The Financial Express

Bangla Academy off goals in promoting language, literature

| Updated: February 22, 2021 15:16:45

Bangla Academy off goals in promoting language, literature

Bangla Academy is lagging behind in meeting the present demand to enrich Bangla language, even compared to its own past glorious journey, observed experts and writers.

Bangla Academy was established in the hand of Dr Muhammad Shahidullah in 1955 to promote, facilitate, enrich and protect the Bangla language; but many people related with Bangla literature think that the academy could not reach its goals in the last few decades.

The academy authorities, however, observed differently assuring that it is on the right track and working to enrich Bangla language and literature. And, the academy would get a new academic and outer outlook before the next Ekushey Book Fair.

Moin Muntasir, a young writer, theatre activist and a lecturer of Bangla department at Lalmatia Mohila College in Dhaka, told the FE that the academy failed to attract young writers and readers as it is mostly inactive.

"The Bangla Academy earlier took a project to promote young writers and facilitate the publication of their works but it couldn't be 'successful' due to lapse in policy level and support from the authorities concerned," he alleged.

The academy premises could be a hangout of most young promising writers, poets and readers but youths of the country are on the verge of forgetting that they have an academy named Bangla Academy, he, who already published some poem books, said with frustration.

"We are not getting the right successors to Dr Muhammad Shahidullah, who dreamt of the academy to promote and enrich Bangla language through their activities and initiatives," Moin Muntasir observed.

"The academy can provide young writers with catchy scholarships to promote Bangla literature, folks, indigenous literature and language, and so on. But, it hardly has any research and study on Bangla language and literature," he added.

He alleged the academy authorities for patronising nepotism and political agendas. Prof Dr Mohammad Sajjadul Islam (Sumon Sajjad), Department of Bangla at Jahangirnagar University is also not satisfied with what Bangla Academy is doing to promote and peritonise Bangla language and literature.

"There are some unresolved issues like Bangla writing style, existence of a number of Bangla dictionaries with many differences; those need to be addressed but we find Bangla Academy less interested to resolve those longstanding issues," he remarked.

"The academy is also not interested in, as we find, translating indigenous literature into Bangla. It's a very significant job to relate those works to Bangla and enrich Bangla as a language apart from promoting other existing languages in this land," the professor said.

The academy should also work on Bengalisation and promote Bangla in higher study and research by translating books including research, literature, science and language from other languages to enrich Bangla, Sajjadul Islam added.

"Bangla Academy is doing some good works like publishing some rewound Bangla magazines but it's not enough to promote what we expect to promote the language we secured by shedding our blood in 1952," he, who works in the fields of poetry, fiction, cultural studies, history and literature, said.

"Bangla Academy can arrange regular conferences, seminars on Bangla language and literature inviting academicians and experts in respective fields. We must have right, skilled and qualified persons engaged with the academy to get fruitful results," he added.

He also recommended an e-library and digitalisation of the academy to keep pace with the modern world; "We can open the rare and century old books on the e-galley for readers which are no longer accessible or hard to find."

"Bangla Academy has lagged behind in what it has done and contributed even in 1970s, so the academy is not functioning well with respect to its own journey in the past," he noted.

AHM Lokman, secretary of Bangla Academy, told the FE, although disagreeing with some points raised by the teachers and writers, that the academy has been working cordially to promote Bangla language and literature.

"The whole outlook of Bangla Academy would be changed before the next Ekushey Book Fair. We have taken some 10 to 12 big projects to address those needs to further improve the access and facilities of it," said Mr Lokman.

"We will have a well decorated and enriched academy library with digital facilities. The academy premises will get a new and expanded look to facilitate writers and readers," the official described.

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