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May 25, 2012

Chief Minister pays tributes to `Bidrohi Kobi`, lays foundation stone of Nazrul Tirtha

`I am pleased to inform you that we have taken a series of projects to honour the poet, we are going to build a state-of-the-art study centre `Nazrul Tirtha`, were the words of West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee who inaugurated who was at a special programme organized by the Ministry of Culture, West Bengal Government to commemorate the 113th birth anniversary of Kazi Nazrul Islam at Nazrul Manch.

Kazi Nazrul Islam who was also called Bidrohi Kobi (Rebel Poet) had lived an eventful life. A secular in true sense, Nazrul Islam was born into a Muslim Quazi (justice) family in India, received religious education and worked as a Muezzin at a local mosque. Nazrul is officially recognised as the national poet of Bangladesh. After serving in the British Indian Army as `Havildar`, Nazrul established himself as a journalist in Kolkata (then Calcutta). He learned of poetry, drama, and literature while working with theatrical groups. Kazi Nazrul was a poet, musician and revolutionary who pioneered poetic works espousing intense spiritual rebellion against fascism and oppression. He wrote and composed music for nearly 4,000 songs (including gramophone records), collectively known as Nazrulgeeti (Nazrul songs). The poet did not stop at this but started composing the very first ghazals in Bengali, transforming a form of poetry written mainly in Persian and Urdu. Nazrul Islam became the first person to introduce Islam into the larger mainstream tradition of Bengali music. He had penned numerous Shyama Sangeet (devotional songs in praise of Goddess Kali). His famous writing `Mora ekti brinte duti kusum Hindu Musalman, ekti tar noyonmoni onno ti tar praan` (We are like two buds on a tree ready to blossom, Hindu and Muslim, if one is considered to be its vision then later is the heart) was more than enough to prove what a great philosopher and secular person he was and he could solve the age old communal issue by just penning down these few beautiful and meaningful lines.

Speaking on this occasion Ms. Mamata Banerjee said, `I am pleased to inform you that we have taken a series of projects to honour the poet, we are going to build a state-of-the-art study centre `Nazrul Tirtha`. This will be a place which will enable those willing to study or read on Nazrul Islam to gather important material`. Chief Minister said that she strongly feels the need to apprise the young people of these big people and their contributions. `I am really ashamed to think that the previous government did nothing to honour Nazrul Islam, nothing has been done. I had myself been to Churulia in Asansol and have seen the place where Kazi Nazrul was born, the place which should have been development and restored into a monument lay in oblivion. Those residing there have not maintained. I have decided to do the needful`, said Ms. Banerjee who reiterated that if the government don`t take initiatives to restore such places then how will the next generation com to know about them. `I have decided to link the place with rail root and I have already given the instruction to concerned authority`, added Chief Minister.

`Today rather just now we will lay the foundation of the Nazrul Tirtha and I want you all to stand up when we do so as a mark of respect to the poet. After being through many locations finally we have marked the place to build the Centre in Rajarhat opposite HIDCO office. Initially though, I planned to the Centre at Indira Bhawan in Salt Lake as the place is laying vacant and this would have make the place worth mentioning but I have changed my mind and decided to build it at the new location owing to so much criticisms`, said the Chief Minister who lay the foundation stone of the building by pulling the curtains. `However, let me make one thing very clear that under no circumstances I will tolerate any mud slinging in the name of Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam or Swami Vivekananda and therefore I will not build the Nazrul Tirtha in Salt Lake`, added Ms. Banerjee The architectural style of the proposed Nazrul Academy will be similar to the aesthetic European-style heritage buildings. The academy will be a complete educational and research centre on Kazi Nazrul Islam. It will have an archive, an audio-visual arena, a library, a reading room and a research centre. It will be meant for anyone with an interest in Nazrul, including students and research scholars. Nazrul's works will also be on display and people will be able to purchase his books.  

Earlier in the day Chief Minister paid her floral tributes to Kazi Nazrul Islam by garlanding the portrait of the poet at the Writers Building. Poet's daughter-in-law Kalyani Kazi alongwith the grand son and grand daughter were present on this occasion. Noted Nazrulgeeti exponent and Trinamool Congress MLA Dr. Anup Ghosal sang a few popular songs. 

Chief Minister honoured various personalities for their contribution in the field of art and culture on this occasion.