-Subrata Kumar Das
The time before and after the separation of India was of much significance. The incident bore more importance for the people of our region because since then the Bangla speaking community were divided into two parts – the East and the West Bengal. The millennium old culture and unity of Bangali nation were smashed. Moreover just after the creation of Pakistan, the existence of language became a great question. The West-Pakistan ruling government tried to impose Urdu as the principal language on the Bangali people. As a result the whole society reacted strongly which took permanent impression on literature also.
In this tumultuous era the foremost successful, both from art and reality points of view, is Syed Waliullah’s Lalshalu (1948). Herewith less mention but worth mentioning another novel is Mofijon (1948) by Mahbub-ul Alam (1898-1981). Then writers from middle class background began to contribute more and more. From various professions they began to come with multifarious contents. In the first years of Pakistan-period our people mostly took village life as their contents, but they gradually diversified their interests. Newly born urban society began to establish itself as worthy to be literary contents. Along with them political developments also took place in novels.
In the first decade after 1947 the most prominent novelists of our country are Abul Fazal, Akbar Hossain (1917-1981), Shaukat Osman (1917-1998), Abu Rushd (1919-), Kazi Afsaruddin (1921-1975), Daulatunnessa Khatun (1922-1997), Syed Waliullah, Sarder Jayenuddin (1923-1986), Abu Ishaque (1926-2003), Shamsuddin Abul Kalam (1926-1997) et al. In the next decade a good number of writers joined the previous group. Among the new faces Chowdhury Shamsur Rahman (1902-1977), Satyen Sen (1907-1981), Abujafar Shamsuddin (1911-1989), Ahsan Habib (1917-1985), Nilima Ibrahim (1921-2002), Abdur Razzak (1924-1981), Khondkar Md. Eliash (1924-1995), Rashid Karim (1925-), Shahidulla Kaisar (1927-1971), Anwar Pasha (1928-1971), Abdar Rashid (b 1930), Alauddin Al-Azad (1931-2009), Abdul Gaffar Choudhury (b 1931), ), Zahir Raihan (1933-1972), Syed Shamsul Huq (b 1935), Humayun Kadir (1935-1977), Shahid Akhand (b 1935), Razia Khan (1936-2011), Shawkat Ali (b 1936), Dilara Hashim (b 1936), Indu Saha (b 1940), Ahmad Sofa (1943-2001) are the most prominent ones.
Depiction of village life was the core theme of a huge number of novels. Sometimes it centered the superstitious village mind or the oppression by the influential groups on the common people, some other times depressed womanhood took this place. Love between men and women in pastoral context was also a subject of many novels. Lalshalu by Syed Waliullah, Kashboner Konya (1954), by Shamsuddin Abul Kalam, Surya-Dighal Bari (1955) by Abu Ishaque, Meghabaran Kesh (1956) by Ishaq Chakhari, Adiganta (1956) by Sardar Jayenunddin, Mohuar Desh (1959) by Tasadduk Hossain, Janani (1961) by Shaukat Osman, Jhar (1962) by Syed Sahadat Hossain, Karnafully (1962) by Alauddin Al-Azad, Sareng Bou (1962) and Sangsaptak (1965) by Shahidulla Kaisar, Aranya Mithun (1963) by Badruddin Ahmad, Modhumoti (1963) by Rabeya Khatun, Hazar Bachhar Dhore (1964) by Zahir Raihan, Bobakahini (1964) by Jasimuddin, Pannamoti (1965) by Sardar Jayenuddin are the significant examples in this regard.
