Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976)

The National Poet of Bangladesh, Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976) was simultaneously a poet, philosopher, novelist, lyricist, composer, short story writer, film maker, dramatist, journalist, social activist and a freedom fighter. He wrote mostly in Bengali (Bangla) and created one of the most invaluable anthologies on human rights, religious tolerance, spiritual pursuit, global peace and harmony. His indelible legacy crossed the boundaries of language, geography and time, and touched people of the world as evidenced by the following comments:

“I want the world to know that this human being is not only a great poet, but that his poetry speaks to us today, and in profound ways-ways which reflect an intellectual, aesthetic, moral, social, and political sophistication that we cannot afford to overlook” . “Nazrul is one of the most remarkable poets of all time and, likewise, one of the world’s most morally provoking artists of the twentieth century. Additionally, he is perhaps the most prolific composer the world has come to know”. Prof. Winston E. Langley, Ph. D., Prof. of International Relations & Political Science and Vice Chancellor of academic affairs, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA, USA.

“Interested in a humanism that extended well beyond the perimeters of race, class, and gender, Nazrul was a visionary social justice artist. And, his activism is apparent in his reputation as “the rebel poet.” Such a sensibility and subjectivity was forged through Nazrul’s journalistic and poetic work, which boldly criticized British colonial policies, the British Raj, and sectarianism. Nonetheless, Kazi Nazrul Islam was not bound by traditional nation-state affiliations, a sense evident in his assertion that he and his work “belong[ed] to the world”. Cathy Schulnd-Vials, Prof. of English and Director of Asian American Studies Institute, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA.

Nazrul's Poem


বল বীর -
বল উন্নত মম শির!
শির নেহারি আমারি, নত-শির ওই শিখর হিমাদ্রীর!
বল বীর -
বল মহাবিশ্বের মহাকাশ ফাড়ি'
চন্দ্র সূর্য্য গ্রহ তারা ছাড়ি'
ভূলোক দ্যুলোক গোলক ভেদিয়া,
খোদার আসন 'আরশ' ছেদিয়া
উঠিয়াছি চির-বিস্ময় আমি বিশ্ব-বিধাত্রীর!
মম ললাটে রুদ্র-ভগবান জ্বলে রাজ-রাজটীকা দীপ্ত জয়শ্রীর!
বল বীর -
আমি চির-উন্নত শির!


Speak, Hero, say,
My head is held high,
At its sight the Himalayan peak hangs down its head.
Speak, Hero, say,
Rending the cosmic skies,
Leaving sun and moon and planets and stars far behind,
Tearing through the spheres of earth and heaven,
Piercing the throne of the Almighty,
I arise, Earth-Mother’s immortal wonder-child!
Blazoned on my forehead is the fiery seal of Shiva,
A dazzling sign of royal triumph!
Speak, Hero, say,
My head is ever held high!

Translated by Kaiser Haq


"The ICNAZRUL website has evolved from the Kazi Nazrul Islam Page, from the website developed by Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq in 1999. Through participation and contribution of many Nazrul enthusiasts, the personal effort of Dr. Farooq greatly enhanced Nazrul's introduction to the rest of the world through cyberspace. In 2015, Dr. Farooq and ICNAZRUL, an initiative supported by AKKHAN Foundation, reached an understanding that further development and maintenance of the website be under the auspices of ICNAZRUL, to ensure continuity under an institutional stewardship. ICNAZRUL acknowledges this thoughtful gesture of Dr. Farooq towards a collaborative effort to further the cause of introducing Nazrul to the world." Dr. Omar Farooq can be reached at farooqm95@gmail.com

Latest News

Stage reading in University of Connecticut

October 2014- University of Connecticut (UCONN), Storrs, CT, staged a reading “O the ever beautiful jubilant youth arise and take charge”, based on Nazrul’s drama “Jago Sunder Chiro Kishor”. It was jointly sponsored by the Theater Department, Department of English, Asian American Cultural Center and the Nazrul Endowment Committee of UCONN. The actors & actresses were a diverse group of undergraduate students of the Universitycoming from various ethnic and religious backgrounds. The play was translated by Gulshan Ara Kazi.

Annual Nazrul Lecture

April 2014– Annual Nazrul Lecture was jointly sponsored by the Nazrul Endowment Committee of California State University, Northridge (CSUN), CA, and Taranga of California (TOC), under the leadership of Mr. Shiper Chowdhury and Mr. Moazzam H. Chowdhury. Prof. KarunamoyGwashami,aacclaimedNazrul Scholar of Dhaka, Bangladesh, was the keynote speaker.

A workshop on Nazrul

December 2015 – A workshop on Nazrul was held at University of Connecticut (UCONN). The event was sponsored by the Nazrul Endowment committee of UCONN and participated by the faculty members of UCONN, Profs. Cathy Schlund-Vials, Roger Buckley, Glenn Mitoma, Angela Rola and other members of the Endowment Committee, Prof. Sarah Tasnim, Mrs. Bela Chowdhury, Mrs. SaminaManwar, Dr. RokeyaHaque, Dr. BaishaliKanjilal, Dr. Gulshan Ara Kazi and Mr. KaziBelalShahjahan. Syed Tipu Sultan, the president of Nazrul Academy of New York and prof. Ziauddin Ahmed, vice chairman of the North America Nazrul Conference committee, wereInvited guests. Main topic of discussion was “Nazrul’s philosophy relating to human rights & dignity”.

June 2015 – A culturalprogram based on Nazrul’s songs, music and philosophywas presented by theNazrul Endowment Committee of California State University, under the leadership of Mr. Shiper Chowdhury and Mr. Moazzam H. Chowdhury. The event was jointly sponsored by California State University, Northridge, CA (CSUN) and Taranga of California(TOC). Acclaimed Nazrulsinger ShahinSamadwas the featured singer.