ
With his crown of thorns. Thou hast given me
Courage to reveal all. To thee I owe
My insolent, naked eyes and sharp tongue.
Thy curse has turned my violin to a sword...
O proud saint, thy terrible fire
Has rendered my heaven barren.
O my child, my darling one
I could not give thee even a drop of milk
No right have I to rejoice.
Poverty weeps within my doors forever
As my spouse and my child.
Who will play the flute?

Kazi Nazrul Islam

In what his contemporaries regarded as one of his greatest flairs of creativity, Nazrul began composing the very first ghazals in Bengali, transforming a form of poetry written mainly in Persian and Urdu.[4] Nazrul became the first person to introduce Islam into the larger mainstream tradition of Bengali music. The first record of Islamic songs by Nazrul Islam was a commercial success and many gramophone companies showed interest in producing these. A significant impact of Nazrul was that it drew made Muslims more comfortable in the Bengali Arts, which used to be dominated by Hindus. Nazrul also composed a number of notable Shamasangeet, Bhajan and Kirtan, combining Hindu devotional music. Arousing controversy and passions in his readers, Nazrul's ideas attained great popularity across India. In 1928, Nazrul began working as a lyricist, composer and music director for His Master's Voice Gramophone Company. The songs written and music composed by him were broadcast on radio stations across the country. He was also enlisted/attached with the Indian Broadcasting Company.

Nazrul professed faith in the belief in the equality of women — a view his contemporaries considered revolutionary. From his poet Nari (Woman):

I don't see any difference
Between a man and woman
Whatever great or benevolent achievements
That are in this world
Half of that was by woman,
The other half by man. (Translated by Sajed Kamal)

His poetry retains long-standing notions of men and women in binary opposition to one another and does not affirm gender similarities and flexibility in the social structure:

Man has brought the burning, scorching heat of the sunny day;
Woman has brought peaceful night, soothing breeze and cloud.
Man comes with desert-thirst; woman provides the drink of honey.
Man ploughs the fertile land; woman sows crops in it turning it green.
Man ploughs, woman waters; that earth and water mixed together, brings about a harvest of golden paddy.

However, Nazrul's poems strongly emphasise the confluence of the roles of both sexes and their equal importance to life. He stunned society with his poem "Barangana" ("Prostitute"), in which he addresses a prostitute as "mother". Nazrul accepts the prostitute as a human being, reasoning that this person was breast-fed by a noble woman and belonging to the race of "mothers and sisters"; he assails society's negative notions of prostitutes.

Who calls you a prostitute, mother?
Who spits at you?
Perhaps you were suckled by someone
as chaste as Seeta.
And if the son of an unchaste mother is 'illegitimate',
so is the son of an unchaste father.
("Barangana" ("Prostitute") Translated by Sajed Kamal)

Nazrul was an advocate of the emancipation of women; both traditional and non-traditional women were portrayed by him with utmost sincerity. Nazrul's songs are collectively called as Nazrul geeti.

Exploring religion

Kazi Nazrul Islam

Nazrul's mother died in 1928, and his second son Bulbul died of smallpox the following year. His first son, Krishna Mohammad had died prematurely. His wife gave birth to two more sons — Savyasachi in 1928 and Aniruddha in 1931 — but Nazrul remained shaken and aggrieved for a long time.

Come back my birdie! Come back again to my empty bosom!Shunno e bookey paakhi mor aaye! Phirey aaye phirey aaye!

His works changed significantly from rebellious expositions of society to deeper examination of religious themes. His works in these years led Islamic devotional songs into the mainstream of Bengali folk music, exploring the Islamic practices of namaz (prayer), roza (fasting), hajj (pilgrimage) and zakat (charity). This was regarded by his contemporaries as a significant achievement as Bengali Muslims had been strongly averse to devotional music. Nazrul's creativity diversified as he explored Hindu devotional music by composing Shama Sangeet, bhajans and kirtans, often merging Islamic and Hindu values. Nazrul's poetry and songs explored the philosophy of Islam and Hinduism.

Let people of all countries and all times come together. At one great union of humanity. Let them listen to the flute music of one great unity. Should a single person be hurt, all hearts should feel it equally. If one person is insulted; it is a shame to all mankind, an insult to all! Today is the grand uprising of the agony of universal man.

