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SOME LINES ABOUT NEW BENGALI CALENDAR OF BANGLADESH

I CELEBRATED BENGALI NEW YEAR 0N 15 TH APRIL AS MY FAMILY TRADITION.BANGLADESHI


MUSLIMS OBSERVED IT ON 14TH APRIL.BANGLADESHI HINDUS PARTICIPATED AT BANGLADESHI
NEW YEAR BUT MAXIMUM HINDUS COULD NOT EAT PAANTA-ELISH(WATERED RICE WITH FRIED
HILSA FISH) BECAUSE THAT DAY WAS THE DAY OF “CHAITRA SANGCRANTI” FOR BENGALI HINDUS.
IT IS LIKE A RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL TO BENGALI HINDUS & THAT DAY THEY GENERALLY USE TO
TAKE VEGETABLES. AT “CHAITRA-SANGCRANTI” A SPECIAL CURRY HAS BEEN COOKED IN HINDU
FAMILYS BY 18-30 TYPE OF VEGETABLES. UP TO THE DECADE OF ’80 PEOPLES FROM ALL
RELIGIONS USED TO CELEBRATE BENGALI NEW YEAR JOINTLY. BUT WHEN BNP HAD COME TO
POWER IN 1991,WITHIN ONE/TWO YEAR THEY INDRODUCED THE NEW BENGALI CALENDAR. THIS
CALENDAR HASN’T BEEN FOLLOWED BY BENGALI HINDUS. (THE CALENDAR REFORM COMMITTEE
WAS FORMED DURING THE RULE OF AUTOCRAT ERSHAD.THEY SUBMITTED THE REPORT TO
ERSHAD GOVT.SO FAR I REMEMBER DR. AHMED SHARIF REQUESTED ERSHAD GOVT. NOT TO
INTRODUCE THE CALENDAR AS THERE WAS OBJECTION FROM WEST BENGAL SIDE & HE
EXPRESSED HIS FRUSTRATION TO HIS CLOSE FRIENDS AFTER EXECUTION OF THE CALENDAR
DURING THE RULE OF KHALEDA ZIA.).FIRST ONE/TWO YEAR TRIBAL COMMUNITY OF HILL
DISTRICTS CELEBRATED THEIR FAMOUS “BOISABI” FESTIVAL ACCORDING TO OLD BENGALI
CALENDAR. BUT BNP GOVT. THREATENED THEM TO OBEY NEW CALENDAR. AS AT THAT PERIOD
HILL DISTRICTS WERE UNDER CONTROL OF ARMY THEY HAD TO ACCEPT THIS CALENDAR. NOW
THEY HAVE BEEN CELEBRATING “BOISABI” ACCORDING TO NEW BANGLADESI CALENDAR.
BANGLADESHI HINDUS ARE STILL FOLLOWING THE OLD CALENDAR WHICH IS BASED ON THEIR
PANJIKA. BY PANJIKA DATES OF PUJA & MARRIAGE CEREMONY ARE FIXED. BENGALI HINDUS
FOLLOW THE BENGALI CALENDAR/PANJIKA IN DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF THEIR LIFE.( ON THE
CONTRARY BENGALI MUSLIMS FOLLOW ISLAMIC OR HIZREE CALENDAR.).BENGALI HINDUS HAVE
BEEN OBSERVING BENGALI NEW YEAR,CHAITRA SANGCRANTI FOR MORE THAN HUNDRED YEARS.
FOR HOW MANY YEARS HAVE THESE FESTVALS BEEN CELEBRATED BY BENGALI MUSLIMS ? FOR
HOW MANY YEARS HAS “ PAANTA-ELISH” BEEN EATEN BY BENGALI MUSLIMS? DURING THE
EXECUTION OF THIS CALENDAR THESE FACTORS WERE NOT CONSIDERED. AS BANGLADESHI
INTELLECTUALS ARE BY BIRTH ANTI WEST BENGAL/INDIAN , THEY SUPPORTED IT.( A VERY FEW
LIKE DR. AHMED SHARIF ARE EXCEPTIONAL). DR. ANISUZZAMAN THINK HIMSELF AS A SECULAR
MAN. ACCORDING TO HIM FOR TWO BENGAL TWO CALENDARS ARE NECESSARY. HINDUS &
MUSLIMS HAVE BEEN OBSERVING BENGALI NEW YEAR IN SEPARATE DATES IS NOT A PROBLEM TO
HIM. DR. SHAMSUZZAMAN KHAN WHO IS NOW DIRECTOR GENERAL OF BANGLA ACADEMY TOLD
IN A TELEVISION INTERVIEW THAT IF BENGALI CALENDAR WAS NOT REFORMED THEN BENGALI
NEW YEAR OR POHELA BAISHAK WOULD BE ON WINTER SEASON.( THIS MAN HAS NO IDEA ABOUT
