Since 1991, Muktadhara, New York, has been involved in promoting Bengali culture and literature. Muktadhara has also organized the auspicious occasion of February 21 in front of the United Nations, since 1992. In 1999, UNESCO declared February 21 as the “International Mother Language Day.” Muktadhara has played a very active role in celebrating this important occasion.
In addition to this, Muktadhara has also sent Bengali Books to about 26 libraries in the United States; this includes several University libraries. Over the past fifteen years, Muktadhara has also organized many book fairs, cultural programs, film festivals, with the aim of promoting the awareness of Bengali culture represented by Bangladesh and West Bengal, India.
Since 1992, Muktadhara has also organized art competition for children. Our purpose is to help young Bengalis (especially of second generation) in North America develop an interest in Bengali literature and culture. These efforts have been much appreciated by the Bengali community here.
Muktadhara has also honored several noted Bengali authors of Bangladesh and West Bengal. Many well-known Bengali writers regularly come to Muktadhara and have also taken part in the various cultural programmed organized by us.
The Bengali language book fair started in 1992 in New York. Since then, we have organized book fairs in Los Angeles, Dallas, and in New Jersey. Every year we invite celebrated writers from both Bangladesh and West Bengal to inaugurate the book fair. The following is a list of some of the important speakers.
1992: Dr. Jyotiprokash Dutta, 1993: Shahid Kadri, Nirmolendu Gun, 1994: Dr. Jaffar Iqbal, 1995: Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, 1996: Dr. Purobi Basu, 1997: Syed Mohammed Ullah, Purnendu Potri, 1998: Humayun Ahmed, Syed Mustafa Siraj, 1999: Samaresh Majumdar, Dilara Hashem, 2000: Abdul Motin, 2001: Sunil Ganguli, Samaresh Majumdar, Humayun Ahmed, Imdadul Haq Milan, 2002: Sunil Ganguli, Humayun Azad, 2003: Joy Goswami, 2004: Shirshendu Mukherjee, Rabeya Khatun, 2005: Dr. Abdun Noor, Alolika Mukherjee, 2006: Anisul Haque, Meenakshi Dutta, 2007: Dr. Gulam Murshid, Dr. Anisuzzaman, Samaresh Majumder, Sunil Ganguly, 2008: Rafique Azad, Sunil Ganguly, NY State Senator Frank Padavan, 2009: Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. Dipu Moni, Hasan Azizul Haq, Samaresh Majumdar, Humayun Ahmed, 2010: Information & Cultural Minister of Bangladesh A K Azad, Sayed Shamsul Haq, Samaresh Majumdar, Sunil Ganguly, Sahid Qdri, Purabi Basu, Dr. Jyotiprakash Dutta.
In 2006 we have formed the Muktadhara Foundation. We hope to organize the 21st Anniversary of Bengali book fair/cultural programs, called “Bangla Utsab”. This year’s Utsab & Book Fair will be held on June 29th, 30th & July 1st in New York.