Examining the historic Bengali language movement in India’s Assam, Bangladeshi documentary filmmaker Masud Karim is producing a documentary film titled “Assam’s Bengali Language Movement”.
According to the filmmaker, a full-length documentary on Assam’s language movement has never been made. The exact context in which this language movement was created, will be showcased in this documentary.
The language movement in Assam was not a national language movement, but there was a demand for the right to speak the mother tongue only on the basis of the majority of the Assamese-Bengali speakers.
When it comes to the Bengali language movement, it automatically resonated with the historic 21st February 1952, along with the names of Salam, Rafiq, Shafiq, Barkat and Jabbar. The Bengali language for which the Assamese people gave their lives, remains unknown to the present generation.
The context of the language movement of 1952 and the language movement of Assam is not the same. Assam is home to many tribes and languages, and these people hold their own history-tradition, political background and cultural identity, therefore, the 1961 language movement in Assam was not only for the Bengali language. Apart from Manipuri, and Garo, there were activists of other languages too, all fought for the same right.
However, those who lost their lives at Silchar railway station in the Cachar district of Assam for the language movement on May 19, 1961, were all Bengalis. The matter is more discussed because of Kamala Bhattacharya, the first female language martyr in the world.
Assam was able to come up with a history specifically for the Bengali language with the help of Bengalis as most of the 11 martyrs were originally from Sylhet and Brahmanbaria, Munshiganj and Tangail in present-day Bangladesh.
The documentary features the film and television actress Nijhum Rubina, who played the role of the lead character of Kamala Bhattacharya. Acclaimed actress Shirin Alam played the role of Kamla’s mother and Manisha Shikder played the role of Kamla’s sister.
Part of the filming was done outside Bangladesh in Kolkata and featured prominent educationist Professor Pabitra Sarkar, editor Shantanu Gangaridi of Unishe May magazine along with Kamala Bhattacharya’s niece Barnali Bhattacharya, who revealed some unpublished facts about Kamala.
This documentary will be screened simultaneously in Assam’s Silchar, Agartala, Kolkata and Dhaka on May 19 next year. Masud Karim is producing this documentary entirely self-financed.
He has previously made documentary projects based on the life and works of renowned Indian actor Soumitra Chatterjee in 2015, prominent educationist and National Professor Anisuzzaman in 2017 and eminent lyricist Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury in 2020.
Source: The Daily SUN.