Article by Shakil Kalam (Prepared Angela Kosta)

Article by Shakil Kalam (Prepared Angela Kosta)
The beginning period of Bangla literature is 650 AD. In other words, the practice of Bangla literature started today 1371 years ago. Different researchers have divided this period into three eras. These 600 years is the ancient age of Bengali literature from 650 to 1250 AD. According to some researchers, a total of 600 years from 350 to 950 AD and a total of 300 years from 950 to 1250 AD have been identified as ancient times. A total of 600 years from 650 to 1250 AD have been universally recognized as the Ancient age of Bengali literature. The 600 years from 1201 to 1800 AD are called the medieval ages. Poets of ancient times are composing poems called Charyapadas. The poets of this period have written about the happiness and sorrow of the people, laughter and tears, pain and suffering, deprivation, heroism and socio-economic condition of the people. Significant poets of that period are: Aryadevpa, Vadepa, Vusukupa, Darikpa, Kahnupa, Kukkaripa, Luipa, Tantripa, Tarakpa, Veenapa and Birupa. The period from 1201 to 1800 AD is referred to as the medieval ages in the epoch section of Bengali literature. In the medieval ages, there were two currents of Bangali literature. One is the Arakanese style and another is the Bengal or Gaudiya style. In particular, the poets of the Arkan dynasty practised literature in Bengali. Notable poets of this genre are Great Poet Alaol, Daulat Kazi, Mardan, Magan Tagore and Abdul Karim Khandaker. Poets of this trend used to compose poetry in two genres. One is the spiritual trend of religious philosophy, and the other is the secular romantic section. However, the arrival of Arab merchants in the Chittagong region led to the propagation of Islam, and dissemination took place. On the other hand, the conquest of Bengal by Ikhtiyar Uddin Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khalji in 1203 AD established Islamic rule. As a result, the religious context and sentiments prevailed in the writings of Muslim poets under the influence of Islam in both regions. During this time the secular style of poetry became much weaker. This trend takes a new turn. New connectivity is made in this genre. Romantic poems are written about the sorrows, pains, hopes, aspirations, laughter and tears, love and separation and emotions of the people of the society.
The matter did not stop there; spirituality’s inclusion originated from Hindi love poetry. Then the influence of Sufism entered into Hindi love poetry. As a result, Hindi poetry also has a religious touch. It can be said that religious influence has fallen strong in both sectors. However, two genres can be distinguished, one is religious poetry, and another is human love poetry. Sitting in distant Arkan, Muslim poets broke the traditional trend and started a new horizon in medieval Bengali literature by composing humane love poems. On the other hand, Muslim poets also made important contributions to the development of Bengali literature in Bengal. During the reign of Sultan Gias Uddin Azam Shah of the Ilyas Shahi dynasty, the first Bengali Muslim poet Shah Muhammad Sagir wrote a love poem, “Yusuf-Jolekha”. The contribution of Muslims as pioneers of historical literature will always be remembered.
Amir Zainuddin Haravi was the first Muslim poet to compose the victory poem “Rasul Vijay”, praising the superiority of Islam and Muslims. Moreover, the Muslim poet Chandgazi was the author of the first verse of Bengali literature. Poet Faizullah was the first to compose a book of poems on the ragas of music in Bengali literature. The poet Mozammel also wrote “Nitishastra Barta” and “Satinama”. Other remarkable Muslim poets of the time include Amir Shihab Uddin Kirmani, Mansur Siraji and Ibrahim Qayyum Farooqui. Under the patronage of Muslim rulers during the Sultanate period, Hindu poets also made significant contributions to the development of Bengali literature. Among the poets of that era, Roop Goswami, Sanatan Goswami, Maladhar Basu, Vijay Gupta, Bipradas, Paragal Khan, and Jessoraj Khan are particularly noteworthy. At this time, Maladhar Bose translated “Srimadbhagavat” and “Puran” into Bengali. He also wrote the poem “Srikrishna Vijaya”. On the other hand, during the reign of Barkal Shah, Krittibas wrote “Ramayana” in Bengali under his patronage. At first, Kabindra Parameshwar translated the “Mahabharata” into Bengali under the patronization of Alauddin Hussain Shah and Nasrat Shah. Vaishnava verses were also composed at this time. Poet Brindavan Das first composed “Chaitanya Bhagavat”. The first female poet of Bengali literature, Chandrabati, wrote a book of poems named Manasa Mangal. Sri Krishna kirtan of Badu Dandidas, Vaishnava verses of Vidyapati and Chandidas, and Adi Manasa Mangal Kavya are notable. Also, medieval Chandimangal Kavya, Abhaymangal Kavya, Annada Mangalkavya, Dharmamangal Kavya, Pranayakavya, Marcia, Nathsahitya, Kabiwala and Sayer, Mymensingh-Gitikar’s Dasyu Kenaram, Deewana Medina, Vidyasundara, Rupavati, Kajalrekha and Konk and Lila are the most famous poetry collections. Other important medieval poets are Abdul Hakim, Anthony Firingi, Sir William Jones, Poet Kank, Chandrabati, Kanahari Dutt, Govinda Das, Gyandas, Bahram Khan, Dwij Banshidas, Vijay Gupta, Bharat Chandra, Manik Dutt, Ram Nidhi Dutta, Ramprasad Sen, Dwij Kanai, Shah Muhammad Garibullah and Syed Sultan. The period from 1801 to 1991 has been identified as the modern era of Bengali literature. This era has been divided into two parts. The period from 1801 to 1860 is called the awakening period, and the period from 1881-1991 is called the revealing period. Initially, after the establishment of Fort William College, the modern era began with the composition of prose in Bengali literature. Stories, novels, plays and essays of Bengali literature create the modern age. Verses and rhymes are the oldest forms of Bengali literature. 


Prepared Angela Kosta Executive Director of MIRIADE Magazine, Academic, journalist, writer, poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, translator