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Kazi Nazrul Islam

The rebel poet

(1899 1976)
A brief
introduction to his

Say, Valiant,
Say: High is my head!
Kazi Nazrul Islam An introduction to
the rebel poet
Kazi Nazrul Islam was a poet,
writer, musician and revolutionary.
He was known as Rebel Poet
because of his activism for political
and social justice.
National poet of Bangladesh.
Equally commemorated and
revered in India, especially in West
Bengal and Tripura.
His compositions form the avant-
garde genre of Nazrul
Sangeet (Music of Nazrul).
Nazrul and His early life
Kazi Nazrul Islam was born in the
village of Churulia in the Asansol
subdivision, Burdwan District of
the Bengal Presidency (now
in West Bengal, India) on 24 May
Nazrul's father Kazi Faqeer
Ahmed was the imam and
caretaker of the local mosque and
Nazrul's mother was Zahida
Nazrul and His early life
Attracted to folk theatre, Nazrul joined
a leto (travelling theatrical group) after his
fathers death.

In 1910 Nazrul left the troupe and enrolled

at the Searsole Raj High School in Raniganj,
later transferred to the Mathrun High
English School.

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 Hindustani classical music.
Nazrul and His early life
Nazrul studied up to grade 10 then enlisted
in the British Indian Army in 1917 at the
age of eighteen.

Attached to the 49th Bengal Regiment, he

was posted to the cantonment in Karachi,
where he wrote his first prose and poetry.

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.
Nazrul His political and social
In 1922 he wrote Bidrohi (The Rebel),
which remains his most famous work - the
rebellious language and theme were well
received, coinciding with the Non-
cooperation movement.

Nazrul started a bi-weekly magazine

called Dhumketu " " (Comet) on 12
August 1922 there he openly criticized
british govt.

During his prison time he began a 40-day

fast to protest mistreatment by the British
jail superintendent, breaking his fast more
than a month later and eventually being
released from prison in December 1923.
Nazrul His political and social
He became active in encouraging people
to agitate against British rule, and joined
the Bengal state unit of the Indian
National Congress.

Due to his marriage to Pramila Devi he

was criticized by both Hindu and Muslim
religious leaders.

Nazrul assailed fanaticism in religion,

denouncing it as evil and inherently

His condemnation of extremism and

mistreatment of women provoked
condemnation from Muslim and Hindu
Nazrul Illness and his death
Nazrul also was shaken by the death of
Rabindranath Tagore on 8 August 1941.
Within months, Nazrul himself fell
seriously ill and gradually began losing his
power of speech.
In 1952 Nazrul and Promila to London,
then to Vienna for treatment. The
examining doctors diagnosed that Nazrul
was suffering from Pick's disease.
On 30 June 1962 his wife Pramila died,and
Nazrul remained in intensive medical care.
On 24 May 1972, the newly independent
nation of Bangladesh brought Nazrul to live
in Dhaka with the consent of the
Government of India.
In January 1976, he was accorded the
citizenship of Bangladesh.
He died 29 August 1976 after his long
Nazrul Geeti
Nazrul Geeti or Nazrul Sangeet, literally "music of Nazrul", refers to the
songs written and composed by Kazi Nazrul Islam.
His songs were recorded in several books
Dolan chanpa (the yellow flower) poems and songs, 1923
Bisher banshi (Poison flute) poems and songs, 1924
Bhangar gaan (the song of destruction) songs and poems, 1924
Chayanat (the raga chayanat) poems and songs, 1925
Sarbahara (the proletariat) poems and songs, 1926
Sindhu Hindol (The Undulation of the Sea), poems and songs, 1927
Jinjir (Chain), poems and songs, 1928
Pralaya Shikha (Doomsday Flame), poems and songs, 1930
Bulbul (The Nightingle), songs, 1928
Sandhya (Evening), songs, 1929
Chokher Chatak (Thirsty of Sight), songs, 1929
Nazrul Geeti
Nazrul wrote and composed nearly 4,000 songs (including gramophone
records), which are widely popular in India and Bangladesh.
Influenced by various elements: from hindustani classical music to parsian
literature and music.
Diverse types: Revolutionary mass music, Islamic songs, Shayam Sangeet
(songs devoted to Goddes Kali), Songs of Krishna, Ghazals etc.
His songs played major part in during Inidan nationalist movement due to its
strong and passionate lyrics.
Alga Koro go khopar badhon
( / Loosen the knots of
your bun)
A Ghazal in Bengali
Loosen the knots of your bun,
my heart is entrapped there.
In pleasant knitted plaits,
my blind love is enmeshed there.
Loosen the knots of your bun,

Following fragrance of your hairs,

my avid heart came capering when, I know not.

