For Bangladeshis, the quintessential month of linguistics marked by February 1, starts with the eloquence of poetry. Nestled with the essence of patriotic pride, the 33rd installment of the two-day Jatiya Kabita Utshab began yesterday, with a ceremony that was held at the premises of University of Dhaka Central Library. Organised by the Jatiya Kabita Parishad, this year's motto is Bangalir Joy Kabitar Joy. This one of a kind festival began in 1987 with different slogans every year, addressing issues surrounding social oppression.
The audience along with the local and international poets paid homage to our National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, Patua Kamrul Hasan as well as the martyrs of the Language Movement at the beginning. The event went on with the singing of the National Anthem along with the hoisting of the Bangladeshi flag.
Prominent poet Asad Chowdhury inaugurated the festival with his welcome speech. “Jatiya Kabita Parishad opposes the ideology of fundamentalism,” he mentioned. “The victory of the Bengalis is the victory of poetry.” The guest speakers further addressed the power of poetry and how it could give a voice to the voiceless.
Dr Mohammad Samad, President, Jatiya Kabita Parishad, presided over the event, in the presence of the General Secretary of Jatiya Kabita Parishad , Tariq Sujat, festival convener Rabiul Hussain and poet Ruby Rahman, who acknowledged the proclamation.
At this year's festival, renowned poet Habibullah Sirajee is scheduled to be honoured today for his immense contribution to the field of poetry.
Many foreign poets from Turkey, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, India, Nepal, Spain, China, Malaysia, Congo and Uruguay are also attending the festival. The two-day event has been divided between poetry recitations, musical performances and discussion sessions, along with an exhibition at the poetry book stalls. The open to all festival ends today.