Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bangladesh needs to change the National Anthem?

Of late I am coming across several discussions in Bangladesh news sites on whether Bangladesh should change the National Anthem and incorporate a new song from Nazrul Islam. Let me categorize the different kind of discussions I have come across.

1) There are some people who support them with some unbelievable logic. The basic logics are : Tagore was an Indian Bengali. As we hate India and Indian Bengalis, let's scrap the Anthem wrote by an "Indian".

2) Some Indian Bengali came up with "suggestion" that Indian Bengalis and Bangladeshi Bengalis are carrying two different cultures. As Tagore was a poet of the former culture - his poem does not "suite" as National Anthem of Bangladesh. He has got a reply from a Bangladeshi patriot that people of Bangladesh are the proud of Bengali inheritance and they think Tagore belongs to their culture. There are some communal Mullahs who think otherwise, but they are limited in number. Another person responded in a similar tune.

3) There are some people who discuss about the origin of the song and term it as meaningless to retain as a National Anthem. As the song was written in favour of "United Bengal", that is not possible, Bangladesh should reevalute its' decision.

4) There is one scholarly article which talks about how fitting National Anthem Bangladesh has.

I don't understand a simple fact that how can a person like Prof Aftab Ahmed hold an important post as a VC of the National University even after such a proposal. Is the country running short of quality people to lead the nation?

On the topic, I found almost all the criticism to be meaningless. Tagore is the soul of Bengali literature and his poem is the most suitable choice for Bengali nation, Bangladesh. It is quite unfortunate that a few people today are starting to deny their Bengali culture. For the West Bengal person, it's one more example of comments from ignorants. West Bengal no longer inherit Bengali culture at all, they have become Indians. A century later, I doubt there will be many Bengali speaking individuals left in West Bengal. Let the Bengali culture be a property of Bangladesh, it's better for the language, better for Bengali literature.

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