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At 1st literature meet since 1974, Bangla blurs borders

By January 15, 2018No Comments

Source : Times of India

Dhaka: The three-day ‘International Bangla Literature Conference 1424’ is an attempt at uniting people across the cultural spectrum whose works travel beyond boundaries.
The conference, being held at Bangla Academy on the theme ‘Bishwamanab Hobi Jadi Kayemon-e Bangalee Hao’ (If you want to be a global citizen, be a true Bengali first), was inaugurated by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka on Saturday. This is the second such event since 1974, when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman inaugurated the first Bangla literature conference.

About 300 literary personalities from Bangladesh, India, Japan, the UK, the US and Germany are taking part. They include Kazuhiro Watanabe, chief programme director of the Bangla section at Radio Japan, who translated Rahman’s ‘The Unfinished Memoirs’ into Japanese.

The Kolkata intelligentsia has a strong presence, with Goutam Ghose, Jogen Chowdhury, Suvaprasanna, Subodh Sarkar, Sraboni Sen, Prabal Kumar Basu and Satyam Roy Chowdhury in attendance.

On the first day, Ghose’s ‘Padma Nadir Majhi’ was screened along with Sheikh Niamat Ali’s ‘Surja Dighal Bari’. Shimul Yousuf-directed play ‘Dhaboman’ was staged on Day 2. Cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor recited ‘Amar Porichoy’ (my identity), a Syed Shamsul Haq poem that depicts Bangladesh’s artistic and literary history and heritage.

Seminars on topics from the impact of the Partition on literature to the fate of cinema and literature in the digital age kept the audience engaged. “It’s important to organise such a conference in Kolkata, too,” Sarkar said on the sidelines. Chowdhury added: “We should have people from all fields of art participating there.”

 Ghose, who chaired the seminar on literature and cinema, said: “Such events create a lot of bonhomie between India and Bangladesh. They make me want to imagine a day when we will no longer need visas to travel between India and Bangladesh.”

In her inaugural speech, Hasina said: “The whole world is reeling from unrest. Terror and anarchy are out to suppress all good sense. We have to be enlightened with knowledge to defeat ominous forces. For this, there is no alternative to literary pursuit.”

 Hasina reminded the audience that since her accession to power, she had been delivering her speech in the UN in Bengali. Her government, she said, is continuing its efforts to make Bengali one of the UN’s official languages.
Bangladeshi director Nasiruddin Yousuff, chief coordinator of the conference, is happy at the international turnout. “It feels good to see such participation to celebrate Bengali poetry, cinema and theatre,” he said.


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