Khilkhil Kazi, the granddaughter of our National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, is a noted singer and organiser. In a conversation with The Daily Star recently, the artiste talked about various issues on Kazi Nazrul Islam and put forward several suggestions to preserve the rich legacy of the Rebel Poet. Excerpts:
“We have to know and practice the literary and musical creations of our National Poet and conduct proper research on the lifelong struggle of Kazi Nazrul Islam so that the artistes and other people become inspired by the Poet's rich legacy. Mass media should publish and air programmes on Kazi Nazrul Islam all year round instead of only on his birth and death anniversary. The Poet's works must be translated in different languages to reach a wider audience.”
“Kazi Nazrul Islam is a protagonist in depicting humanity. He preaches unity in diversity. Who has written the vast volume of diverse songs? Who ushered in the trend of Bangla Ghazal? Is there any poet who composed Shyama Sangeet like he did? The poet's 40th death anniversary is tomorrow. We have been demanding since the birth centenary year (1999) that the government should declare the birthday of Kazi Nazrul Islam as a holiday so that we can celebrate the day rendering his songs, reciting his poems, staging his plays and dancing to his musical compositions. Nazrul Sangeet artistes and Nazrul researchers can be recognised on the day.”
“Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, has built many beautiful places including, Nazrul Tirtha, Nazrul Gallery and Nazrul Mancha as homage to Kazi Nazrul Islam. We, too, can build an international standard Nazrul Conference Hall, a Museum and an auditorium in the memory of our National Poet at the places of the poet's old and new homes. The museum will showcase the life, memorabilia, history and literary as well as musical creations of the Rebel Poet. A separate Nazrul University can be established where students will solely dedicate themselves to Nazrul practice and research. We also demand the placement of a mural of our National Poet at the entry of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka, and of his poems (in Bangla and English) in other important places across all divisional cities of Bangladesh.
“We would also like to see the life sketches/biography and works of the Rebel Poet in every level of National Curriculum. Nazrul is the poet of the masses. He properly portrayed the struggles of the commoners in his work. It is our prime responsibility to hold his legacy high both nationally and internationally.”