Qazi Nazrul Islam , A POET OF THE MUSLIM RENNAISANCE . He was born on the 24th May, 1899 A.D. when Tagore was already shining like a radiant sun in the horizon of Bengali literature. Nazrul comes of a middle class Muslim family. He was born in Churulia, Burdhwan. He lost his father at the age of eight. With the death of his father misfortune befell on him and he become known as, Dukhu Mia. He was a talented and precocious child. Even as a child he made his mark as a writer of rural 'ballads' songs and dramas, meant for local 'LETU' or opera parties. As a Genius and restless child, he could not acclimatize himself with any set rules of school. One day he slipped away from school as he had done once earlier to take up a job of beckery-boy in Asansol, and joined the 49th Bengal Regiment to fight in the World War-1.
For ten years from 1919, Nazrul flooded Bengal with stirring poems, mostly heroic. He was hauled up for sedition and sent to jail in 1922. Even in Jail he wrote more revolutionary poems. Punishments were heaped on him. He resorted to hunger-strike which he broke after 42 days at the request of the whole country. Even Poet Tagore sent a telegram to Nazrul in Jail stating; "Give up hunger-strike, our literature claims you." But unfortunately the telegram was sent back to Tagore undelivered on the ground of the 'addressee not being found'. The ground was obviously groundless in those dark days of bureaucracy.
As we know, Nazrul after having been prosecuted for sedition, did not put up a defense, rather made a long statement justifying his stand. It was published as RAJBANDIR JABANBANDI. It is a brilliant statement and excellent literature, Said the poet; "I am on trial for sedition. The Royal crown is pitted against the comet's flame. The accuser is king, scepter in hand, the accused is truth justice in hand. The king is supported by his salaried servants, my support is Ever-awake-God, who is Truth eternal and the king of kings and the judge of judges. The king's voice however, is but a bubble, but mine is a limitless ocean, for I am a poet sent by God to express the unexpressed truths and to give shape to shapeless creation. India is now in bondage. This is undiluted truth. But under the present Administration, it & sedition to call a slave, a slave and to describe wrong as wrong. Can such Administration last long? Am I guilty simply because the anguished call of the captive truths found expression in my voice? But mine is the anguished cry of the oppressed universal soul. This cry can not be suppressed by coercing me. It will ring again in somebody else's throat." This declaration by the poet at the age of twenty three only, reveals the intrinsic nature of Nazrul Islam as a great lover, expounder and votary of truth throughout his meteoric but momentous life.
Nazrul was a poet from top to toe. The universe called him away from University. He did not believe in the game of hide and seek and therefore did not "display the silver coating of the sheath, concealing the sword". His poetic career was practically at an end when he was near about forty years of age. It lasted through thick and thin, for a brief spell of twenty five years only; yet he set up a glorious records of outstanding achievements.
Nazrul was undoubtedly one of the greatest of Bengalee poets. He is the holder of worlds' record in respect of recorded music which arc about three thousand in numbers. He also holds the record of the prescribed books in Bengali by the Govt. He is the first Bengalee poet to have gone on hunger-strike in jail for 42 days. Nazrul was the only poet to have received literary pensions from several Governments at the same time, viz. the govt. of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Besides poems and songs on Hindu mythology, Nazrul has written large number of poems, songs and ghazals in honor of the Muslim heroes, for the renaissance of Islam and the Muslim world as a whole. His panegyrics on the prophet of Islam, his magnificent poems on Omar, Khaled, Anwar Pasha, Zoglul Pasha, Kamal Pasha. Ibne Saud, Amanullah Reza Shah, Moharram, Karbala, Eid Mubarak and other Islamic themes arc gems of Bengali Literature and Prove positive of his abounding love for the Muslim world as a wholc.lt is Nazrul's soul stirring strains that led to the innovation of Islamic Records in Bengali music.
Nazrul's Ghazals and Islamic songs constitute a charming chapter in the history of Bengali music and melodies.
Nazrul did not take much direct part in politics- But he was an advocate of revolution for throwing off the yoke of foreign domination. His was a "Mighty Mouthed-Organ Voice" of revolt and mass-awakening. The very name of Nazrul's book give a clue to his mind. These arc "AGNI VINA". 'BISHER BASHI” ”BHAANGAR GAN" "SARBAHARA", "MRITYU KHUDHA" etc. Nazrul seemed to be the "self -strong heroic soul' 'and' a comet to build a bridge of fire in darkness and fly the flag of victory over the fort of distress", as Tagore said in welcoming Nazrul's bi-weekly "DHUMKETU". Nazrul has undoubtedly proved that "Pen is Mightier than Sword". Unfortunately for us, the rebellious hero of freedom became a prisoner in the prison of "Chirasundar", Husnae Azal'-Beauty Eternal before his final journey to the eternal world.