Children's Literature of Bengal--Provash Ronjan Dey

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= -= .::: : = = .: = ---= = = = --= -- .. ! ., .. II '.; .. l.ITER.ATURE OF BENGAl. PROVASH RONJANDEY ACADEMY FOR DOCUMENTATION & RESEARCH ON CHILDREN'S LITERATURE.. 4/l, JadaJJ,..GJaoah .... CALCUTTA-700 061 \', Children's Literature of Bonaal First Edition : 1978 Pr/ 1009 ,t34D37 Price : ladia : Rs. soo I ForeJp : us ' Publisher: Shri Gopal Chatterjee Publication Division Academy for Documentation & Research on Children's Literature, Calcutta Printer: Rajdhani Printing 117/1, Bepin Behari Ganguly Street Calcutta-12 ;l f I I ,, 'lf ! I \ I l,, r,' J ~ l , r' Jl , !' ,'ir . I . I ~ ' I ~ ~ .! Foreword Preface CONTENTS One : Children's Books Two :Children's Periodicals v VII I 22 r ~ i 'i 'J' . i FOREWORD In 'his book "Children'.s 'Literature of Bengal" Provash Ronjan'Dey, surveys'the cfiiltiren's 'literatures of India, from the beginning of the 19th century up to the middle of the 20th . :Bar languages such as English, German and French, surveys -ofthis type.have Jong.been in .existence. It is very important that all national children's literatures of the world are treated in the .same way. The histol'>y of the Bengali literature, presented here, is thus welcome. Some day it will be possible to write the history of world literature for children. There are some who have tried to do this already, but the difficulties are very great so long as all national literatures are not sufficiently surveyed. Also from this viewpoint the book and its planned sequels, depicting .children's literature in the thirteen other regional languages of India. are to be received with satisfaction. Studying the world literature for children it is striking to what extent this literature is a common property of many .countries. ln my own country Sweden-half of the books published for children are translated from other languages than Swedish. This was already the case in the 17th and the 18th centuries. From Provash Ronjan Dey's book it is seen that similar .conditions are found in Bengal too. We find the old Greek names of AEsop and Homer, the Englishman Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, the tales of the Dane Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm, the German fairy tale collectors, and Pinocchio by the Italian Lorenini (Collodi), to mention European examples known in our part of the world. The importance for Bengali children's literature of the British presence in India is obvious, but this has not necessarily to he seen as a negative trait. Of course it may seem a bit ') c o ~ l c a l to flnd atodea of European sovereigns as Peter the Great of Russia and Philip the Second of Spain instead or at'ories from the rich treasures of Bengali history and folk literature. On the other hand it reminds me that the Euro-peans and Americans have been brought up with the stories of old Greek and Roman heroes. Children's literature to a certain extent is and ought to be an international literature, and for this reason the history of Bengali children's literature is of interest also outside India. Gote Klingberg University of Gothenburg, Sweden President,. International Research Society for Children's Literature. J "\ I \ !'''' PREFACE The Academy for "Documentation and Research on Child-1:'en's Literature" was established by some writers and research workers in the year 1976 and now serves as a documentation .and information centre and supplies informations and mate-rials to researchers, publishers, libraries and organisations working for children's literature. The Academy organised National Seminar on Childrens Literature which was held in Calcutta from 17th to J 9th March, 1978. Twenty six writers and editors from Amritsar, Allahabad, Bhubaneswar, Bareilly, Barasat, Jalpaiguri, Jammu & Kashmir, Kanpur, Kerala, 'Pune, Varanashi and from many other places of India partici-pated in the seminar. As a part of the programme for the ''International year of ..child-1979" the Academy is planning to publish short history of Children's Literature in 14 volumes containing history of 14 regional languages of India for national distribution. "Children's Literature of Bengal" is the first publication of cthe series. It is not possible to give a detailed account of the children's literature within a limited space as it is a history of two Century which has a long and glorious background which was started