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Discuss the social and political background of the poem Beware My Captain (Kandari Hushiar).

Discuss the social and political background of the poem Beware My Captain (Kandari Hushiar).

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 social and political background of the poem Beware My Captain (Kandari Hushiar).

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Ans: “Kandari Hushiar” (Beware, My Captain) is one of Kazi Nazrul Islam’s (1899-1976) inspiring patriotic songs. He is the rebel poet of Bengal and the national poet of Bangladesh. The poet wrote the poem about the clashes between Hindus and Muslims in India in 1926.

 

“Beware My Captain” is a patriotic song written after the Hindu-Muslim fights in India. By the middle of the 1920s, the community had big problems. These uprisings slowed down the battle for national freedom (clashes). Indians did not have any rights when the British ran the colonies. They are now rebelling because they have been unhappy for a long time.

 

Colonial rule keeps the country from being able to defend itself. People in the country cannot use the rights that belong to them. It means the country is about to fall apart and cannot defend itself. Nazrul says that the current situation is like the darkness of night and that the riots between Hindus and Muslims are like a big storm. His worry about the ongoing riots comes from the following: 

“The night is dark, the storm is great,
You must look sharp, there is no time to hesitate.”

 

Violence between Hindus and Muslims has split the Indian community into two parts: Hindus and Muslims. This desire for independence is taking them into the dark. Because of this, their political leaders need help. So, Nazrul sincerely asks ordinary people to forget about communalism and work together to fight against colonialism. Also, he tells his captain not to get lost. The captain should not leave them in the middle of their trip. Despite the community’s hostility, he wants to finish what he needs to do to get independence. Here is his sincere request to the people who can stand up to the disaster: 

“You must make haste or it would be too late
To ferry the boat across the other side.”

 

Most importantly, Nazrul did his best to stop more violence through his writings and speeches. He used important chances to talk or share his ideas to warn the political leaders of India’s nationalist movement about what would happen if they did not stop the violence. One of these times was when the Indian National Congress, the leading group fighting against colonialism, held its annual meeting in Krishnanagar. Here, Nazrul sang “Kandari Hushiar” (Beware My Captain), one of the most well-known songs he ever wrote. The warning was given by him in the form of the following words:

“The night is dark, be on your guard,
You soldiers of the country,
Age-old grievances have declared a fight.”

 

In fact, these words show how deeply Nazrul understood that the Indian nation would “sink” if the Congress, which was leading the fight for independence from British colonial rule, did not stop the rise of communalism. When Nazrul sang this song in 1926, there was only small-scale violence between different groups. However, he seems to have been aware of how dangerous the future would be. That’s why he urges to the captain:

“Are they Hindus or Muslims?
Who ask this question, I say.
Tell him, my captain
The children of the motherland are drowning today.”

 

To conclude, Nazrul’s poem “Kandari Hushiar” is a passionate plea to Congress to work harder for the cause of Hindu-Muslim unity, which was crucial in the fight against British imperialism. Since he firmly believes in humanity and universal brotherhood, he could not tolerate the ongoing crisis that created a chasm between the two religions of the world.

 

Well, that is the end of our content, the discussion of the social and political background of the poem Beware My Captain. If you love to enjoy more QA from South Asian and African Literature, must see the following content as well.

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

Elucidate Kazi Nazrul Islam is a great poet of interfaith harmony.

 

 

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Saddam Hossain

Founder & Language Instructor

Apart from English language and literature skill, I’m a Digital Marketer & Content Writer at My Writing Pen, BD Business Finder, NY Bizlisting.

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