Nazrul Institute Honors a Legend

Kazi Nazrul Islam is the national poet of Bangladesh. His creative abilities not only influenced the literary world in Bangladesh, but have been far more influential with regard to the arts of the country than any other poet before or after him. He reached out to the nation through his music and through his words, and his work was considered to be so vital, that the Nazrul Institute was established in 1985 to carry out research and publications in regard to preserving Kazi Nazrul Islam, in the culture of Bangladesh.

The main function of the Nazrul Institute is to research and study all the poetry and writings of Kazi Nazrul Islam, and to edit, compile and publish the songs written and books of poetry, to bring the poet to the people of Bangladesh. The institute also hosts workshops, lectures and seminars in regard to the poet and have collected an extensive library of his life, books, poetry, music and literature. Scholars at the Nazrul Institute are trained in singing his songs correctly and students, who have excelled in their studies and research of the poet, are given awards to acknowledge their efforts.

From the rare memorabilia of Kazi Nazrul Islam’s life, such as photographs, gramophone records and manuscripts, the institute has been able to publish some of the poet’s work in various languages including Turkish, English, Chinese and Spanish, and have recently published a magnificent book filled with paintings in regard to Nazrul. They are currently working through more of his manuscripts and are also looking at putting together a photography book that illustrates and brings his work to life visually. The book of photography follows the success of a previous photography publication that had pictures of all the places he visited while in East Bengal. Documentaries have been released by the institute which already has another two in the making.

The Nazrul Institute works tirelessly to conserve this important part of their culture and heritage, by recording and documenting the life and work of Kazi Nazrul Islam. Without their dedication and their selfless labors, some of this magnificently talented literary icon’s work could have been lost forever. But today, visitors to Bangladesh and locals, can learn, experience and gain insight into the mind of a legendary man, and his work will live on through the institute and its students.