Loosing senses it fell on your hands

and settled in armlet's enclosure.

Loosen the knots of your bun,

my heart is entrapped there.

Pierced is my heart when placed on your earrings,

you steal glances as you steal my sleep.
Arriving on the doorstep to explore the body
she then returned never.

Loosen the knots of your bun,

my heart is entrapped there.
In pleasant knitted plaits,
my blind love is enmeshed there.
Loosen the knots of your bun,

Porodeshi Megh
( / Oh Stranger cloud)
Oh Stranger cloud, please go back to where

you came from

and please let my foreigner friend know my

Oh Stranger cloud

On that place, when it rains

does the heart cry inside in an empty room?
the pain of separation, is not even in there, is
and the melody of flute cannot be heard in the
banks of river.
Oh Stranger cloud

in cloudy night when the nightingale sings

is someones heart is filling with pain at that
when flower is blooming and when the moon
is shining
is there not any desire rising in heart in there?
no is blaming there,
to the respected woman in that place.
Oh Stranger cloud
Shukno patar nupur paye
/ The dark goddess I am, with the
color of cloud)
Shyama Sangeet (Devotional song of
goddess Kali).
Wearing dry leaves' anklets on feet
Dancing like a whirlwind
Creating sparkling sparkling waves in
water's sinuous curves, She goes.

In the chest of the lake, the lotus flower vibrates

Bokul Chapa While the flower Bokul embraces the flower Chapa's base
From the ecstatic fountain, water flows down
While she sings on the road of field

Dress of wild flowers, taken off and thrown

Disarrayed hair is spread towards the sky

The crazy girl keeps dancing helter-skelter

on dusty and ash coloured feet

Creating sparkling sparkling waves in

water's sinuous curves, She goes.

That Iranian girl is like the desert traveler

The edge of a village, loser of mind in the forest
Suddenly she run with the saffron
colored embracer of sand.
Creating sparkling sparkling waves in
water's sinuous curves, She goes.
Durgam Giri Kantar moru dustar
/ Unassailable mountains, vast deserts
impassable frontier.)
Patriotic song (adopted from the poem
Kandari Hushiar).
Unassailable mountains, vast deserts
impassable frontier.
Determined to cross the darkness,
travelers beware.

The boat is shaking, waters are swelling,

the sailor is losing charge.
Torn are the sails, who shall hold the
helm, who has the courage.
Who has the youth, come forth,
beckoning are prospects advantage.
This heavy storm force, we have to cross,
we have to put boat to shore.

These are witching hours,

beware ministers and soldiers of the
Now the pains of eons have sharpened
for this passionate expedition.
Overflows now in the aggrieved bosom
all the compounded ambition.
Taking all in our stride along our ride, we
snatch our rights and power.
This hapless nation is dying sinking,
it knows not how to swim and steer.
Today we shall witness you carry out your
to free motherland O' sailor.
Who are these people, 'hindus or muslims',
questions the traitor
Those who sink are humans,
all are my children, reply so my sailor.

Those who sang songs of life

even from the hangstage of executioner.
They have all come silently to witness
what sacrifice you shall tender.
Today is the test of the entire nation
whether you shall steer nation clear
Determined to cross the darkness, travelers
Shyama tanni ami meghoborona
/ Wearing dry leaves' anklets
on feet)
Song inspired from middle eastern
The dark goddess I am, with the color of cloud
in my eyes rain pours and fountain falls

I play the mridangam of cloud in the sky mridangam

I decorate the branches of forest with kadamba keya
kadamba and Keya flowers
because of me the earth smiles with crops and

The dark goddess I am with the color of cloud

the black hair flies with the eastern wind

I smile with tears with the thunderous clouds
I dance on the chest of the earth with my
own rhythm

The dark goddess I am with the color of

Ami bhai khepa baul
( / I am a
mad baul)
A baul song inspired from
baul music
I am a mad baul

my own temple

is my own body.

there is my god of my heart

he is not far
he stays inside me

he stays with me during my happy and sad times

he stays in my heart always

yet I bow to him and keep him in my heart

sometimes I show my affection to him

he make me forget my hereabouts

he also forgets his own hereabouts

even he forgets about Vrindavana and Gokula
his union and separation with me
he bring my begging bag in his shoulder

he keeps walking on dusty road

by playing the ektara he dance and sings with


some people can understand, some people


Say, Valiant,
Say: High is my head!