Peek into the Ekushey treasures
Published : Thursday, 15 February, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 73
Ekushey February, the first enticement to awake the nation, is a cognizance in the life of Bengalis. Its realization turned into the spirit of the Liberation War in 1971. Ekushey has not only established the mother tongue of the majority as the State language, but also enflamed a great passion for patriotism. It also stands as the symbol of liberty of non-communal nationalism.
In the development of our cultural consciousness, Ekushey has gone beyond being a mere date; and thereby has a far-reaching effect on our life and literature. In very similar terms, it has turned the lyrics of our linguistic-literary-cultural harmonies. Here goes a brief outline of the realms of literature written on Ekushey February.
The first published literary work on Ekushey's cognizance is the poem Kandte Ashini Fashir Dabi Niye Eshechi. Convener of the All-Party Language Movement Council of Chittagong and editor of Seemanto, Mahbub Ul Alam Choudhury wrote the poem on the very day of Ekushey February in 1952. It was published secretly in Kohinoor's Electric Press of Chittagong on the same night. On the next day, the poem was read and distributed among the mass gathering held in the Laldighi Maath.
Shortly after the publication, the then Muslim League government banned the poem. In this protest poem, the pain, anguish, anger and condemnation of Bengalis were manifested in an instant reaction to the incident while the heat of revenge was pronounced on the demand of the people of all walks of life.
Hasan Hafizur Rahman edited Ekushey February (1953), a compilation of a series of poems. The poems of Shamsur Rahman, Borhanuddin Khan Jahangir, Abdul Ghani Hazari, Fazle Lohani, Alauddin Al Azad, Anis Choudhury, Abu Jafar Obaidullah, Jamaluddin, Ataur Rahman, Syed Shamsul Haq and Hasan Hafizur Rahman were compiled in the book. Reading those poems, we can treasure the scenario of how Ekushey's tragedy struck the common people of the country.
Those poems depict the emotional anxiety for our mother tongue, deep pain for the martyrs, and the fury against violent rulers. Then, for the last six decades, numerous poems on Ekushey February have been published.
In Ekushey's literary cultural progress, poetry compilations have a significant role. The first milestone was Ekushey February (1953), which was published with Hasan Hafizur Rahman as editor in 1953. This historical and evergreen collection is the first literary document to inaugurate our national awareness.
Ekushey's poems, essays, stories, songs etc were published in the compilation book. Looking at the content of the Ekushey February, it is easily understood that the other side of literature as a part in the protest. Through this, the glorious tradition of publishing the Ekushey's compilation was created.
Since the publication of the first compilation, every year, the number of collections and magazines published on Ekushey has increased dramatically. A compilation edited by Amirul Momineen, published in 1991, suggests that two thousand and two hundred and twenty two collections on Ekushey February were published throughout the country over the years.
Ekushey's commemoration of mourning and sadness has reached the international level as these compilations and special supplements have played a unique contribution behind them.
Ekushey's scintillating songs
One of the first songs written on Ekushey February is Bhulbona, Bhulbona, Shei Ekushey February. The symphony was written by Gaziul Haque.
Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury's extraordinary song Amar Bhaier Rokte Rangano is the most popular song of Ekushey February. This song is as inspirational as the spur of the development of our cultural consciousness. The song is specially and significant and symbolic for us at present. It is a spirit of our soul whenever remembering language martyrs. Later, in light of this torch, we got many more patriotic songs.
Ekushey's short stories
Ekushey's short stories began with Hasan Hafizur Rahman's compilation on Ekushey February. Ekushey's stories published in this collection were: Shawkat Osman's Mouno Noy, Syed Atikunnahar's Hasi, Anisuzzaman's Dristi, Sirajul Islam's Palli Mati, and Atoar Rahman's Agnibak.
Shawkat Osman's Mouno Noy is the first story written on Language Movement. Like the first poem on Ekushey February, it was written in Chittagong as well. The plot of this story is quite dramatic. In this story, Osman portrayed the tragedy of Ekushey February through the calmness of passengers on a moving bus.
There was an old passenger who lost his son in the language movement. But at one point, the old father broke his silence and said, 'What was my son's fault? Why did they shoot him?' All the passengers and even the driver also extended their sympathy towards him.
Ekushey's dramas and plays
Our current progress in drama and theater has its roots in Ekushey's extraordinary influence. Dramas had been written at the time of the rise of Language Movement. Askar Ibn Shaikh's Durjog was written in 1951.
Munier Choudhuri's symbolic drama Kabar (1953), considered to be his best plays, is based on language movement. The stories of Ekushey's cognizance and immense sacrifice have been exposed in artistic excellence in the graveyard. In this play, the martyrs of language movement, who were shot dead, are stillalive in spirit. The drama is inconspicuous in our contemporary drama.
Mumtaz Uddin's play on the language movement named Bibaho. Milon Chowdhury's street play Jaay Din Faguner Dine has the reflection of 1952's 21st February, 8th Falgun, 1359 in Bengali calendar, of Language Movement. Another play Ekusher Itibritto of Shovamoy Bhattacharya is also significantly written on the context of Ekushey February.
The influence of Language Movement is seen in the novels like the other genres of literature. Though, it is not so deep or comprehensive. In some cases, the novels were not written on the context of language movement, but in reference to a character's memento.
Arek Falgun (1969) by Zahir Raihan is one of the first important novels written in the background of Language Movement. It is considered as Ekushey's first successful novel where Ekushey's consciousness is brilliantly portrayed in artistic excellence.
The novel has served as a motivation for Zahir Raihan's direct participation in the Language Movement. The story takes places in three days and two nights. But, in the limited time span, through various episodes, this book has vividly portrayed the climate during the Language Movement.
Selina Hossain's Japita Jiban (1981) is another notable novel based on Ekushey's plot. The novel explores the history of Bangladesh from the partition of India to the Language Movement.
Ekushey's literary works were a media of strong protest against the Pakistan regime. Thus, Ekushey's consciousness enriched the national consciousness of Bengalis. In Ekushey literature, the effect of the non-communal, humanist, language-based nationalism that took place in front of the communal, religious judiciary of the Pakistan-era, is a clear show of Bengali nationalism.
It can be said that Ekushey's literature has emerged as the identity of our nationality and glorification of our history invoking deep love for Bengali history, heritage, culture and nationality.