THIS CALENDAR,HE IS JUST A FOLKLORE SPECIALIST). ACCORDING TO DR. AJOY ROY WHO IS AN
PHYSICIST & WAS A MEMBER OF REFORM COMMITTEE, BY OLD CALENDAR THE POHELA BAISAKH
WILL BE SHIFTED 30 DAYS AFTER 2000 YEARS.I HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT ASTRONOMICAL
CALCULATION BUT I KNOW WEST BENGAL SIDE ACCUSED BANGLADESH SIDE FOR SOME GROSS
MISTAKES IN THEIR NEW CALENDAR & THEY REQUESTED BANGLADESH SIDE NOT TO EXECUTE IT
WITHOUT SOLVING THE DEBATES BY MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING. BUT BNP CAME TO POWER WITH
ANTI INDIAN PROPAGANDA. SO IMMEDIATELY THEY HAD INTRODUCED IT AND BANGLASESHI
INTELLECUALS ACCEPTED IT CORDIALLY. HIGHLY CIRCULATED BANGLADESHI NEWS PAPERS DO
NOT REPORT THAT HINDUS HAVE BEEN OBSERVING “POHELA BAISAKH” IN SEPARATE DATE.
MAXIMUM BANGLDESHI INTELLECTUALS WRITE THAT WEST BENGAL PEOPLES HAVE BEEN
OBSERVING IT IN SEPARATE DATE. BUT TWO CRORE HINDUS OF BANGLADESH HAVE BEEN
OBSERVING IT IN SEPARATE DATE. NO BODY WRITES IT. DR. AJOY ROY, IN HIS RECENT ARTICLE AT
DAILY SHAMOKAL WROTE ALSO IN SAME WAY. IN THIS ARTICLE MR. ROY WROTE FOR A
BIDDYASAGOR IN HINDU COMMUNITY TO OBEY THE NEW CALENDAR INSTEAD OF PANJIKA. I HAVE
A QUESTION TO HIM “ BENGALI HINDU HAD A BIDDYA SAGAR 200 YEARS BEFORE.WHY BENGALI
MUSLM HAS NOT A BIDDYASAGAR TILL TO DATE?” POET KAZI NAZRUL ISLAM WROTE TO
PRINCIPAL IBRAHIM KNHA” BENGALI MUSLIM DOES NOT WANT ANY CHANGE,IF ANY BODY TELLS
FOR A CHANGE THEY ISOLATE HIM IN SUCH A MANNER THAT HE CAN DO NOTHING BUT
SURRENDER.”. I THINK FOR THIS TYPE OF MENTALITY THEY HAVE NO ISWARCHANDRA
BIDDYASAGAR, NO RAMMOHHAN ROY, THEY HAVE NO MOVEMENT LIKE “YOUNG BENGAL
MOVEMENT”. I ALSO THINK AS THERE WAS NO SOCIAL REFORM, THE BALLOON OF “SECULAR
BENGALI NATIONALISM” WHICH WAS FILLED WITH “DEPRIVATION GAS”, WAS BURSTED WITH A
NEEDLE OF GENERAL ZIA JUST AFTER 3½ YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE, STILL BENGALI MUSLIM
ELITES ALWAYS WRITE ABOUT HINDU COMMUNALISM AT BRITISH PERIOD BUT THEY DON’T FIND
ANY COMMUNALISM AMONG MUSLIMS AT THAT PERIOD, THEY HAVE ALWAYS A SEPARATIST
MENTALITY SO THEY WANT SEPARATE LANGUAGE & CULTURE FOR BANGLADESHI MUSLIMS,
STILL THEY HAVE RELIGIOUS FANATICISM. SO THEY INTRODUCED THIS CALENDAR & BY THIS
AGAIN IT IS PROVED THAT BANGLADESHI MUSLIM ELITES STILL BELIEVE IN TWO NATION THEORY.
BENGALI MUSLIMS & HINDUS HAVE BEEN OBSERVING NEW YEAR, RABINDRA JOYANTI, NAZRUL
JOYANTI IN SEPARATE DAYS IS NOT A PROBLEM TO THEM.

PRESENT AWAMI LEAGUE GOVT. HAS COME TO POWER WITH MORE THAN TWO THIRD MAJORITY.
BY CONSTITUTION THIS PARTY IS A SECULAR PARTY. I HOPE PRESENT GOVT. WILL TAKE STEPS TO
EXECUTE THE OLD CALENDAR UNTILL THE DEBATE OVER NEW CALENDAR IS SOLVED BY MUTUAL
UNDERSTANDING WITH WEST BENGAL.

21 APRIL, 2010.
ENGR LITU CHOWDHURY
“LITUR ADDAI”, http://lituchowdhury.blogspot.com