A Protest Against the Distortion of our national poet Nazrul Islam Melody

প্রকাশিত: ২:৫০ অপরাহ্ণ, নভেম্বর ২৬, ২০২৩

A Protest Against the Distortion of our national poet Nazrul Islam Melody

Sayeeda Sharmin

In the heart of every nation, the echoes of poetry resonate, binding people through shared emotions and cultural legacies. Kazi Nazrul Islam, the celebrated Bangladeshi national poet, stands as a symbol of pride and unity for both Bangladesh and India.

His verses, like precious threads, weave a mosaic of shared heritage, transcending borders.

Yet, a disheartening incident has cast a shadow over this poetic legacy. The poignant composition “Karar Oi Louho Kopat” by Nazrul Islam has faced an unauthorized transformation, a dissonant tuned in the harmonious melody of cultural appreciation. As voices rise in protest, it becomes more than a legal matter—it’s a plea for reverence.

In this impassioned plea, I implore the esteemed composer AR Rahman, whose creativity has often bridged cultural divides, to acknowledge the depth of sentiment tied to Nazrul’s poetry. A simple act of apology and rectification would not just be a legal obligation but a gesture of respect towards the soul of a nation, a plea to preserve the sanctity of artistic creation.

Moreover, let this plea reverberate beyond individual artists. I earnestly request the leaders of both nations, the Indian Prime Minister and the Bangladeshi Prime Minister, to intervene. Nazrul Islam is not merely a poet; he is a shared cultural treasure, a poet whose words resonate across borders, evoking shared emotions in the hearts of both Bangladeshis and Indians.

Let this incident be an opportunity for diplomacy guided by the profound understanding that art transcends politics. In the spirit of collaboration and mutual respect, may we protect and preserve the legacy of Nazrul Islam, ensuring that his poetry continues to bind us in a shared embrace of cultural brotherhood.

During the war, “Karar Oi Louho Kopat” emerged as more than just a song; it was a beacon of hope cutting through the darkness of conflict. Its verses, infused with Nazrul Islam’s passion, resonated with the collective heartbeat of a people facing adversity. The melody became a companion to the brave, an anthem that stirred courage and awakened a sense of purpose.

As we reflect on the profound impact of this song during a period of historical significance, the unauthorized alteration takes on an even greater weight of responsibility. It’s not merely about the notes or the lyrics; it’s about preserving the sacred connection between art and the collective soul of a nation.
When the esteemed poet Nazrul Islam was alive, he passionately instructed many of his friends to immortalize his songs through their distinct renditions. While he granted them the freedom to infuse their unique singing styles, he vehemently insisted on preserving the integrity of his original melody. In response to those who took excessive liberties with his creations, Nazrul expressed his displeasure, emphasizing, “My identity should resonate within the song; don’t overshadow it with your artistic interpretations.”

Regrettably, the artistic stampede did occur, and it unfolded within the cinematic narrative of “Pippa.” This film revolves around an amphibious vehicle skillfully operated by the courageous Indian soldier Balram Singh, a pivotal figure in India’s triumph over Pakistan during the 1971 war for the liberation of Bangladesh.
Chattogram “Astragar Lunthan” emerges as a heart-wrenching Bengali historical drama, a poignant masterpiece skillfully directed by Nirmal Chowdhury and brought to life by the production of Satyadev Narang. The film unravels the pages of history, narrating the gut-wrenching saga of the Chittagong armory raid orchestrated by the revered Masterda Surya Sen.
Released on the somber date of November 27, 1949, under the dignified banner of Bengal National Studios, this cinematic gem immerses viewers in the crucible of a defining historical moment. It artfully depicts the valor and sacrifice that marked the Chittagong armory raid, painting a vivid canvas of the unwavering spirit that defined the struggle for freedom.
Within the evocative narrative, the soulful strains of the iconic Nazrul Geeti, “Karar Oi Louho Kopat,” found its poignant first recording by the resonant voice of folk singer Girin Chakraborty. His rendition, laden with sorrow and emotion, adds a melancholic layer to the film, making it a hauntingly beautiful homage to the sacrifices of those who dared to dream of freedom.

In a poignant scene, Balram encounters a freedom fighter, and together, they harmonize the timeless melody of “Karar oi louhu kapat.” However, by employing the composition and musical arrangement crafted by the maestro AR Rahman, the cinematic depiction not only trampled upon the sanctity of the song but also extinguished its intrinsic spirit.

In addressing AR Rahman directly, we implore not just for legal rectification but for a recognition of the historical and emotional weight carried by this composition. An apology and corrective action would not only mend a legal transgression but also honor the enduring legacy of a poet whose words became a lifeline during a tumultuous chapter in history.

To the leaders of both nations, the Indian Prime Minister and the Bangladeshi Prime Minister, we extend this plea. In recognizing the shared cultural heritage represented by Nazrul Islam, intervene to safeguard the artistic integrity that binds our nations. Let this incident be a catalyst for fostering greater understanding and respect between our countries, united by the profound impact of a poet’s words and the melody that echoed through the corridors of history.

During the war, “Karar Oi Louho Kopat” emerged as more than just a song; it was a beacon of hope cutting through the darkness of conflict. Its verses, infused with Nazrul Islam’s passion, resonated with the collective heartbeat of a people facing adversity. The melody became a companion to the brave, an anthem that stirred courage and awakened a sense of purpose.

In those trying times, this composition held the power to unify, transcending borders and ideologies. It was a source of strength for those on the front lines and a balm for the hearts of families waiting anxiously at home. “Karar Oi Louho Kopat” became a testament to the indomitable spirit of the people, a musical narrative etched into the wartime memories of Bangladesh.
Amidst the crucible of the War of Liberation, the haunting strains of “Karar Oi Louho Kopat” echoed through the airwaves of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra, becoming an anthem that stirred the very souls of freedom fighters. The repeated serenade of this melodic hymn became a wellspring of profound inspiration, breathing life into the hearts of those in the struggle.
In the poignant documentary “Muktir Gaan (the song of freedom)” by Tareque and Catherine Masud, the screen came alive with the presence of illustrious figures—Nazrul exponent Shaheen Samad, the impassioned Ziauddin Tariq Ali, the compassionate Dr. Naila Khan, the soulful Luba Marium, the maestro Bipul Bhattacharya, and the evocative Debabrata Chowdhury. Their collective presence not only paid homage to the anthem but also brought forth the raw emotions of the liberation era.
For any researcher delving into this cinematic narrative, the documentary unveils not just the original tune but also the profound impact it wrought upon the indomitable spirit of the freedom fighter, etching a lyrical legacy into the very heart of the struggle for freedom.

As we reflect on the profound impact of this song during a period of historical significance, the unauthorized alteration takes on an even greater weight of responsibility. It’s not merely about the notes or the lyrics; it’s about preserving the sacred connection between art and the collective soul of a nation.
In addressing AR Rahman directly, we implore not just for legal rectification but for a recognition of the historical and emotional weight carried by this composition. An apology and corrective action would not only mend a legal transgression but also honor the enduring legacy of a poet whose words became a lifeline during a tumultuous chapter in history.

To the leaders of both nations, the Indian Prime Minister and the Bangladeshi Prime Minister, we extend this plea. In recognizing the shared cultural heritage represented by Nazrul Islam, intervene to safeguard the artistic integrity that binds our nations. Let this incident be a catalyst for fostering greater understanding and respect between our countries, united by the profound impact of a poet’s words and the melody that echoed through the corridors of history.

Copyright by: Author/Poet Dr. Sayeeda Sharmin