Letter to Anwar Hossain


23rd Agrahayan 1332

Please take my regards and salam. ... Due to lack of time, I have not been able to reply. Please forgive me. You write Bangla so good; your idea, thought and language are so clear and beautiful that we should have known each other long time ago. Yet, you have kept yourself hidden, while those cheap "puthi"-reading writers are the elites among writers of Muslim society. ... I found your letter so gratifying that I have read it to many others.

Muslim society has hurt me persistently. Yet I have not felt sadness and pessimism. Because, the illiterate Muslims of Bengal are conservative (gora) and literate ones filled with jealousy. I am not exaggerating at all. Muslim society has always misunderstood me by mixing my literature with my personality. I am Muslim, but my poetry is for all lands, all ages and all people. This serious mistake arises from the mistake of judging a poet as a Hindu poet, Muslim poet, etc.

Let me say this, I have not been proclaiming the message of Shariat - I have been writing poetry. Judging poetry by religion or scripture causes deep confusion. A poet or poetry can't live or be born within the excessive strictness of religion. The proof of that: the arabia. When the strict religious conservatism of Islam became dominant, we don't see the birth of any poet there. It's true!

-- Nazrul Islam

Source: Nazrul Rochonaboli, Vol. 4, 1996, p. 371