To revisit the rich heritage of Bangla literature, a three-day “International Bangla Literature Conference 1424”, on the theme “Bishwamanab Hobi Jadi Kayemon-e Bangalee Hao” (if you want to be a global citizen, be a true Bangalee first), began yesterday at the capital's Bangla Academy.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the conference as the chief guest in Osmani Memorial Auditorium.
This is the second such event since 1974 when Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman inaugurated the first Bangla literature conference.
Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman, the convener of the conference, presided over the inaugural programme while Nasiruddin Yousuff, chief coordinator of the event, delivered the welcome address.
Noted Bangladeshi and Indian authors and organisers such as Pradip Bhattacharya, Satyam Roy Chowdhury, Sunilmoy Ghosh and Rabeya Khatun spoke among others.
Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor recited a Syed Shamsul Haq poem titled “Amar Porichoy” (my identity) that depicts the political backdrop and cultural identity along with the artistic and literary history and heritage of Bangladesh.
About 300 literary personalities including poets, playwrights, novelists, short story writers, singers, theorists and critics from Bangladesh, India, Japan, the UK, the USA, and Germany are attending the event.
Kazuhiro Watanabe, chief programme director of Bangla section at Radio Japan, who translated “The Unfinished Memoirs” of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Japanese, is among the figures attending.
The conference aims to bring together eminent litterateurs, artists, filmmakers and theatre and cultural personalities under one umbrella.
The luminaries are taking part in a variety of programmes including seminars, discussions, and open “adda” (chitchat) on Bangla literature, poetry recitation, musical performances, storytelling, plays and film screenings.
A cultural programme was also held. Shrabani Sen started off with a Tagore song. Khairul Anam Shakil and Anima Mukti Gomez rendered a Nazrul song and a Lalon number. Artistes of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy performed two choral songs. Hasan Arif emceed the programme.
The event is being held in two auditoriums and three open stages of Bangla Academy.
Noted Bangladeshi and Indian writers, academics, artists, filmamkers, organisers and cultural and media personalities including Hasan Azizul Haque, Shamsuzzaman Khan, Abul Momen, Prof Muntasir Mamun, Abul Hasnat, Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul, Moinul Ahsan Saber, Muhammad Samad, Anisul Hoque, Selina Hossain, Imdadul Haque Milon, Tanvir Mokammel, Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Samaresh Majumdar, Abhijit Sen, Goutam Ghose, Amar Mitra, Manoj Mitra and Jogen Chowdhury are participating in the conference.
On the opening day, two films -- “Surjadighal Bari” and “Padma Nadi'r Majhi” -- were screened while theatre production “Noddiu Natim” by Mad Thetar was staged.
Timeless Bangla songs, folk songs and poetry will be presented today, alongside Dhaka Theatre's production “Dhabomaan”.
On the third day, there will be a traditional “pala” production titled, “Rupchan Sundori'r Pala”, and later in the evening there will be another poetry and song session. Theatre will also stage their play “Payer Awaj Pawa Jaye” on the day.
Former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee will grace the closing ceremony at the academy's Nazrul Mancha tomorrow.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith will chair the session while Prof Emeritus Anisuzzaman will deliver the closing address. Rezwana Chowdhury Bannya will perform songs at the ceremony.
The International Bangla Literature Conference Organisers' Council, in collaboration with Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan (All India Bengali Literary Conference) and Friends of Bangladesh has organised the conference, sponsored by the finance and cultural affairs ministries of Bangladesh.