Catholic singer receives Nazrul Award, which is named after Muslim Bengali poet
by Sumon Corraya

Joseph Kamal Rodrigues, 67, is well known within the Christian community. He has composed pieces of liturgical worship for the Catholic Church. Kazi Nazrul Islam's musical genre fuses spiritual and philosophical elements, romantic and revolutionary themes.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Joseph Kamal Rodrigues, a Bengali Catholic singer, received the 2018 Nazrul Award for his "outstanding contribution" to Nazrul Sangeet, Nazrul’s music, named after Kazi Nazrul Islam, a famous writer, composer and anti-colonial revolutionary, and Bangladesh’s national poet.

The 67-year-old singer is member of the Catholic parish in Nagori, Archdiocese of Dhaka. In receiving the award, he told AsiaNews: "I am pleased with this award. Every honour pushes one to work more sincerely. I will do so."

The award ceremony was held last Friday at the Nazrul Institute, a government cultural organisation. Cultural Affairs Minister KM Khalid presented the winners with a crest, money (100,000 taka, US$ 1,180) and a certificate.

Rodrigues is a famous singer of Narzul Sangeet, a musical genre inspired by the works of the late Bengali intellectual, widely used in the independence struggle against the British Empire and the Liberation war with West Pakistan.

The style mixes romantic themes and revolutionary notions, philosophical reflections and spiritual meditations.

The Catholic singer is well known within the Christian community for composing hymns for the liturgy and prayers for worship.