Shadman Muhtasim Chowdhury
The two-day ‘Rabindra Utsab’ (Rabindra Festival) ended on Wednesday in Dhaka with a vow to uphold the achievement of World Poet Rabindranath Tagore. The speakers said that writing of the poet provided a voice to the European civilization that was different from theirs.
The event was held at the National Museum in the capital on Tuesday and Wednesday. Arranged by Rabindra Academy, the festival was inaugurated by Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman. International Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister Dr Gowher Rizvi attended the ceremony as the chief guest. With Rabindra Academy President Azizur Rahaman Aziz in the chair, the opening ceremony was addressed by Dhaka University Pro-Vice-Chancellor (VC) Muhammad Samad who was the special guest. The inaugural speech was delivered by Rabindra Academy’s General Secretary Bulbul Mahalanbish.
The festival saw seminars being held at the Nalini Kanta Bhattasali Auditorium and Cineplex from 3 pm till 7pm followed by cultural events at the main auditorium of the museum.
The day’s seminar began with a session on ‘Rabindra Natok’. The keynote speaker of the session was renowned dramatics Ataur Rahman. Other speakers included television actors Lucky Enam and Pijush Bandyopadhyay. The seminar was headed by Ramendu Majumdar with the General Secretary of Rabindra Academy Bulbul Mahalanbish conducting the whole session. Many notable guests attended different sessions of the festival. Editor-in-Chief of Bangladesh Post Sharif Shahab Uddin was present among the guests.
This was followed by a seminar on ‘Rabindranath and English Language: Essay, Translation and Letters’, headed by Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam Chowdhury of Dhaka University. The keynote speech was given by Professor Shafi Ahmed, former head of English department, Jahangirnagar University.
The other speaker of the session included Professor Fakrul Alam, English Department, Dhaka University. While discussing the essays of Tagore, the translations of his works and the letters written by him Professor Seraj stated, “When speaking about the translated works of Rabindranath, in reference to Gitanjali, it is very hard to translate a poem. Robert Frost stated that a poem is lost when it is translated. While a poem may be translated, it is difficult to include the rhymes, songs and a background form the original version. He was awarded with the Nobel Prize, that too as the first Non-European writer and the reason for that is, Europe was waiting for such an extraordinary discovery which provided them with solace from the ongoing wars and inequality. His writing provided an alternate voice to a civilization that was different from theirs.”
Shadman Muhtasim Chowdhury