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Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899 – 1976) was a Bengali polymath, poet, writer, musician and revolutionary. Popularly known as Nazrul, his poetry and music espoused Indo-Islamic renaissance and intense spiritual rebellion against fascism and oppression. Debjani Chatterjee gives an account of the influence of his poetry on her life and career as a poet whose work creates a bridge between two continents.

sepia photo of the poet Nazrul playing a flute

Nazrul in Chittagong, 1926

Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899 – 1976) was a Bengali polymath, poet, writer, musician and revolutionary. Popularly known as Nazrul, his poetry and music espoused Indo-Islamic renaissance and intense spiritual rebellion against fascism and oppression. Debjani Chatterjee gives an account of the influence of his poetry on her life and career as a poet whose work creates a bridge between two continents.

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Author's Biography

photo of two the author debjani chatterjee pictured outside 11 Donnington Rd

Debjani Chatterjee MBE

Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899 – 1976) was a Bengali polymath, poet, writer, musician and revolutionary. Popularly known as Nazrul, his poetry and music espoused Indo-Islamic renaissance and intense spiritual rebellion against fascism and oppression. Debjani Chatterjee gives an account of the influence of his poetry on her life and career as a poet whose work creates a bridge between two continents.

Comments

9 January 2017

Nivedita Haran

Being brought up in a family where literature and Kazi Nazrul Islam's poetry was a part of our lives, work kept me from reading more of his poetry. I am trying to fill that gap now. He was the first to depict socially corrosive effect of inequality.

15 September 2016

Dr Nabakumar Basu

As I was writing a story based on the life of Kazi Nazrul, found that the Bengali people have always kept a misconception about the illness he was suffering from. This is very unfortunate that they always believed Nazrul was a characterless, brothel-goer irresponsible person and inherited Neuro Syphilis from the red light area. In fact he was suffering from Pick's Disease. He died of of a natural cause of ageing.4572

27 January 2015

Claire McLaughlin

I was very interested to read about Kazi Nazrul Islam, whom I had not heard of before. I think one of the many gifts that globalisation and the web bring us all is knowledge of artists of all kinds, from cultures quite different from our own, who not only enhance our lives with their special gifts, but have illuminating things to say about issues that all human beings struggle with, no matter who they are or where or when they live.

Helped by the web, I have got to know, and obtained copies of (which I can then have read to me, or put into Braille) the enchanting, funny poems of the Japanese poet Nanao Asakaki, who writes about the beauty and fragility of our planet, and the powerful, often subversive poetry of the Turkish poet Nazim Hiknet.

It sounds as if Kazi Nazrul Islam, with his passionate preoccupation with drawing together Muslim and Hindi, and his rich spirituality, is a poet who has much to say that could have meaning for us here and now, and who should be widely read and known.

I do hope that perhaps this profile, and the appearance here of some of his poems, will encourage an enterprising publisher to produce a selection of Kazi Nazrul Islam's poetry in English, translated and edited by Debjani, whose life and poetry seems to draw so much of its inspiration from the same deep well as her hero

15 January 2015

Gail Campbell

Informative and inspiring, this article cheers me and creates a well-rounded impression of a great poet, whose translated work would be fascinating to read for many people who are unable to understand them in the original.

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