Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has laid importance on literary pursuit to promote human values and sharpen rationalism in the society saying there is no alternative to engage oneself in cultivating literature for self-enlightenment and fight against evil forces.
‘The whole world is now reeling on unrests where reign of terror and anarchies are out to suppress all good senses. We have to be enlightened with knowledge to defeat ominous forces. For this there is no alternative to literary pursuit,’ she said.
The prime minister said this while inaugurating the three-day International Bengali Literature Conference-1424 at Osmani Memorial Hall here this afternoon.
Sheikh Hasina said the civilization is being flourished by human creativity, and language is the main medium of flourishing the creativity. Thus, the literature is playing absolute role in the evolution of the society and civilization.
Literary practice develops good sense in human race, unveiling their immense prospect and encouraging them to build a logical society, she said adding that ‘the more a society is affluent in literature the more it's civilized’.
Dhaka University professor emeritus and convener of the conference organising committee Anisuzzaman was in the chair while litterateur Rabeya Khatun, general secretary of Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammilan Jayanta Ghosh, vice-president Pradip Bhattachariya, vice-president of Friends
Bangladesh, India Sattyam Roy Chowdhury addressed the function, among others.
Minister for cultural affairs Asaduzzaman Noor recited a poem of Syed Shamsul Haque and chief coordinator of the conference organizing committee Nasir Uddin Yusuf Bachhu gave the welcome address.
India, Japan and Germany are taking part in the conference being held on the Bangla Academy premises.
Appreciating the organisers for choosing the immortal message of Gurusaday Dutt — Be a Bangali with heart and soul if you want to be a universal figure — as the theme of the conference the prime minister said all people across the world, who inherited Bengali culture and literature should always remember about their root in Bangla.
‘They should not forget their identity. They have to possess their distinctiveness to survive in the global arena, as they have the glorious history of raising their heads to any injustice and indomitable willpower to accomplish any difficult task,’ she said.
Bengali literature is founded on the language, which is one of the richest languages of the world in terms of vocabularies, literary repository and having roots among people.
Sheikh Hasina said the lifestyle of the people has changed in many ways with the technological advancement. Lives have been turned easier and faster, but appeal of the literature in public life didn't diminish.
The prime minister hoped that the international literature conference would enrich the literature of different languages through exchanging and sharing of ideas and experiences of literary lovers. Bengali literature would be more enriched through arranging such literary events.
The prime minister paid her rich tributes to the martyrs of immortal Ekushey and creative poets and litterateurs of Bengali literature — Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Bankim Chandra, Rabindranath Tagore, Nazrul, Jibanananda, Jasim Uddin and others — in who's hands Bengali literature has turned into a 'big tree' sprouting many foliage and flowers.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangalee people are the only nation in the global spectrum who has set example of embracing martyrdom to protect the dignity of the mother language.
‘No nation can tolerate disgrace of its mother language,’ she quoted Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, saying Bangabandhu in his first appearance in the United Nations in 1974, addressed the forum in Bangla aimed at establishing its grandeur and dignity at the world forum.
Since her accession to power, Sheikh Hasina said, she has been delivering her speech in the UN in Bangla. Bangladesh has established the 'International Institute of Mother Languages' for research on languages and their preservation, she said adding that her government is continuing its efforts to make Bangla as one of the official languages of the UN.
Quoting a speech of Bangabandhu the prime minister said people are the sources of all literature and arts. No great literature or artwork can be created being detached from the people.
Sheikh Hasina said February 21 has received global recognition as the International Mother Language Day.
‘We don't want any language to go to oblivion in the process of social transformation,’ she added.
The prime minister hoped that the literary conference would make Bengali speaking people more aware to take care of their mother language.
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