Muktadhara Foundation Inc, a New York based Non-profit organization, has been involved in promoting Bengali culture and literature in North America since 1991.
It has been observing 21st February for the past 24 years at the corner of 1st Avenue and 47th Street, in front of United Nations Headquarters by setting up a makeshift language monument on the eve of of 21st February. The monument is composed of several close-knit columns rising upward, reminding people of the sacrifice made by the students in Dhaka during the 1952 Language Movement. This venerating congregation started in 1992, at the same place in a joint alliance of Muktadhara & Bangalir Chetonar Manchya.
To uphold the Bengali art, literature in North America, Muktadhara Foundation distributes Bengali books to around 26 libraries in the United States, including several university libraries. Over the past twenty four years, Muktadhara has also organized book fairs, cultural programs, and film festivals, at different state of United States and Canada.
Muktadhara also organizes art competition for children. Its purpose is to help young Bengalis (especially of second generation) of North America to develop their interest in Bengali literature and culture. These efforts have been much appreciated by the Bengali community here.
In another innovative iniatiave, through an online survey on 10 greatest living Bengali’s around the world, Muktadhara in 2005 honored several noted Bengalis. Among them, were Nobel Laureate Dr Amrtya Sen, Nobel Laureate Professor Younus, Sheikh Hasina, Begum Khaleda Zia, Sunil Gangapadhyay, Humayun Ahmed, Muuhammad Zafar Iqbal, Sourav Ganguly, Dr. Kamal Hossain & Pandit Rabishankar. .
Muktadhara Foundation started an annual Bengali language book fair in 1992 in New York. This event has became one of the largest congregations of Bengali writers and Cultural activists outside of Bangladesh and India. The event was renamed “International Bangla Festival and Book Fair” in 2007. The same year, this festival was expanded to cities outside New York, including Dallas- Texas, Los Angles- California and New Jersey.
Over the past 24 years, the Book Fair has been inaugurated by the eminent writers of South Asia, including:
1992: Dr. Jyotiprokash Dutta, 1993: Shahid Quadri, 1994: Muhammad Jaffar Iqbal, 1995: Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, 1996: Dr. Purobi Basu, 1997: Syed Mohammed Ullah, 1998: Humayun Ahmed, 1999: Dilara Hashem, 2000: Language Soldier Abdul Motin, 2001: Sunil Gangapadhyay, Samaresh Majumdar, Humayun Ahmed and Imdadul Haq Milan, 2002: Humayun Azad, 2003: Joy Goswami, 2004: NY: Shirshendu Mukherjee, 2004: CA: Rabeya Khatun, 2005: Dr. Abdun Noor 2006: Anisul Haque, 2007: NY: Dr. Gulam Murshid, 2007: TX: Dr. Anisuzzaman, 2007: CA:Samaresh Majumder, 2007: NJ: Sunil Ganguly, 2008: Rafique Azad: 2009: Hasan Azizul Haq, Chief Guest: Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. Dipu Moni, , 2010: Syeed Shamsul Haq, Chief Guest: Information & Cultural Minister of Bangladesh A K Azad, 2011: Tapan Ray Chowdhury, 2012: Shamsuzzaman Khan, 2013: Nirmalendu Goon, 2014: Mohadeb Saha.
The annual book fair and Bangla festival has also attracted major performers from the sub-continent, including: Ferdous Wahid, Rezwana Chowdhury Bonnya, Ferdous Ara, Bappa Mazumder, Habib Wahid, Abdul QUddus Bayati, Nashid kamal, Bari Siddiqui, Hasan, Srikanta Acharya, Lopamudra Mitra, Bappi Lahiri, Koushiki and Swapan Barua.
Through its persistent advocacy and creative energy, Muktadhara Foundation Inc. was able to persuade the New York State Governor’s Office to proclaim the week of June 24-30 as International Bangla Festival Week in the State of New York in the Year 2012.
Since 2007, this event has been conducted through a preparatory committee, headed by a Convener of it. The first convener in 2007 was Mr. Hasan Ferdous in NY & Dr. Nurun Nabi in NJ, 2009: Dr, Jyoti Prakash Dutta, 2010: Sayed Mohammad Ullah, 2011: Saud Chowdhury, 2012: Nasimun Nahar Nni, 2013: Jamal Uddin Hossain, 2014: Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed. This year the convener of this event is Roquia Haider.
In recognition of International Bangla Festival & Book Fair, at the urging of Muktadhara Foundation, New York State Legislature declared 21st February as International Mother Language Day, in the New York City, by passing a resolution (resolution #469), in February 2015.
Muktadhara Foundation Inc believes in a culture is transcendence, in which people of different socio-cultural background and faiths are able to unite in a common pursuit of freedom, justice and peace.
|Muktadhara Foundation Inc.
39-25, 65th St, 2E
Woodside, NY 11377