Kazi Nazrul Islam Biography

(One of the Greatest Poets in Bengali Literature)

Birthday: May 24, 1899 (Gemini)

Born In: Churulia, India

Kazi Nazrul Islam is the ‘National Poet of Bangladesh’. He was an immensely talented person, a gifted literary genius in the field of writing poems and composing songs. He started working quite early in his life to financially support his family which also affected his education. He did numerous jobs in his childhood and later joined the armed forces after matriculation. While serving in the army, he started his literary career, most of which revolved around poetry. Initially he received appreciation and praise for his poetic collections but later the British Empire sensed a bit of hostility and rebellion in his poems and imprisoned him for over a year. During his years in prison, his rebellious and fierce attitude grew deeper and he wrote many such works. After coming out of prison, he encouraged people to fight for independence and also wrote about the weaker classes of the society. Later his focus shifted towards religion due to some personal life incidents. He faced constant struggle in his personal life due to poverty, his wife’s illness, his mental health and the death of his loved ones. Despite all difficulties he emerged out as a revolutionary who managed to leave his imprint in the spheres of music, poetry and writing.
Quick Facts

Indian Celebrities Born In May

Also Known As: Kazi Nazrul Islam

Died At Age: 77


Spouse/Ex-: Pramila Devi

father: Kazi Faqeer Ahmed

mother: Zahida Khatun

siblings: Kazi Ali Hussain, Kazi Saahibjaan

children: Bulbul, Krishna Mohammad, Savyasachi and Aniruddha

Born Country: India

Poets Musicians

Died on: August 29, 1976

place of death: Dhaka, Bangladesh

Cause of Death: Pick's Disease

  • 1

    What is the significance of Kazi Nazrul Islam in Bengali literature?

    Kazi Nazrul Islam is considered the national poet of Bangladesh for his contributions to Bengali literature, particularly in the realms of poetry and music.
  • 2

    How did Kazi Nazrul Islam use his works to inspire the Indian independence movement?

    Kazi Nazrul Islam's poems and songs were powerful tools in inspiring and mobilizing the masses during the Indian independence movement, advocating for freedom and social justice.
  • 3

    What are some of the major themes explored in Kazi Nazrul Islam's works?

    Kazi Nazrul Islam's works often revolve around themes of rebellion, social justice, equality, and humanism, reflecting his deep concerns for the oppressed and marginalized.
  • 4

    How did Kazi Nazrul Islam's experiences influence his writing style and themes?

    Kazi Nazrul Islam's personal struggles and experiences with poverty, oppression, and colonial rule heavily influenced his writing style, imbuing his works with passion, defiance, and a strong sense of empathy for the downtrodden.
  • 5

    What is the enduring legacy of Kazi Nazrul Islam in modern times?

