Kazi Nazrul Islam: Crossing Boundaries

In this poem, he references not only the heroes and heroines of the epics, but the Hindu gods and the Christian ideal of Jesus and Mary. What an amazing achievement and incredibly smart marketing of ideas. This brings me to my final point—what Nazrul did by using the traditions of India as his source: he called for an elimination of strife between them. The words of his last speech are as relevant today as they were when he wrote them. They speak to me of a man who had the romantic notion that we are all of many yet “one tradition.” Not only India and Bangladesh, but across the world, we should look to Kazi Nazrul’s words and take his advice: The constant fighting between Hindus and Muslims, animosity between nations, and wars; the inequality between the mercilessly poor, indebted and needy and the monstrously greedy piling up of crores and crores of rupees in banks—these are what I came to eliminate. In my poetry, songs, music works I have established the beauteous unity and equality. I came to forgive the ugly and slay the demon. You are my witness and so is the supreme Beauty. I do not seek fame, glory or leadership, I cannot hold back my tears…Don’t look at me…as someone belonging only to the Muslims….If I come, I will come only as a servant of the one and only indivisible God who is above Hindus and Muslims, above all nations and creeds.” (Kamal, 223) These lines come from his last speech, “If the Flute Doesn’t Play Anymore.” While his voice remained silent in his last years, we can certainly endeavor to keep the sounds of his ‘flute’ playing in the study and publications of his poems, essays, music and other works.