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Kazi Nazrul Islam and Decolonisation: Poetry as a Praxis of Political Intervention and Cultural Ecology

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Habibur Rahaman
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This paper explores how Kazi Nazrul Islam's poetry aligns with the leitmotifs of decolonisation. Nazrul Islam grapples with the race-gender-based regimens of his society. His activism and creative oeuvre harp on a subversive praxis, which interrogates the British colonial regime and racist norms ingrained in colonial India. As the paper examines, decolonisation not only foregrounds anti-colonial interventions and emancipation of the colonised, but envisages a continuing cultural revolution against colonialism. Analysing Nazrul Islam's emblematic political poems and his intellectual struggle, the paper ascertains how his poetry and authorial-political life mirror the philosophy of decolonisation, and thus radically contends colonialism. His poetry pits a cultural wholeness-composed by nature, human, men, women, and global religions and myths-against the western ideology of culture, race, anthropocentrism, and androcentrism that remains agentive in shaping, consolidating, and validating global colonialism. Keywords Bangladeshi literature, Nazrul Islam and colonialism, colonisation and Indian women, co-humanness and non-anthropocentric philosophy, literature and decolonisation Introduction This paper investigates the decolonial voice and spirit as reflected in the political life and literary activism of Kazi Nazrul Islam Islam (1899-1976), the national poet of Bangladesh. His rebellious poems call for a "national culture of revolution" to "describe, justify and praise the actions" (Fanon 233) that shape a tangible praxis of anti-colonial intervention and thus endorse the pedigree of politico-cultural decolonisation of the global colonised. His work resonates with Fanon's decolonial dictum: "We must remember in any case that a colonized people are not just a dominated people" (Fanon 184). The paper elucidates how