Sunday, October 21, 2012

What came first Bangla or Tagore?

It is often a big misgiving to believe the Bangla language started with Tagore. Whilst he is a literary great and his poetry and stories speak great depth of the human emotions and educate you of the Bengali political movements at the time of the Raj, often it feels we owe all of the Bangla language to this one man alone.

It is almost parallel with what we have with Shakespeare and the English language  There is a danger of popularising one artist's work to point of forgetting the other greats. Language is not developed by the one person but rather myriad of people, common people, popular people, but they all play a part.

I do think it is worth thinking about what we take for granted. Democracy did not start with the Greeks. Shakespeare was not the orginator of Romeo and Juliet. The sun does not rise in the East (if we reverse the Earth's axis :) )...

Below is a video depicting the Bangla language before Tagore - research which we need more of. Move over Radice...

Before Tagore: Music, Farce, and Muslim Patrons in 19th Century Bengal - By Richard David Williams and Priyanka Basu from bricklanecircle on Vimeo.