Vol. 5 Num 351 Wed. May 25, 2005  

How to generate interest in Nazrul songs among the newcomers -- Ferdous Ara
The responsibility of generating interest in Nazrul sangeet among the upcoming artistes lies with us, the singers, who are devoted into this genre," says Ferdous Ara. A popular Nazrul artiste, she continues, "The mastery in music developed gradually with the help of the gurus, which is termed as guru shishya parampara: it's like a relay race and now the baton is in our hands. Now it is up to us to become united and to assist and encourage the young generation to gain expertise in Nazrul sangeet."

To Ferdous Ara, Nazrul comes with his versatility, however, as she says "The sad part is that we have never realised the spirit of Nazrul. That's why we have failed to project this legend amongst the young generation properly. The steps should be taken personally as well as collectively. It should begin at the family level."

The negligence of the government and private initiators to patronise Nazrul disturbs Ferdous Ara. "We need a wide publicity for promoting Nazrul and for this the government should come forward as they have the advantage of reaching the masses," she asserts. The initiative should be taken from the grassroots level. For instance, the ethos, the versatility and the spirit of Nazrul should be projected through the school syllabuses and in the performing arts in schools.

"Not only that, Nazrul artistes should be included as representatives in the state programmes and official cultural tours. This can also attract the young artistes," she believes.

She asserts that lack of sponsors and the attention of the recording companies, is another reason for the young generation drifting away from such music.

Culture is an ongoing process that attracts newer ideas. Ferdous Ara strongly recommends, "We need to keep pace with time. We should welcome the modern musical instruments in Nazrul songs to make it widely acceptable. In fact, Nazrul's songs have such wide variations that it can easily adapt to the changes. Even the scope for fusion is there if done with care."

She adds that as it is the era of visual entertainment, so using of VCDs of Nazrul songs and even using Nazrul's medley of songs in cinema, TV and stage plays can draw attention among the new generation.

"Today, Nazrul's legacy continues to energise the Bangalees. His poems and songs are part of the rites of passage for each generation of Bangalees. Yet there is a recklessness about him, both in life and in songs, that never fail to attract the imagination that is the eternal hallmark of youth," concludes Ferdous Ara.

Ferdous Ara's breakthrough performance as a Nazrul singer was through the song "Patho hara pakhi". She has two publications on Nazrul titled Sangeet Bhubaney Nazrul and Sanchitar Katha Barta. She also conducts TV programmes on Nazrul such as Sanchita on Channel i and Ei Shomoy on ntv. She also runs a music school named Sursaptak. She has launched a VCD on Nazrul songs titled "Shaono Ratey" and also sang for the upcoming movie "Meher Nigar" by Impress Telefilm.