The badnaa, a water jug typical in usage by Bengali Muslims for ablutions (wazu) and bath (ghusl) and the gaaru a water pot typical in usage by Bengali Hindus, meet and embrace each other under the peace of the new pact (between the rioting Hindus and Muslims in Bengal during the British Raj on certain politico-religeous differences and disputes that had preceded the said pact.) There is no knife in the hand of the Muslim and also the Hindu does not wield the bamboo any more! Bodna gaaru te kolakuli korey! Nobo pact er aashnaai! Musholmaaner haatey naai chhuri! Hindur haatey baansh naai!

Nazrul's poetry imbibed the passion and creativity of Shakti, which is identified as the Brahman, the personification of primordial energy. He wrote and composed many bhajans, shyamasangeet, agamanis and kirtans. He also composed large number of songs on invocation to Lord Shiva, Goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati and on the theme of love of Radha and Krishna.

Nazrul assailed fanaticism in religion, denouncing it as evil and inherently irreligious. He devoted many works to expound upon the principle of human equality, exploring the Qur'an and the life of Islam's prophet Muhammad. Nazrul has been compared to William Butler Yeats for being the first Muslim poet to create imagery and symbolism of Muslim historical figures such as Qasim, Ali, Umar, Kamal Pasha, Anwar Pasha and the prophet Muhammad. His vigorous assault on extremism and mistreatment of women provoked condemnation from Muslim and Hindu fundamentalists.

In 1920, Nazrul expressed his vision of religious harmony in an editorial in Joog Bani,

“Come brother Hindu! Come Musalman! Come Buddhist! Come Christian! Let us transcend all barriers, let us foresake forever all smallness, all lies, all selfishness and let us call brothers as brothers. We shall quarrel no more”.

In another article entitled Hindu Mussalman published in Ganabani on September 2, 192 he wrote -

‘’I can tolerate Hinduism and Muslims but I cannot tolerate the Tikism (Tiki is a tuft of never cut hair kept on the head by certain Hindus to maintain personal Holiness) and beardism. Tiki is not Hinduism. It may be the sign of the pundit. Similarly beard is not Islam, it may be the sign of the mollah. All the hair-pulling have originated from those two tufts of hair. Todays fighting is also between the Pundit and the Mollah: It is not between the Hindus and the Muslims. No prophet has said, ‘’I have come for Hindus I have come for Muslims I have come for Christians.” They have said, “I have come for the humanity for everyone, like light’’. But the devotees of Krishna says, “Krishna is for Hindus”. The followers of Muhammad (Sm) says, “Muhammad (Sm) is for the Muslims”. The Disciple of Christ is for Christian”. Krishna-Muhammad-Christ have become national property. This property is the root of all trouble. Men do not quarrel for light but they quarrel over cattle.”

Nazrul was an exponent of humanism. Although a Muslim, he named his sons with both Hindu and Muslim names: Krishna Mohammad, Arindam Khaled(bulbul), Kazi Sabyasachi and Kazi Aniruddha.

Later life and illness

Nazrul, in the 1930s

In 1933, Nazrul published a collection of essays titled "Modern World Literature", in which he analyses different styles and themes of literature. Between 1928 and 1935 he published 10 volumes containing 800 songs of which more than 600 were based on classical ragas. Almost 100 were folk tunes after kirtans and some 30 were patriotic songs. From the time of his return to Kolkata until he fell ill in 1941, Nazrul composed more than 2,600 songs, many of which have been lost. His songs based on baul, jhumur, Santhali folksongs, jhanpan or the folk songs of snake charmers, bhatiali and bhaoaia consist of tunes of folk-songs on the one hand and a refined lyric with poetic beauty on the other. Nazrul also wrote and published poems for children.

Nazrul's success soon brought him into Indian theatre and the then-nascent film industry. The first picture for which he worked was based on Girish Chandra Ghosh's story "Bhakta Dhruva" in 1934. Nazrul acted in the role of Narada and directed the film. He also composed songs for it, directed the music and served as a playback singer. The film "Vidyapati" ("Master of Knowledge") was produced based on his recorded play in 1936, and Nazrul served as the music director for the film adaptation of Tagore's novel Gora. Nazrul wrote songs and directed music for Sachin Sengupta's bioepic play "Siraj-ud-Daula". In 1939, Nazrul began working for Calcutta Radio, supervising the production and broadcasting of the station's musical programmes. He produced critical and analytic documentaries on music, such as "Haramoni" and "Navaraga-malika". Nazrul also wrote a large variety of songs inspired by the raga Bhairav. Nazrul sought to preserve his artistic integrity by condemning the adaptation of his songs to music composed by others and insisting on the use of tunes he composed himself.

