Original in Bangla by: Kazi Nazrul Islam
Translated by: Subrata Kumar Das
[‘Amar Dhormo’ ( My Religion ) was first published in Dhumketu
( The Comet) on 01 Agrahayan of 1329 (AD 1922). After some months
of his unsuccessful marriage with Nargis A’sar Khanam, Nazrul
himself published this bi-weekly in which Afzalul Huq was the
printer cum publisher and Shantipada Singha was the manager. The
publication of this bi-weekly created much excitement among the
readers especially the youths. It was simply a historic event in
the socio-political milieu of the then Bengal. About Dhumketu
Serajul Islam Choudhury says, “It approached the middle class
youth of Bengal in a very direct manner, talking of revolutionary
violence, though not of a social revolution. Nazrul Islam
undertook to do in journalism what terrorists of his own age were
doing is a more secret area of operation.” (Nazrul Islam: Poet
and More, Nazrul Institute, 1994, P-53). In its 26 September
issue of 1922 Nazrul wrote a poem Anandamayeer Agamane (On the
Coming of the Goddess of Joy) for which at last the bi-weekly was
prohibited and Nazrul was arrested. He was given a sentence of
one year imprisonment.
‘Amar Dhormo’ was published in Dhumketuon 17 November, 1922.
The essay helps a lot to evaluate Nazrul’s attitude to religion
as well as to his ideas about humanity. It was later on included
in the essay-book Dhumketu(1960). In the Nazrul Rochonavoli
(Works of Nazrul) Vol-4 published by the Bangla Academy, Dhaka
the essay has been published under the title ‘Probondho’
Some people say that the movement we are now organizing for liberation must be
established on religious bases. When there arouse the slogans of smashing and millions of
people came out of door, they again became inspired and began to follow a true man
before them. But today when that man is disappeared, the unity is about to break
disputing on his ideologies. This is how life-force left from the units and outer rituals
remained only. In the same way our soulis about to leave our bodies today ⎯debaters
are not at all trying to catch hold of it. Some of them have become so fanatic and cautious
but they don’t have that much power or courage to invite destruction. Because we don’t
feel that call in ourselves.
We hear that we are to proceed through our religion. Why should we base religion?
You untouchable, get up now. Get up and say I am not a Brahmin that I must stay with
the religious explanations. I will not wait for you any more. I must survive ⎯anyhow I
must survive. You distressed, you oppressed, see the whole world is ready to diminish
you. Gods with their water and storm, nature with her disease and pestilence are prepared
to wipe you out. Rituals haveset its heavy burden upon you ⎯society has stopped your
voice. The loud laughter of the rich has overshadowed your soft cries.
What religion? My survivability is my religion. I shall control the water and storm of
the gods, I shall ward off the nature. I shall abolish all the rituals, and destroy the society.
I shall remain alive abolishing everything.
My religion? Does anyone have a religion who does not have the right to speak out,
whose sleep breaks by nightmares, who does not have the power to glance fiercely at
injustice? Does anyone have a religion who can bekilled in his own house like beast
getting no attention from others, who does not possess the hope to speak out even if his
parents and brothers and sisters are killed? Does anyone havea religion who only lives to
get two handfuls of food, who only lives to pass his time smoothly?
You are a servant to man. Can you have a religion ? Can you have the right to tell
Oh, dear youths, bereft of grace and fortune, come hurriedly ⎯come leaving all
those pretentions. You say, you have to survive first. Which education? Who will teach?
Can a slave teach another slave? We will learn nothing, we will hear nothing. We will
survive first ⎯we must survive.
Think about those youths for once. The homeless youths are roaming without any
aim. Who knows how many of them have died, how much they have suffered? They
never protested. Long ago they became homeless and began to roam here and there, but
they never protested. Don’t you feel their warm breaths on you? Do you know that they
are passing their days dying by inches by the paths that you pass by aiming at happiness.
Can they have a religion who have been shattered year after year inthat dark place?
They have understood that their religion is to survive ⎯they know that life exists in
dying through much suffering. So theyhave chosen the paths to die.
Dear youths, will you stay with religion now? Will you not think to live? Oh
suppressed, oh pretender, you can have no religion. Would they stay with the Vedic
books, if the enemy came? Would they keep themselves busy in reading the Holy Quran
if the devils came? The hymns of the Vedas would recede their war-cry in the mosques
would bathe in the blood of their enemies. They would first survive.
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