Muktadhara Foundation Inc, a New York based a 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 23 years at the corner of 1st Avenue and 47th Street, in front of The United Nations Building by setting up an temporary colorfully decorated makeshift monument on the eve of of 21st February, composed of several close-knit columns rising upward, which reminds 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 joint alliance of Muktadhara & Bangalir Chetonar Manchya.
To uphold the Bengali art, literature in North America, Muktadhara Foundation distributes Bengali books at around 26 libraries in the United States; which includes several University libraries as well. 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 with the aim of promoting Bengali art, literature and culture to the culture loving people of North America.
Muktadhara also organizes art competition for children. Our 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 addition to above through an online survey on 10 greatest living Bengali’s around the world, Muktadhara has honored several noted Bengali’s in 2005. Among them, were Nobel Laurite Dr Amrtya Sen, Nobel Laurite Professor Younus, Sheikh Hasina, Begum Khaleda Zia, Sunil Gangapadhyay, Humayun Ahmed, Muuhammad Zafar Iqbal, Sourav Ganguly, Dr. Kamal Hossain & Pandit Rabishankar. This organization has been the home of many renowned writers and cultural activists of Bangladesh and India in United States.
Muktadhara Foundation started the Bengali language book fair in 1992 at New York. This event became one of the congregation of Bengali writers and Cultural activist since then. The event got renamed as “International Bangla Festival and Book Fair” in 2007. In the same year this festival expanded its success, by organizing the same event in Dallas- Texas, Los Angles- California and New Jersey. Because of this the yearly activity of Muktadhara Foundation Inc.,”International Bangla Festival & Book Fair”, the week of June 24-30, has been proclaimed as International Bangla Festival Week in the State of New York in the Year 2012. This is to be mentioned that for the last 24 years this event has been inaugurated only by the eminent writers of south East Asia, such as:
1992: Dr. Jyotiprokash Dutta, 1993: Shahid Kadri, 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: Sayed 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. This is to be mentioned that, this event has also been garlanded by the performance of renowned artists of Bangladesh and India, which includes 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.
Since 2007, this event has been conducted through a preparatory committee, and also there has been 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 continuation of the recognition of International Bangla Festival & Book Fair, this time, upon placing of a proposal by Muktadhara Foundation, New York Governor has declared 21st February as International Mother Language Day, in the New York City, by passing a resolution (resolution #469), in February 2015. This organization also has been working in inclusion of Bangladeshi artists with renowned American music Companies. In light of which, in 2015 Muktadhara Foundation made a partnership with World Music Institute for co-hosting a one day concert of Rezawana Chowdhury Bonnya from Bangladesh in collaboration with Impress Telefilm of Bangladesh.
We, the Muktadhara Foundation Inc solely believes that, a culture is transcendence when it creates its appeal among the multi-lingual speaking people of the world. And we are trying to spread our Bengali cultures on this part of Atlantic, with these small steps, which will keep continuing.
Muktadhara Foundation Inc.
39-25, 65th St, 2E
Woodside, NY 11377