Kazi Nazrul Islam, known as the Rebel Poet, is the national poet of Bangladesh. He wrote short stories, essays and novels too, but poems and songs are what made him popular. His writings were a protest against social injustice and colonialism, reflecting that he was anti-authoritarian. He dreamed of a free society where everyone could get equal rights.
This great poet was born in the Indian state of West Bengal's Churulia village. He joined a leto (travelling theatrical group) in his boyhood. Later he studied at Darirampur High School in Mymensingh. His literary life began at Karachi when he joined the Bengal Regiment in 1917.
His writings included criticism of religious fundamentalism. He opposed all forms of bigotry. He wanted a society where there would be no religious, gender, or caste-based violence. He was a lover of humanity and compassion. He wrote religious songs for both Hindus and Muslims even though he was a Sunni Muslim. He hated communism in all forms and one can see from his literature that he was a worshipper of liberty. He was even sent to jail frequently by the British authorities for his independence activism. In fact, his songs greatly inspired Bengalis during the Liberation War of Bangladesh.
At the age of 42, he was attacked with a rare disease and he lost his voice. He was admitted to a mental hospital. Later, he returned to Kolkata and stopped working because of his ailing health. He remained in intensive medical care. After becoming independent, Bangladesh brought the poet to Bangladesh with the consent of the Indian government on 24 May, 1972. He was made the national poet of Bangladesh.
The genius man left the world forever on 29 August, 1976. He was buried beside a mosque on the campus of Dhaka University. The man had a short career but managed to win the hearts of millions. He was not formally educated but he was meritorious from the beginning. He led a life full of adventures, and we all can learn from his life of rebellion, celebrating his legacy while writing our own poems that critique and question society.