    Kazi Nazrul Islam's legacy endures through his timeless literary works, which continue to inspire generations with their revolutionary spirit, progressive ideals, and unwavering commitment to social change.
Childhood & Early Life
He was born on May 24, 1899 in Churulia village in the Burdwan district of West Bengal to Kazi Fakir Ahmed, the caretaker of the local mosque and mausoleum, and his wife, Zahida Khatun. He was the second of their four children.
After his father’s untimely death, he was nicknamed 'Dukhu Mia' by the villagers because of the hardships he faced in his early life. When he was ten, he started working in his father's place as a caretaker to support his family, as well as assisting teachers in school.
In 1910, he attended the Searsole Raj High School in Raniganj and then the Mathrun High English School. But soon he abandoned his studies due to financial crisis and started working as a cook. Later, he took up a job at a bakery and tea shop in Asansole.
In 1914, he resumed his studies and studied up to Class X. He studied Bengali, Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian literature and Hindustani classical music.
In 1917, he joined the Indian Army as a soldier and served there for three years, rising to the rank of Battalion Quarter Master (Havildar). In 1919, he published his first piece, 'The Autobiography of a Delinquent' or ‘Saogat’, while serving in the army.
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In 1920, he left the army and joined the 'Bangiya Mussalman Sahiya Samiti' where he wrote his first poem 'Bandhan-hara' or 'Freedom from bondage'.
In 1922, he wrote his poem titled 'Bidrohi' which was published in 'Bijli' (Thunder) magazine. The poem described a rebel passionate about his cause and received praises from people belonging to different classes of the society.
In 1922 again, his political poem ‘Anondomoyeer Agomone’ appeared in the magazine ‘Dhumketu’ which he had started publishing. This led to his arrest during a police raid at the magazine’s office. While imprisoned, he composed a large number of poems and songs until his release in December 1923.
Eventually, he became a critic of the "Khilafat" struggle and the Indian National Congress for not bargaining political independence from the British Empire. He also motivated people to fight against the British and organized the 'Sramik Praja Swaraj Dal'.
From 1926 onwards he started writing poetry and songs for the weaker sections of the society. Later in life, his works shifted from rebellion to religion. He explored 'namaz' (prayer), 'roza' (fasting) and 'hajj' (pilgrimage). He devoted works to 'Qu'ran' and the life of Islam's prophet 'Muhammad'.
In 1933, he published a collection of essays entitled 'Modern World Literature' which had different themes and styles of literature. He also published 800 songs based on classical ragas, kirtans and patriotic songs in 10 volumes.
In 1934, he got involved in the Indian theatre and motion pictures, and debuted in a movie based on Girish Chandra's story called 'Bhakta Dhruva'.
In 1939, he started working for the Calcutta radio and produced music such as 'Haramoni' and 'Navaraga-malika'. In 1940, he started working as a chief editor for 'Nabayug', founded by A.K. Fazlul Huq.
Major Works
His most notable works were his rebellious poems such as 'Bodhan', Shat-il-Arab', 'Kheya-parer Tarani' and 'Badal Prater Sharab' etc. which received critical appreciation from all over.
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In 1926, he wrote one of his most famous poems titled 'Daridro' ('Pain or Poverty') which received appreciation from the classes and the masses.
In 1928, he became a lyricist, composer and music director for 'His Master's Voice Gramophone Company'. One of his biggest works in the industry was writing songs and directing music for a bioepic play named 'Siraj-ud-Daula'.
Awards & Achievements
In 1945, he received the Jagattarini Gold Medal from the University of Calcutta for his work in Bengali Literature.
In 1960, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of the highest civilian honors of the Republic of India.
He was conferred the title of 'national poet' and awarded the 'Ekushey Padak' by the Government of Bangladesh.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1921, he got engaged to Nargis, the niece of a well-known Muslim publisher, Ali Akbar Khan, in Daulatpur. On the day of wedding, he walked away from the ceremony upon hearing an unreasonable condition of Ali Akbar Khan.
In 1921, he met a young Hindu woman, Pramila Devi on his visit to Comilla. They fell in love and later got married in 1924.
His first son, Krishna Mohammad, died prematurely while his second son, Bulbul, died of smallpox. He had two more sons, Savyasachi and Aniruddha. In 1939, his wife fell ill and was paralyzed from waist down.
In 1941, he was shaken by the death of Rabindranath Tagore. Within months, he himself fell seriously ill and gradually began losing his power of speech. Eventually, his mental dysfunction intensified and he was admitted to a mental asylum in 1942.
In 1952, he was transferred to a mental hospital in Ranchi and then to Vienna for treatment where he was diagnosed with Pick's disease. He returned to India in 1953 and in 1962 his wife died while he remained in intensive medical care.
On August 29, 1976, he died in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He was buried beside a mosque on the campus of the University of Dhaka.
Facts About Kazi Nazrul Islam
Kazi Nazrul Islam was not only a poet but also a talented musician who composed numerous songs and music pieces.
He was known for his rebellious and revolutionary poetry that challenged social norms and advocated for equality and justice.
Nazrul Islam is considered one of the pioneers of modern Bengali literature and played a significant role in shaping the cultural landscape of Bengal.
He was a polyglot who was proficient in multiple languages, including Bengali, Arabic, Persian, and Urdu.
Despite facing various challenges and hardships in his life, Nazrul Islam remained a resilient and inspirational figure whose works continue to resonate with audiences around the world.

See the events in life of Kazi Nazrul Islam in Chronological Order

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