The High Court on Wednesday issued a rule questioning why instructions should not be given to the authorities concerned to issue a gazette declaring poet Kazi Nazrul Islam as the national poet of Bangladesh.
The HC bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice Ahmed Sohel issued the ruling after hearing a writ petition in this regard.
Cultural Affairs Secretary, Bangla Academy Director General and Executive Director of Kabi Nazrul Institute were asked to respond to the rule within next four weeks.
Advocate Asad Uddin appeared for the writ petitioner while Deputy Attorney General Samarendra Nath Biswas and Abul Kalam Azad Daud for the state.
On June 22, Advocate Asad on behalf of 10 Supreme Court lawyers filed a writ petition with the High Court bench.
“Though people calls Kazi Nazrul Islam as the national poet of Bangladesh, but there is no state recognition through issuing a gazette to this effect,” said Asad.
Nazrul's name has been mentioned as the national poet in two laws of Bangladesh. He was also mentioned as national poet in various government events but all are indirect recognition. Such acknowledgment may be faded in future, said the petitioner.
Besides, the poet's family has been demanding the official recognition of Nazrul as the national poet. Nazrul researchers and people related to literature and culture have also demanded it.
“But so far no visible initiative has been taken by the government in this regard. Therefore, a writ petition was filed as a conscious citizen of the country and a high court lawyer,” said Azad.
The other petitioner lawyers are — Muhammad Misbah Uddin, Md Zobaidur Rahman, Al Reza Md Amir, Md Rezaul Islam, KM Mamun-Or-Rashid, Md Asraful Islam, Shahinur Rahman, Md Rezaul Karim and Md Alauddin.
On May 31, these lawyers also served a legal notice to the government asking it to issue a gazette notification in this regard.