[WATCH NOW] How Rabindranath saw Nazrul | The Daily Star
01:28 PM, November 10, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:31 PM, November 10, 2015

[WATCH NOW] How Rabindranath saw Nazrul

When Kazi Nazrul Islam was born in 1899, the rays of Robi (Bangla for sun) had already reached distant corners of Bangla literature. Nazrul himself was a great fan of Rabindranath. Nazrul sent his poem 'Tirtho-Pothik' to Rabindranath expressing his awe and excitement at his writing and for being remembered by him. Rabindranath, in turn, welcomed Nazrul's powerful arrival in Bangla literature and blessed him on the publication of his first bi-weekly literary publication Dhumketu, expressing confidence in Nazrul's ability to banish darkness and awaken people with his writings.

As long as they lived, the relationship between the two greats of Bangla literature was of mutual admiration, respect, and affection according to Anindita Kazi.

She was the main attraction at an evening programme, 'Robi Porikramai Nazrul’, of Nazrul Geeti and Rabindra Sangeet. The programme featured Anindita Kazi from India, the granddaughter of our national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, and Lily Islam, Rabindra sangeet artiste from Dhaka last Saturday. It was organised by the Indira Gandhi cultural Centre.

In 1922, Nazrul was imprisoned for his political poem 'Anondomoyir Agomone' (published in the 12th edition of Dhumketu, September 26, 1922). Rabindranath expressed his support for him, dedicating his lyrical play Basanta to Nazrul. 

While in prison, Nazrul and his fellow political prisoners started a long hunger strike. Many well-known personalities like Deshbondhu Chittaranjan Das, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy, Sarat Chandra Chattapadhyay, urged Nazrul to end his hunger strike. Rabindranath sent a telegram to Nazrul that said, “Please give up hunger strike. Our literature claims you.” However, the jail authorities did not forward the message to Nazrul, Anindita told the audience.  

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