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CH – Raga CDs of the Months (05/13): Nazrul Sangeet – The rebel poet.

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on May 26, 2013

NAZRUL SANGEET – The rebel poet…
(Subtitle: raga interpretations of songs by Kazi Nazrul Islam)

In the 20th and 30th of last century Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976) was one of the most dazzling figures of Bengal music. Nazrul was a poet, publisher, journalist, actor, music director and radio producer, all in one person.

Nazrul is the founder of the modern music of Bengal, today the region of Westbengal (India) and Bangladesh (since 1971: Republic of the People of Bangladesh, former East Bengal / East Pakistan).

Nazrul succeeded it to merge elements of North Indian classics (Hindustani) with the tradition of folk music (Professor Rafiqul Islam, Kulna University – Nazrul Institute (Dhaka), 1994).

dates of broadcasting…
27th May 2013 – 04:00 p.m. EST (10:00 pm CET) @ Radio RaSA
(premiere: 17th Jan 2011 – 11:00 pm CET @ Tide Radio)
broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

Kaz Nazrul Islam (um 1920) - Quelle: Wikipedia - Wiki Commons (CC-Lizen)

Kazi Nazrul Islam (um 1920) – Quelle: Wikipedia (CC-Lizenz)

Nazrul was the companion of Rabindranath Tagore, the universal genius and first Nobel prize winner for literature of India in 1913. And Nazrul’s writing identified him as political freedom fighter for the Indian freedom movement.

Nazrul was adjudged front court of British India for his commitments as poet, journalist and publisher  with one year prison in 1922/23 and publication prohibition. In 1921 appeared Nazrul’s most famous poem Bidrohi – The Rebel.

The poems and songs after Nazruls release from custody were focced more on topics of the suppressed classes and criticized the socio-economic standards and grievances in the political system. Like his  companion Tagore (1861-1941) same Nazrul resisted religious fanaticism and pleaded for the equalization of man and woman. Nazrul’s poem Nari (= woman) expresses this clearly. Nazrul did not understand ‘equal rights’ in the sense of equalization, rather as a synergy between woman and man.

Nazrul Ghazel by Nazrul

(translation from the Bangla by Farida Majid (source:, speaker: ElJay Arem)

Song by Nazrul: Shhunno-E-Buke (My Dearest Nightingale)

(translation by Dr. Gulshan Ara (source:, speaker: ElJay Arem)

In his active work time (1910-1942) Nazrul had written more than 600 Raga compositions, from which most were lost more. The later publishings by Nazrul between 1928 and 1935 cover 800 songs collected in a 10 volumes.  More than 100 songs are folk musica and about 30 are patriotic songs. (Notes: The complete work of Nazrul covers roughly approx. 4000 songs.) This song collection is called Nazrul Sangeet (or Nazrul Geeti).

(compiled by Aparna Chatterjee)


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