Bangla Academy
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Bangla Academy

Bangla Academy
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Bangla academy logo.png
Bangla Academy Front 1 by Ashfaq.JPG
Burdwan House, Bangla Academy main building
Formation3 December 1955; 64 years ago (1955-12-03)
TypeAutonomous institution funded by Government of Bangladesh
HeadquartersBurdwan House
Location
Official language
Bengali
Director General
Habibullah Siraji
Websitebanglaacademy.gov.bd

Bangla Academy (Bengali: ?, pronounced [ba?la æka?emi]) is an autonomous institution funded by Bangladesh government to promote and foster the Bengali language, literature and culture, to develop and implement national language policy and to do original research in the Bengali language. Established in 1955, it is located in Burdwan House in Ramna, Dhaka, within the grounds of the University of Dhaka and Suhrawardy Udyan. Bangla Academy hosts the annual Ekushey Book Fair.

History

Moder Gorob, depicting the language movement martyrs, is one of the features of Bangla Academy

The importance of establishing an organisation for Bengali language was first emphasised by the linguist Muhammad Shahidullah.[1][2] Later, following the Language movement, on 27 April 1952, the All Party National Language Committee decided to demand establishment of an organisation for the promotion of Bengali language. During the 1954 parliamentary elections, the United Front's 21-point manifesto stated that, "The prime minister from the United Front will dedicate the Bardhaman House for establishing a research center for the Bengali language".[2] Following the election success of the Front, the education minister Syed Azizul Haque placed the order to fulfill this promise.

In 1955, the government formed a committee to expedite the process. The committee was composed of leading intellectuals like Muhammad Shahidullah, Qazi Motahar Hossain, S.M. Bhattacharya, W. H. Shadani, and Muhammad Barkatullah. On 3 December 1955, the Chief Minister of East Bengal, Abu Hussain Sarkar, inaugurated the institute.[2] Barkatullah acted as the Special Officer in charge. Later, in 1956, Muhammad Enamul Haque took over as the first director.[3]

In 1957, an act of the parliament formally established the funding source and the Government support for the institute.[2] The first book published by the academy was Laili Maznu, an epic by the medieval poet Dawlat Ujir Bahram Khan, and edited by Ahmed Sharif. The first fellow of the academy was the poet Farrukh Ahmed.[2]

The publication division was established in early 1957; the research, culture and library divisions and translation division were set in 1958 and 1961 respectively.[4]

After the independence of Bangladesh, the director's position was renamed Director General.[3]Mazharul Islam, head of Bangla Department of Rajshahi University, was the first Director General of the institute.[5] On 19 September 2008, a new 8-storied building, containing a 500-capacity auditorium and a 100-capacity seminar room, opened next to the main building.

Bangla Academy main building located in Burdwan House in Ramna, Dhaka

Structure

The functions and structure of the institute was devised on the model of the French Academy.[3]

Divisions

  1. Research, compilation and folklore
  2. Language, literature, culture and publication
  3. Textbook
  4. Planning and training

Activities

The main task of the Academy is to conduct research on Bengali language, culture, and history, and to publish Bengali literary and research work.

To commemorate the Language movement and the Language martyr's day, the Academy organizes the month-long Ekushey Book Fair, the largest book fair in the country.

Criticism

In recent years, Bangla Academy has been widely criticized for allowing different organizations to arrange events in English and denigrating Bengali in the premise of Bangla Academy, which is a violation of visions of the institution.[6] "The Academy has misused a lot of funds in producing useless books, books that are unoriginal," opines Salimullah Khan.[7] Khan is of the opinion that the Academy is short on original publications long on dross.[7] He believes that both in research and in the field of creative writing, originality must be given priority. He also adds that most of the problems lie in the process of selection. The selection process the crucial decision to ditch one manuscript to pick another that will be added to the long list of academy publications, is faulty and in dire need of revision.[7]

Awards given by Bangla Academy

Bangla Academy Literary Award

Rabindra Award

This award is conferred for significant contributions to Rabindranath Tagore works.[8]

Mazharul Islam Poetry Award

This award is conferred to the Bangladeshi poets since 2010.[8][9]

Presidents

Years President Profession
1961-1961 Mohammad Akram Khan Journalist and politician
1962-1963 Mohammad Barkatullah Writer
1964-1965 Muhammad Qudrat-i-Khuda Educationist
1969-1971 Syed Murtaza Ali Writer and historian
1972-1974 Zainul Abedin Painter
1975-1977 Syed Murtaza Ali
1977-1979 Syed Ali Ahsan Poet and educator
1980-1982 AFM Abdul Huq Faridi
1982-1983 Abu Mohammed Habibullah
1986-1990 Abdullah-Al-Muti Educationist
1990-1992 Gazi Shamsur Rahman Lawyer
1993-1994 Abdur Rahman Chowdhury Justice
1994-1996 Gazi Shamsur Rahman
1996-1999 Shamsur Rahman Poet
2002-2006 Anisuzzaman
2002-2006 Wakil Ahmed
2007-2009 M Harunur Rashid
2009-2011 Kabir Chowdhury
2011-2020 Anisuzzaman[10]
2020-present Shamsuzzaman Khan[11] Folklorist

List of Honorary Fellows

As of 2016, there are 159 persons made Honorary Fellows by the academy.[8]

1975
2001
2002
2003
  • Mohammad Ferdous Khan
  • Emazuddin Ahmed
  • Ferdousi Rahman
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018

References

  1. ^ Al-Helal, Bashir (1986). Bangla Academy'r Itihaas (History of Bangla Academy) (in Bengali). Dhaka, Bangladesh: Bangla Academy.
  2. ^ a b c d e Mamun, Muntasir (January 2004) [1993]. Dhaka: Smriti Bismritir Nogori (in Bengali) (3rd edition, 4th printing ed.). Dhaka, Bangladesh: Ananya Publishers. pp. 178-180. ISBN 984-412-104-3.
  3. ^ a b c Islam, Sirajul (2012). "Bangla Academy". In Islam, Sirajul; Helal, Bashir Al (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  4. ^ . Bangla Academy (in Bengali). Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ "Bangla Academy marks 54th founding anniv today". Dhaka Mirror. New Age BD. Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ '? '- ? '' ? !. bdnews24.com (Opinion) (in Bengali). 12 November 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "Losing Sight of Priorities". Star Magazine. The Daily Star. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ a b c [Winners list] (in Bengali). Bangla Academy. Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ "Mazharul Islam Award introduced". The Daily Star. 10 September 2009. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ [Former Presidents of Bangla Academy] (in Bengali). Bangla Academy. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ "Shamsuzzaman Khan becomes Bangla Academy president". New Age. Retrieved 2020.
  12. ^ Islam, Sirajul (2012). "Nasiruddin, Mohammad". In Islam, Sirajul; Quiyum, Nurul (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  13. ^ "40th ABM of Bangla Academy held". United News. 30 December 2017. Retrieved 2019.
  14. ^ "Artist Monirul Islam gets Bangla Academy Honouary Fellowship". Retrieved 2019.

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