Urban town life, its problems and complexities are also the contents of a good number of novels in this era. Uprising middle class people, their social context and love in their life are portrayed in the novels of this trend. Significant novels of this stream are Jibone Pother Jatri (1948) by Abul Fazal, Pother Porosh (1957) by Daulatunnessa Khatun, Bhorer Bihongi (1958) by Satyen Sen, Suryer Niche (1958) by Atahar Ahmad, Pathasranta (1959) by Nilima Ibrahim, Shesh Bikeler Meye (1960) by Zahir Raihan, Kanyakumari (1960) by Abdur Razzak, Uttam Purush (1961) by Rashid Karim, Ek Path Dui Bank (1962) by Nilima Ibrahim, Akash Jodi Nil Hoi (1962) and Ihai To Prem (1963) by Syed Sahadat Hossain, Prasanno Pashan (1963) by Rashid Karim, Pingal Aakash (1963) by Shawkat Ali, Akasher Rong (1964) by Zobeda Khanam, Panna Holo Sobuz (1964) by Shahid Akhand, Nirjan Megh (1965) by Humayun Kadir, Ghar Mon Janala (1965) by Dilara Hashim, Aronyo Nilima (1965) by Ahsan Habib, Antahshila (1967) by Kazi Md. Idris, Digonter Swapno (1967) by Razia Majid, Mon Ek Shet Kapoti (1967), Shaheb Bazar (1967) and Ananto Aneysha (1967) by Rabeya Khatun, Bipani Mon (1968) by Mir Abul Hossain, Saurav (1968) by Anis Chowdhury, Anishchita Ragini (1969) by Abu Rushd, Borof Gola Nodi (1969) by Zahir Raihan, Rajabagh Shahimar Bagh (1969) by Rabeya Khatun etc.
Meanwhile the whole Bangali nation began to experience a new turmoil, first regarding their language and then regarding their national identity. In the meantime the flow of progressive politics overshadowed the young generation across the country. Novels like Jibon Khuda (1955) by Abul Monsoor Ahmed exposed the context of Pakistan Movement. At the same time communal picture out of this movement took the upper-hand in a formidable number of novels like: Ranga Probhat (1957) by Abul Fazal, Khuda O Asha (1964) by Alauddin Al-Azad, Neer Sandhani (1968) and Nishuti Rater Gatha (1968) by Anwar Pasha etc. In some of them writers yearned for the restoration of Hindu-Muslim amity. Political crisis of the newly born country Pakistan was also dealt as a burning issue in novels like Nongor (1967) by Abu Rushd and Mon Na Moti (1968) by Anis Siddique. By then the people of East Pakistan i.e. of present Bangladesh viewed the language movement and its consequences. This tremendous incident did not miss the keen eyes of out novelists. The most significant effort in this context is Jahir Raihan’s Aarek Falgoon (1968). Other political incidents like the class conflict, socialism, and movement in the cultivators was depicted in the novels like Dui Mahol (later on renamed as Alamnagorer Upokatha 1955) by Shamsuddin Abul Kalam, Surya Tumi Sathi (1967) by Ahmad Sofa etc. Shaukat Osman’s Kritodasher Hashi (1962) and Raja Upakhyan (1970) are also recognized as political novels, but they were distinct in being symbolic.
Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury’s Chandradwiper Upakhyan (1960) and Nam Na Jana Bhore (1962) portrayed the uprising agrarian society and its conflicts.
In this period the world of our novels became enriched with some accomplished participation that embodied historical aspects in their novels. Abujafar Shamsuddin’s Bhaowal Gorer Upakhayan (1963) about the Faraizi Movement, Sardar Jayenuddin’s Nil Rong Rokta (1965) about the Indigo crisis, Satyen Sen’s Kumarajiva (1969) about the flourishement of Buddhism, and Oporajeyo (1970) about the Sepoy Mutiny etc. are a few examples among them. Psychological complexities were very much favoured by some novelists in this decade. Syed Waliullah’s Chander Amabashya (1964) and Kando Nodi Kando (1968) are the most successful and worthwhile endeavours. In his unique language and presentation Waliullah dived into the super-ego of human mind which placed him on the highest rank of the novelists of Bangladesh till now. Immediately before the sixties there emerged another trend where novelists emphasized the sexual behaviours and deviations of the characters. Razia Khan began this with her Bot-tolar Uponyas, and Anucalpa, both published in 1959. Alauddin Al-Azad and Syed Shamsul Huq are the prominent names in this field. Teish Nambor Toilochitro (1960), Shiter Sheshrat Boshonter Prothomdin (1962) by Alauddin Al-Azad and Ek Mohilar Chhobi (1959), Anupama Din (1962), Simana Chhariye (1964) by Syed Shamsul Huq are laudable mentions in this regard.
Afterwards came the most memorable days of Bangali nation. They demanded for an independent nation, revolted for it and at last after ten month long war they became able to identify their motherland as an independent nation in the map of the world. Breaking the shackles of two hundred years’ domination by the British and the Pakistani, our red sun arose in the east. After the massacre of three million people and huge violation and harassment of womenfolk and loss of property Bangladesh emerged as a secular and democratic nation on December 16, 1971.
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