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Friday, 28 March 2008

More than 95 percent of the people of Bangladesh speak Bengali, which is one of the earliest modern languages of the subcontinent. It originated from the eastern Prakrit group of the Indo-Aryan family of languages. Early Bengali, in its lyrical form, originated in the 7th century AD. Its mediaeval period witnessed a steady upsurge of poetry having strong devotional and romantic overtones.

In this connection, it should also be mentioned that innumerable Bangladeshis laid down their lives for the recognition of Bengali as a state language during the Language Movement in 1952.

Since the early decades of the last century, modern Bengali literature swept into the mainstream of world culture through the works of such geniuses as Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Rabindranath Tagore and the rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam while poet Jasimuddin's austere lyrical anecdotes-depicting rural life with its joys and sorrows, romance and pathos-kept alive the link with the toiling masses.

With this heritage to draw inspiration from, the contemporary Bengali literature of Bangladesh has been throbbing with the creative impulses of a new generation of poets, novelists, playwrights and essayists. Many of their works have earned fame beyond the borders of the country.

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