Nazrul’s works inspired generations to pursue freedom, equality: Blake

24 May 2016, 22:44


Dhaka: British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Alison Blake on Tuesday paid rich tribute to the memory of Kazi Nazrul Islam, the national poet of Bangladesh, saying his (Nazrul’s) works had inspired generations to pursue freedom and equality.

‘His writings are part of Bangladesh’s rich culture and long tradition of harmony, inclusion, diversity and tolerance across all divides,’ she said in a statement issued here today on the eve of celebration of the 117th birth anniversary of Rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.

Ms. Blake said 117 years after his birth Nazrul’s writings remain works of great literature with significance for all of us as the poet himself wrote ‘I don’t belong to just this country, this society. I belong to the world’.

She said Nazrul was writing before the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, with its statement that ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’.

‘He (Nazrul) gave powerful voice to a passionate belief that every person has the right to realise their full potential, free of any form of discrimination,’ he said adding that Bangladesh was born as a result of a struggle against intolerance and exclusion.

Referring to some of the Nazrul’s great works, she said he (Nazrul) wrote the poem ‘Nari’ (Women), condemning discrimination against women just because they were women and in his other poems, Nazrul urged an end to all forms of discrimination against people on whatever grounds.

‘This year’s Commonwealth theme is inclusion and the values promoted by Nazrul are at the heart of the Commonwealth.’

Blake said Bangladesh and Britain share a set of core Commonwealth values around tolerance, inclusivity and diversity and they also share a commitment to protect and uphold human rights.

‘Bangladesh is rightly proud of its great traditions and its rich cultural heritage,’ he said adding the attacks on innocent inhabitants of Bangladesh, including bloggers, foreigners, human rights activists and civil society figures, religious and other minorities, are assaults against the hard-won freedoms of Bangladesh.

‘Today we remember Nazrul’s work and life and the value of tolerance, inclusion, justice, and diversity,’ she added.