at the beginning of the nineteenth century. However I am trying to give short idea on Children's Literature in Bengali, one of the regional languages of India in a nutshell. This publication is nothing but a reference seeking to provide 'basic informations. It does not claim to be comprehensive or exhaustive. Though every possible efforts have been taken, there may be errors and ommissions and if detected that will be rectified in the next edition. I am grateful for the co-operation received from Shri Dhirendra Lal Dhar, President of the Academy and other membtn of Academy in publiahinJ this book. I am also tha$-ful, Anil hfJJ*d to,publiab tbe:book in short t1me. To 1-must !. '. . :, . ' apwa my aratit.,.de for the troubles taken by Mr. Gote K,liaabera of the University, Sweden and President of the '.'IQternatioaal Resew;ch, Society .for Children's. ture" for me iri my with his. Foreword. . ProJaah Dey. '.); ,F Joaladra Nath Sarker Aabanindra Nath Upendra Kishore Roy Chowdhury Kulada Ranjan Roy mem fu1 tc hf,lpc ~ . uprc lQiD; oftb t u r ~ ',I. l'ramada RaJ jan R0y Sunirmal Bose Sukha Lata Rao ltlrtfek Das Gupta Dakshina Ranjan Mitra Majumder Sukumar Roy Mohan Lal Gangopadhya Mani Lal Gangopadhya "' men ful t he1p 1,,, exp1 Klill ot'tl ture ',' ,''1 Sourindra Nath Mukherjee Khagendra Nath Mitra Sukumar Dey Sark;,er Rabindra Lal Ray ' I ' ONE Tbe dawn of the 19th century saw the beainniag of JWOH. It was during tlis period the childreii'.s literatUI:e; of ltnaal was also born. The missioaaries of Serampore lai4 IU foundation by briaging out rhe first chiidrea's. jounw "Diadarshan". But the leap towards consolidation ot children's literature was the establsllment of tM Sc:beoJ Boot Society to prepare and publish. cheap books useful for IObools. The members of the Society were_;_Radhakanla Ram Kamal Sen, Maalvi Hyder Ali, Mauhli Mohammed Rashid and Mritunjoy' Tarkalankar. The British paramount power assisted it to meet the ever increasing dcmaad for text books in the schools, set up to produce cJerks. The children's literature in Bengal, thus had its roots in the text books and in the domain of education. The accent was on making these text books as interesting and easy rea.ting as possible; Ia their seventh report the Society congratulated .itself that their eft'orts for the improvement of Bengali Janpage had been crowned with success. The writers of boolls published by :tbem were Radhakanta Deb, Tarini.Cbaran Mitra ... Ramkamal Sen, Tarachand Datta, and Captain Stuart. Stuart's book was "ltihas Katha", which was subsequently renamed as Upadesh Katha'. Besides a short history of England, it ' oontaiaed a few advices with a dictionary as aa appeadix. Raja Rammohan Roy and Clark Marsliman, were cona-boraton of Digdarshan. Raja Rammohan wrote on scientific toplcl aad his efforts were original. 11Nitikatha" was published in 1818 and it was divided into 1 three parts. After Nitikatha, Datta's :t.tanoran-janetihas" was publishedin-1819. It was not a text book but merely a collection of eighteen stories and essays. . The book 1 wu 8nt published as one volume., Later owing ,to its popu-; Jarlty I tecond volume was I , ', L (' ManoraDjanetihas was followed in 1820 by Ram Kamal "Hitopadesha". It was a selection of. 49 fables and moral teachings taken from Bishnu Sharma's "Hitopadesha", as acknowledged in its preface. Ram Kamal Sen was one of the few who as early as that held strongly to the view that a change of :View does change the fundamental bearings of man. Some of the stories of Ram ,Kamal Sen, however, appeared differently in Vidyasagar's K,tthamala. Hitopadesha: was meant for preaching moral. . "Banpla Siksba Grantha" by Radba Kanta.Deb, inl821, a view to teach Bengali Language. It contained alphJbets, essays, Grammar, History and Mathematics; But the pr.,ttice of writing first in English and then translating them. Bengali, lent a peculia-rly alien twist to '!fhe language. The Bengali of the essays were more Sanskritic than ever before and they lacked punctuatioa marks. Wood's Henry" was published in 1824, :dealt with the .Jife of an orphan boy Henry. Twelve years tater "Jananankur" a collection of moral stories was published in 1836. In the same year Sadachar Deepak: was also 'PUblished. It contained 48 pages and was priced half-an-anna. 'It was popular for 14long years at a stretch. The reason for its popularity was the variety of stories. Sadacbar Deepak bad. for its aim the improvement