Kazi Nazrul Islam – The National Poet of Bangladesh

by Munsif Shameem

Kazi Nazrul Islam – The National Poet of Bangladesh

Kazi Nazrul Islam was born on the 24th of May 1899 in Asansol, India. He was born into a Muslim family where he received religious education. Kazi Nazrul Islam lived with his father Kazi Faqeer and his mother Zahida Khatun. He had two brothers and one sister and he was nicknamed “Dukhu Mian”.

He soon became a muezzin (a man who calls Muslims to prayer) at his local mosque where he met the rural theatrical group Letor Dal who thought Nazrul about poetry and literature.

In 1917, he joined the British Indian Army in the Middle East during World War I. When the war ended he became a journalist in Kolkata where he criticised the British Raj by writing poems such as “Bidrohi” (“The Rebel”) and “Bhangar Gaan” (“The Song of Destruction”). His poems led him to prison many times where he still continued to write. This greatly inspired Bengalis during the Bangladesh Liberation War.

Nazrul composed music for nearly 4,000 songs but at the age of 43 he began suffer from a disease which may have been Morbus Pick. He started losing his voice and memory. He lived in isolation in India until 1972 when he and his family moved to Dhaka, Bangladesh. He died on the 29th of August 1976.

The National Poet of Bangladesh has been given many awards and is still remembered to this day.

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