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Scholarly Article

Sharmila Ray

Bridging the Divide: Kazi Nazrul Islam and Nationalism

nationalism, colonialism, freedom-struggle, independence


In my essay I have tried to show how Kazi Nazrul Islam wielded the all-important weapon of language to give impetus to the cause of Nationalism. The argument is based on the premise that the dynamics of creativity, the quality of imagination and the question of memory that are associated with creative writing cannot be ignored. Literature deconstructs memory if only to construct new memory to be further renewed and transformed by the receiver’s mind. Today, seven decades later after the independence of India, as we try to recover a sense of what the experience of nationalism actually meant to the people, we need to turn to the many layers of histories that lie submerged beneath the official history.

About the Author

Sharmila Ray is a poet and non-fiction essayist, writing in English and anthologized and featured in India and abroad. Her poems, short stories and non-fictional essays have appeared in various national and international magazines and journals. She is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of History at City College, Kolkata. She has authored nine books of poetry. She conducted poetry workshops organized by British Council, Poetry Society of India, Sahitya Akademi. She is the Vice-president of Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library. She has been reading her poems in India and abroad. Her poems have been translated into Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Slovene, Hebrew and Spanish. Currently she is working on a manuscript of non-fictional essays. She may be contacted at

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