• Dhaka Wed, 19 JUNE 2024,
Sonia to receive PNS-Bipasha Guhathakurata award 
Thar: The language of the Bede community - a rereading
I have already read various discussions about the book 'Thar: The Language of the Gipsy People'. This book became an exceptional book of our time in terms of research, content, presentation, cover and outlook.    I would like to start with a quote from Professor Maggie Tallerman [author of Language Origins : Perspective and Evolution] of Newcastle University. She said, "Humans are the only species which has developed complex spoken and written language, because of the communicative languages we are different from other animals." There are thousands of languages in the world. Chinese Mandarin is spoken by 1 billion people. On the other hand, the number of language users of the Gipsy community is only about forty thousand. Author Habibur Rahman has worked on such a language which has no script. Again, the language does not belong to the Indo-European group, the world's largest language family.   This huge book of 368 pages has a total 22 chapters. The chapters are progressed according to the research methodology. At the very beginning, the author's fascination about the reputed linguist Chomsky emerges with certain clarity.  As the language of the Gipsy community is different, so is the language of the 'Rishi' or 'Mochi' community. However, the language of this scheduled class has nothing in common with the language of the Gipsy community. As the language has no script, some scholars have attempted to identify it as a sign language or 'uncivilized language'. However, linguist Sukumar Sen says, 'Specific words (adopted from one or more languages) are used in a special sense to convey confidential information or to make others unable to be comprehended but necessary dialogues naturalized in public for dishonest purposes. Such use of language is called uncivilized labguage or Apartha-Bhasha.'     Another study unfolds the fact that the 'Bede' community was identified as suspicious during the British rule. Even today they are leaving behind the example of being involved in any criminal activities for the sake of livelihood.    Author Habibur Rahman says in the introduction of the book, that 'Traditionally, the life of the 'Bedes' are centered on boats. In the last few decades, due to rapid improvement of the overall communication system in the country and the reduction of the navigability of rivers and canals, their lifestyle has also been changing. The so-called talisman mantras and herbal medicine profession of the ancestors of the community is declining alarmingly with the development of modern medical methods and the wide spread of technology. As a result, most of these people are involved in various criminal activities and deteriorating the law and order situation in various areas. In order to earn a living, they have been joining into the drug trade.  The leave for Teknaf with the boxes of the snakes, and comes back with the bundles of Yaba drugs.'   When the author was serving as the Superintendent of Police in Dhaka district, he first noticed the issue and decided to change their criminal mindset gradually.   Many writers in Bengali literature have tried to portray this vulnerable community. Pallikobi Jasimuddin wrote the play 'Beder Meye'. Poet Nazrul wrote some noteworthy songs on this tribe. Tarashankar Banerjee wrote short story 'Bedeni'. Tozammel Haque Bakul made a feature film 'Beder Meye Josna'. It is known as the most successful movie of all time in Bangladesh. Malkosh is one of the ragas in North Indian music genre. Some music researchers believe that this raga originated from the tunes of the Gipsy community.  We believe that the information included in the book of writer-researcher Habibur Rahman will play an extraordinary role in the study of this small ethnic group in the future. Not much work has been done in Bengali language on minority languages. Some work has been done on the Garos and Chakmas in the past. After reading the book, it seems that the author has given ideas and links to the future generations of scholars. The book has already received national and international recognitions. Like APJ Abdul Kalam Medal and International Mother Language Award-2023. The later award was presented by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.  Habibur Rahman's book is a proof that one can be engaged in basic research while performing government duties. Author Habibur Rahman is currently Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP). He is associated with various creative and innovative works too. Thanks to Panjeri Publications for publishing such a unique book. The cover of the book has been designed by Rajeev Raju. He has dedicated the book to his physician wife Dr. Wazed Shamsunnahar Disha and son Aftan Afif Abdullah.     At the end I will be happy to quote from poet Kamal Choudhury about the book : 'Habibur Rahman wrote the book following the participation observation method of research. When a researcher start researching on a specific subject, he has to come out from the shell and dares to enter inside. Habibur Rahman is successful showing his courage through unplugging the facts and documents.' The writer of this article is a lawyer of Supreme Court. Former Banker and the first initiator of filing case against the killers of Bangabondhu
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A New Year for Us
Kazi Nazrul Islam’s 47th death anniversary today
The 47th death anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam is being observed in the country in a befitting manner. On August 27 (12 Bhadra of Bangla calendar year) in 1976, the poet breathed his last at the then PG Hospital, now Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital, in the city. The poet was buried with state honour beside the Dhaka University central mosque. Kazi Nazrul was a poet, lyricist, musician and philosopher. Different political parties, socio-cultural and professional bodies have chalked out elaborate programmes to par respect to the national poet. The programmes include placing of wreaths at the grave of the poet, discussions, song and poetry recitation sessions and staging of dramas from the creative literary works of the poet. Besides, Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television, and other private television channels and radio stations will air special programmes. Kazi Nazrul was born on 11 Joishttha, 1306 Bonggabdo in the village Churulia, West Bengal of India's Bardhaman district. His father's name was Kazi Faqeer Ahmed and mother was Zahida Khatun. His nickname was 'Dukhu Mia'. The nation got inspirations from Nazrul's poems and songs during the great Liberation War in 1971 and all other democratic movements and struggles. Nazrul wrote nearly 3,000 songs and composed many of them which are known as Nazrul-Geeti or Nazrul Sangeet. After the independence of Bangladesh, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman brought poet Nazrul Islam to Dhaka from Kolkata along with his family and made arrangements for living with state honour. Bangabandhu also provided a residence for the family of the poet in the city's Dhanmondi.
