Bengali culture over a thousand years

Book launched at the Intl Book Fair 2019
Report by: 
EOI CORRESPONDENT
Kolkata
9 Feb 2019

Kolkata has always been a city of furious creative energies. It boasts of the ingenious generations of writers, poets, dancers, singers, musicians, film-makers, painters, Nobel laureates and many more and has been rightly referred as the ‘cultural capital of India’. Kolkata, which is also called the city of joy, has been known for its rich heritage and cultural relevance since the colonial era. Perhaps it can be called the birthplace of ideas, great minds, revolution and revolutionaries.
With the spirit to celebrate the rich Bengali tradition, Niyogi Books have brought to you Bengali Culture over a Thousand Years: a book that unveils the cultural history of the state.
The book was launched at the International Kolkata Book Fair recently. Translator Sarbari Sinha, deputy editor of Frontline, was in conversation with the author Ghulam Murshid, former professor of Bengali, and the session was chaired by Prof Amiya Dev, author, academician, and former vice chancellor.
Writing the history of Bengali culture is even more difficult because Bengali society is truly plural in its nature, made even more so by its political division. The two main religious communities that share this culture are often more aware of the differences between them than the similarities. Nonetheless, the people remain bound by history and a shared language and literature.
Ghulam Murshid’s ‘Bengali Culture over a Thousand Years’ is the first non-partisan and holistic discussion of Bengali culture. Written for the general reader, the language is simple and the style lucid. It shows how the individual ingredients of Bengali culture have evolved and found expression, in the context of political developments and how certain individuals have moulded culture. Above all, the book presents the identity and special qualities of Bengali culture.
The book was originally published in Bengali in Dhaka in 2006. This is the first English translation.