Nazrul's wife Pramila Devi fell seriously ill in 1939 and was paralysed from waist down. To provide for his wife's medical treatment, he resorted to mortgaging the royalties of his gramophone records and literary works for 400 rupees. He returned to journalism in 1940 by working as chief editor for the daily newspaper "Nabayug" ("New Age"), founded by the eminent Bengali politician A. K. Fazlul Huq.

Nazrul also was shaken by the death of Rabindranath Tagore on August 8, 1941. He spontaneously composed two poems in Tagore's memory, one of which, "Rabihara" (loss of Rabi or without Rabi) was broadcast on the All India Radio. Within months, Nazrul himself fell seriously ill and gradually began losing his power of speech. His behaviour became erratic, and spending recklessly, he fell into financial difficulties. In spite of her own illness, his wife constantly cared for her husband. However, Nazrul's health seriously deteriorated and he grew increasingly depressed. He underwent medical treatment under homeopathy as well as Ayurveda, but little progress was achieved before mental dysfunction intensified and he was admitted to a mental asylum in 1942. Spending four months there without making progress, Nazrul and his family began living a silent life in India. In 1952, he was transferred to a mental hospital in Ranchi. With the efforts of a large group of admirers who called themselves the "Nazrul Treatment Society" as well as prominent supporters such as the Indian politician Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the treatment society sent Nazrul and Promila to London, then to Vienna for treatment. Examining doctors said he had received poor care, and Dr. Hans Hoff, a leading neurosurgeon in Vienna, diagnosed that Nazrul was suffering from Pick's disease. His condition judged to be incurable, Nazrul returned to Calcutta on 15 December 1953. On June 30, 1962 his wife Pramila died and Nazrul remained in intensive medical care. In 1972, the newly independent nation of Bangladesh obtained permission from the Government of India to bring Nazrul to live in Dhaka and accorded him honorary citizenship. Despite receiving treatment and attention, Nazrul's physical and mental health did not improve. In 1974, his youngest son, Kazi Aniruddha, an eminent guitarist died, and Nazrul soon succumbed to his long-standing ailments on August 29, 1976. In accordance with a wish he had expressed in one of his poems, he was buried beside a mosque on the campus of the University of Dhaka. Tens of thousands of people attended his funeral; Bangladesh observed two days of national mourning and the Indian Parliament observed a minute of silence in his honour.

Criticism and legacy

Nazrul's tomb near the Dhaka University campus mosque

Nazrul's poetry is characterised by an abundant use of rhetorical devices, which he employed to convey conviction and sensuousness. He often wrote without care for organisation or polish. His works have often been criticized for egotism, but his admirers counter that they carry more a sense of self-confidence than ego. They cite his ability to defy God yet maintain an inner, humble devotion to Him. Nazrul's poetry is regarded as rugged but unique in comparison to Tagore's sophisticated style. Nazrul's use of Persian vocabulary was controversial but it widened the scope of his work. Nazrul's works for children have won acclaim for his use of rich language, imagination, enthusiasm and an ability to fascinate young readers.

Nazrul is regarded for his secularism. He was the first person to cite of Christians of Bengal in his novel Mrityukhudha. He was also the first user of folk terms in Bengali literature. He first printed the Sickle and Hammer in any Indian magazine.[citation needed] Nazrul pioneered new styles and expressed radical ideas and emotions in a large body of work. Scholars credit him for spearheading a cultural renaissance in Muslim-majority Bengal, "liberating" poetry and literature in Bengali from its medieval mould. Nazrul was awarded the Jagattarini Gold Medal in 1945 — the highest honour for work in Bengali literature by the University of Calcutta — and awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of India's highest civilian honours in 1960. The Government of Bangladesh conferred upon him the status of being the "national poet". He was awarded the Ekushey Padak by the Government of Bangladesh. He was awarded Honorary D.Litt. by the University of Dhaka . Many centres of learning and culture in India and Bangladesh have been founded and dedicated to his memory. The Nazrul Endowment is one of several scholarly institutions established to preserve and expound upon his thoughts and philosophy, as well as the preservation and analysis of the large and diverse collection of his works. The Bangladesh Nazrul Sena is a large public organization working for the education of children throughout the country.