Rabindranath Tagore's 82th death anniversary today 
The 82nd death anniversary of Biswakabi Rabindranath Tagore, who reshaped Bengali literature and music as well as arts of Indian subcontinent with contextual modernism, is today. Tagore died at the age of 80 on August 7 in 1941, according to the Gregorian calendar. But, his death anniversary is observed in Bangladesh on Sraban 22 of the Bangla calendar. The different government and non-government institutions and cultural organizations have taken various programmes to mark the day. (Reportas BSS) Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and other private televisions and radio stations will air special programmes and dramas on the occasion. The youngest of thirteen surviving children, Tagore, nicknamed "Rabi", was born on 25th of Bengali month of Baishakh 1268 (May 7, 1861) in the Jorasanko mansion in Calcutta to Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi. In his long seven decades of endeavors in different genres of Bangla literature, the great poet enriched the Bangla language and literature and elevated their positions in the global arena. His novels, short stories, songs, dance-dramas and essays spoke to political and personal topics. Gitanjali (Song Offerings), Gora (Fair-Faced) and Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World) are his best-known works and his verse- short stories, and novels-were acclaimed-or panned-for their lyricism, colloquialism, naturalism, and unnatural contemplation. Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", Rabindranath became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. Sometimes referred to as "the Bard of Bengal", Tagore's poetic songs were viewed as spiritual and mercurial. His compositions were chosen by two nations as national anthems: Bangladesh's Amar Shonar Bangla and India's Jana Gana Mana. The Sri Lankan national anthem was inspired by his work.
Humayun Ahmed’s 11th death anniversary being observed
The 11th death anniversary of  Iconic writer, filmmaker Humayun Ahmed is ovserving today (January 19, 2023). On this day in 2012, the legendary writer passed away due to colorectal cancer at the age of 63 at Bellevue Hospital, New York, in the United States. Humayun Ahmed is Widely considered one of the cornerstones of modern Bangla literature. According to the report of UNB, His family and several organizations are observing the day with different programmes and events. Humayun Ahmed's wife, media personality Meher Afroz Shaon and their two sons Ninit and Nishad, placed wreaths at his grave in Nuhash Palli, Gazipur in the morning. Several other organisations are also commemorating the day with various events, while fans and admirers are sharing emotional tributes to the legend on their social media accounts. Humayun Ahmed was born in Kutubpur village at Mohanganj, Netrakona to Foyzur Rahman Ahmed and Ayesha Foyez on November 13, 1948. He passed the School Certificate (1965) from Bogra Zilla School, Intermediate from Dhaka College and earned his BSc and MSc in Chemistry from University of Dhaka, with first class. 'Nondito Noroke' (1972) was Humayun Ahmed's debut novel, which gave him the breakthrough and propelled his career as a writer. The Ekushey Padak winner writer wrote over 200 fiction and non-fiction books, all of which were bestsellers in Bangladesh to date. He won Bangla Academy Award, Lekhak Shibir Award, Shishu Academy Award, Michael Madhusudan Padak, Bachsas Award, and more for his outstanding contributions in his illustrious career to the Bengali culture and entertainment sphere. He received seven Bangladesh National Film Awards in different categories for the films 'Shonkhonil Karagar' (as screenwriter), 'Aguner Poroshmoni', 'Daruchini Dwip' and 'Ghetuputra Komola'.
Bob Dylan teenage love letters sell at auction
Writing to his sweetheart Barbara Ann Hewitt, a young man then named Robert Zimmerman discussed his dream to sell a million records one day. He would go on to sell 125 million. A collection of personal letters written by a young Bob Dylan to a high school girlfriend has fetched almost $670,000 (around €650,000) at auction this week.  A renowned Portuguese book shop, the Livraria Lello in Porto, bought the collection of 42 handwritten letters totaling 150 pages. It plans to keep the archive available for Dylan fans and scholars to study, auctioneer RR Auction said in a statement on Friday. The sale was completed on Thursday, with the letters the centerpiece and most expensive lot among a series of young-Dylan effects and memorabilia sold.  Letters from 1957-59, as Zimmerman became Dylan Dylan, a native of Hibbing, Minnesota, wrote the letters to Barbara Ann Hewitt between 1957 and 1959. At the time he was still known as Bob Zimmerman. They provide an insight into a period of his life of which not much is known.  RR Auctions' executive vice president, Bobby Livingstone, said you could see in the letters "the transformation of Bob Zimmerman into Bob Dylan."  Dylan discusses his plans to change his name and his dream of selling a million records in some of the letters. The 81-year-old Nobel Literature Prize laureate has sold roughly 125 million in a career lasting more than six decades.  Letters discovered after Hewitt's death The young musician often expresses his affection for Hewitt, invites her to a Buddy Holly concert, shares fragments of his poetry, and discusses issues ranging from cars to clothes and music.  Hewitt's daughter found the letters after her mother died in 2020. Each letter was accompanied by a handwritten envelope usually including the name Bob.  Other items auctioned this week included a selection of 24 poems Dylan wrote while studying at the University of Minnesota, which fetched almost $250,000, and one of the earliest known signed photographs of the singer that went for more than $24,000.