The Bengali Literary Society is one of the oldest societies
in College. It has had an illustrious past, but had unfortunately
been neglected in the recent years and most of its glory was on the
verge of being lost. After a long hiatus, however, a group of
enthusiastic Junior Members had been successful in reviving this
almost defunct Society last year. This year the Society held a
cultural programme where quite a few interested Junior and Senior
Members showcased their talent by soulful renditions of Bengali
songs, poems and plays which traced the history of Bengali
Literature down the ages. This was followed by the screening of the
movie “Khela”, to familiarize College with the rich heritage
of Bengal. The Society brought out the second volume of its Journal,
“Darpan”, which has contributions from many Bengali enthusiasts from
both inside and outside College. The success of all these events
made known to one and all that Stephanians are really taking an
interest in the rich culture and literature of Bengal, which is what
the Members of the Bengali Literary Society have set out to promote
through their myriad activities.
India is an amalgamation of different cultures and languages. It has
18 official languages, apart from the various dialects and local
variations in each of these 18 gems. One of these 18 diverse but
beautiful languages is Bengali.
Derived from Sanskrit, this beautiful, musical language has been the
chosen language of many poets – Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore,
Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Kazi Nazrul Islam, to name a few.
Internationally acclaimed novelists like Saratchandra Chattopdhyay (Devdas),
Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay (Anandamath), Bibhutibhushan
Bandopadhyay (Pather Panchali) and many others composed their great
literary works in this language. In fact, the profound influence of
Bengali literature is deeply ingrained even in the English that many
of us study in College!
A substantial portion of the motley crowd of St. Stephen’s College –
who have brought with them the myriad cultures, traditions and
languages of their native places – is occupied by Bengalis. Many
decades ago, some such Bengalis decided to get together and create a
forum which would provide them a platform to discuss Bengali
Literature, share their own literary compositions, argue over issues
(what we refer to as the Bangali adda) and generally facilitate the
coming together of like-minded people sharing a common language.
Thus, the Bengali Literary Society of St. Stephen’s College was
born. However, this platform passed away into oblivion with the
passage of time.
The Society is not restricted to Bengalis alone – people with a deep
interest in the literature and culture of Bengal have been welcomed
to the Society with open arms. Many ideas regarding the functioning
of the Society this year have been brought forth by the Members, who
are also working hard towards the realization of their dreams – and
the goal is not too far away. The revival of the Society has been
greatly appreciated by Senior and Junior Members alike, and College
as a whole feels that “it is nice to have a Society managed by the
young generation to uphold and uplift the traditions of Bengali
culture and Literature”.