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In the poem “Manush” (Man), man is above everything else. Discuss the significance of the statement.

In the poem “Manush” (Man), man is above everything else. Discuss the significance of the statement.

Kazi Nazrul Islam is one of the major poets of South Asian and African Literature subject for Master’s Final Year, English Department of the National University, Bangladesh. We have prepared all the important broad QA (Part C- 10 Marks) for your upcoming final exam. In the following content, we have discussed the significance of the statement, “Man is above everything else.” with reference to the poem “Manush” (Man).

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Ans: “Manush” (Man), one of the poems in Samyabadi, was written by Kazi Nazrul Islam, the rebel poet of Bengal and now the national poet of Bangladesh. Eleven poems in the collection are based on the idea that everyone is equal. Thus, the most important themes in the poem “Manush” are equality and humanity.

 

Nazrul’s poetry always presents man and humanity as more important than anything else. In the poem “Manush,” Nazrul’s idea is shown clearly and powerfully:

“Of equality I sing.
Man comes first,
And there is nothing nobler than him.”

 

The poem is an extreme example of a poet’s spectacular manifesto about man and humanity. There is nothing like it in Bengali literature or anywhere else in the world. From the time he was a young boy, Nazrul saw and experienced man’s suffering, exploitation, oppression, and tyranny firsthand. These painful events made him a rebel poet.

 

Nazrul is the only one who could call for a revolution in this way. He wanted this power so he could fight against religious and social lies. But he is a well-rounded artist in this way. So, when he says in two places in the poem that he wants to lock up the mosque and the temple, he is accusing both the priests and the mollahs. He says:

“O Lord
For eighty years have I lived
And never did I say my prayers
And yet, did you ever refuse my meals for that?”

 

In this poem, the poet speaks out loudly about a person’s right to attend religious events. At the same time, the poet criticizes those who use religion as a commodity in their business. So, according to Nazrul, religious institutions have become business groups that only care about making money for themselves. So, he puts the question at the heart of the poem:

“Who can lock up God’s House?
Who can put its doors under seal?
They must remain always open
For man in suffering and in woe.”

 

In fact, he doesn’t like the jobs that both Hindu priests and Muslim Mollahs do. Nazrul says that a traveler who hadn’t eaten for seven days went to a Hindu priest and asked for food. The priest wouldn’t give him food, so he smashed the door to the temple behind him. At the same time, when the traveler went to a Mollah, he got a similar treatment from that place. When the priest and the Mollah don’t help the hungry man, the poet asks Chengis, Mahmood of Gazni, and Kalaphar to step in. Here lie his rebellious words: 

“Who puts locks on them?
All its doors will remain unlocked
Strike them with hammers and crowbars.”

 

To sum up, Nazrul’s sense of being a good person comes from his religion. The poet means to say that God made man in his image and that only man can build a beautiful world if everyone is motivated by equality and humanity. God has created man, the most supreme creation in the world. Therefore, we can firmly say that man is above everything else as far as the poem “The Man” is concerned.

 

Well, that is the end of our content, the significance of the statement, “Man is above everything else” If you love to enjoy more QA from South Asian and African Literature, must see the following content as well.

 

Discuss the social and political background of the poem Beware My Captain (Kandari Hushiar).
Elucidate Kazi Nazrul Islam is a great poet of interfaith harmony.

 

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