Bangla Sahitye Musolman
(Muslims in Bangla Literature)
Original in Bangla by:Kazi Nazrul Islam
Translated by: Subrata Kumar Das
[‘Bangla Sahitye Musolman’ (Muslims in Bangla Literature) is one of the editorials that Nazrul wrote in the evening daily Novojug (The New Era). Navojug, financed by Fazlul Huq, was first published on 12 July 1920 under the direct supervision of Kazi Nazrul Islam and Muzaffar Ahmed (1889-1973), a senior Communist. The daily could not continue for long. Most of the editorials that Nazrul wrote for this newspaper were later on published in the book-form having a title Jugovani(The Message of the Age) in 1922. Not long after its publication Jugovaniwas banned by the British Government in November 1922. The prohibition was withdrawn in 1947. ]
Everybody will agree with the commendable fact that the Muslims of Bengal have accepted Bangla as their mother tongue and shone much efficiency immediately. It is undoubtedly a matter of hope and pleasure thatall the common and uncommon people of the Muslim community are now reading Bangla, trying to learn Bangla. It is doubtlessly a sign of life in our literature that everyone desires to get a permanent place in Bangla literature and the new writers of this trend have started with much preparation. Writings by some of them are so hopeful that we can easily believe that they will get into the high place of Bangla literature.
To create an eternal influence on Bangla literature we must remove the dullness of it first and add the dancing melody and freedom to it.The literature which is lifeless and inactive can not bring any good to us, neither that can be something permanent. Other than Rabindranath very few writers of ours have been able to produce uncontrollable desire for independence. From where will theyget? Literature is the exposition of one’s own vitality. One who has no lifeof his own, how can he add vitality to his literature? How can one add colour to his paintings who has developed no awareness of colour in his mind? Most of us are lifeless, as our life is mostly monotonous, there is nothing novel, nothing beauteous in it. Moreover, our last straw is that we are philosophical from our childhood, we become grave at the age of only twenty. As a result we have to coil our limbs like an unconscious animal. This practice of sitting like a ‘lifeless Bhorot’ is throlling us. In the liberal passage of literature there must havepleasure, speed of current, songs and movements of waves.
We, especially the youths among us, must have sharp eyes on it. Many writing of the youths seem like that of the oldies. There isno life, no thought or idea in them. They are only full of garbage, and inanimation. It is a matter of great regret. The literateurs must keep necessary attention to their health if theywant to arouse literature with the touch of soul. When the body is free from diseases, a pure pleasure overflows spontaneously. You will see the writings of a writer who is healthy, who is cheerful, are full of vigour and melody. If the new writers practise music as per their capacity to keep themselves cheerful, they see the music and melody of their liberal and joyous spirit, will give their writings new power and inexperienced potency. Most of the writings by the people of sick physique and enlarged spleens are morbidwhich bring filthiness in literature. The writings of people whose minds are clean, openand full of laughter are richer. As the people of Europe are healthy and have made sports and fight and laughter their companions of their lives, their writing are also exposing those qualities.
On the other hand, our literature which is full of riverse characteristics is full of narrowness, deception, falsity and germs of diseases. The writing is the true articulation of the writer’s mind. When the writer is honest, that honesty will be exposed honestly in his writings. When the writer is dishonest, he would not be able to hide his dishonesty in his writing. Though the common eyes may fail to detect, it is not easy to avoid the experts’ eyes. This qualities of lifefulness, quick, and liberal efforts for attaining independence are seen only in our literature of some two or three. What a slowness! Many writers are yet unacquainted with the new wave of literature. For these reasons the hearts of the literateurs’, writers’ and poets’ should be open as the sky. There should be no enmity to any religion, nation or class. If the writers’ lives become like the stagnant water of a narrow pond, all his intentions in creating literature will surely end in smoke. Literature created by him will die in the labour–room. Literature only by those people becomes great whose mind is great and liberal. Because literature is for all humanity, it is not for a single person. The author will speakout about the world through his own words and sufferings. He will touch the pain of the universe. Whatever critical theories the author talks about must be in such a way that it was the innermost talks of his life, that it was smoldering in him getting no way out. Thusthe world-literature is created, it is called the universality of literature.
Rabindranath has been acclaimed across the world because he has created such world-literature. Literature, which is only for a few days and cannot be permanent, is not world-literature. So we have to create universality in literature now. But not at the cost of national identity. Every man has some uniformtruth and ideal in his mind which are same to people of every country of whatever country he is. At the time of creating
literature we must pay attention to this deeper things. Paying attention to it we should analyze its inner mystery and expose the beauty of truth and goodness ⎯our young writers must acquire this greatpower. When truth is the ultimate goal, when the creation of beauty and goodness is the final vow, his writing must attain honour. To get sufficient energy, to touch other’s heart, one must have his own energy. We are not saying this about any particular community of writers. It is applicable to all novelists, poets and short-story writers. None of these three is inferior because, creation is the ultimate destination of each of them. He, who can express art, is an artist. Art is the execution of truth and ‘beauty is truth, truth beauty’. Art may be termed as creation, or in other words man plus nature. But its foremost motive isthe exposition of truth. We hope that our young artists, writers and poets will keep these words in their memory and concentrate on creating permanent literature. May our desire be fulfilled.
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