Bangla Academy

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Bangla Academy
বাংলা একাডেমি
File:Bangla academy logo.png
Bangla Academy Front 1 by Ashfaq.JPG
Bangla Academy main building
Formation Template:Start date and years ago
Headquarters Burdwan House
Director General
Shamsuzzaman Khan

The Bangla Academy (pronounced [baŋla ækaɖemi]) is Bangladesh's national language authority, established in 1955. It is located in Burdwan House in Ramna, Dhaka, within the grounds of the University of Dhaka and Suhrawardy Udyan.

The Bangla Academy hosts the annual Ekushey Book Fair.


Moder Gorob, depicting the language movement martyrs, is one of the features of Bangla Academy

The importance of establishing an organisation for Bengali language was first emphasised by the linguist Muhammad Shahidullah.[1][2] Later, following the Language movement, on 27 April 1952, the All Party National Language Committee decided to demand establishment of an organisation for the promotion of Bengali language. During the 1954 parliamentary elections, the United Front's 21-point manifesto stated that, "The prime minister from the United Front will dedicate the Bardhaman House for establishing a research center for the Bengali language".[2] Following the election success of the Front, the education minister Syed Azizul Haque placed the order to fulfill this promise.

In 1955, the government formed a committee to expedite the process. The committee was composed of leading intellectuals like Muhammad Shahidullah, Qazi Motahar Hossain, S.M. Bhattacharya, W. H. Shadani, and Muhammad Barkatullah. On 3 December 1955, the Chief Minister of East Bengal, Abu Hussain Sarkar, inaugurated the institute.[2] Barkatullah acted as the Special Officer in charge. Later, in 1956, Muhammad Enamul Haque took over as the first director.[3]

In 1957, an act of the parliament formally established the funding source and the Government support for the institute.[2] The first book published by the academy was Laili Maznu, an epic by the medieval poet Dawlat Ujir Bahram Khan, and edited by Ahmed Sharif. The first fellow of the academy was the poet Farrukh Ahmed.[2]

The publication division was established in early 1957; the research, culture and library divisions and translation division were set in 1958 and 1961 respectively.[4]

After the independence of Bangladesh, the director's position was renamed Director General.[3] Mazharul Islam, head of Bangla Department of Rajshahi University, was the first Director General of the institute.[5] On 19 September 2008, a new 8-storied building, containing a 500-capacity auditorium and a 100-capacity seminar room, opened next to the main building.


The functions and structure of the institute was devised on the model of the French Academy.[3]


  1. Research, Compilation and Folklore
  2. Language, Literature, Culture and Publication
  3. Textbook
  4. Planning, Training


Years President Profession
1961–1961 Mohammad Akram Khan Journalist and politician
1962–1963 Mohammad Barkatullah Writer
1964–1965 Muhammad Qudrat-i-Khuda Educationist
1969–1971 Syed Murtaza Ali Writer and historian
1972–1974 Zainul Abedin Painter
1975–1977 Syed Murtaza Ali
1977–1979 Syed Ali Ahsan Poet and educator
1980–1982 AFM Abdul Huq Faridi
1982–1983 Abu Mohammed Habibullah
1986–1990 Abdullah-Al-Muti Educationist
1990–1992 Gazi Shamsur Rahman Lawyer
1993–1994 Abdur Rahman Chowdhury Justice
1994–1996 Gazi Shamsur Rahman
1996–1999 Shamsur Rahman Poet
2002–2006 Anisuzzaman
2002–2006 Wakil Ahmed
2007–2009 M Harunur Rashid
2009–2011 Kabir Chowdhury
2011–present Anisuzzaman[6]


The main task of the Academy is to conduct research on Bengali language, culture, and history, and to publish Bengali literary and research work.

To commemorate the Language movement and the Language martyr's day, the Academy organizes the month-long Ekushey Book Fair, the largest book fair in the country.

Bangla Academy Literary Award

Rabindra Award

This award is conferred for significant contributions to Rabindranath Tagore works.[7]

Mazharul Islam Poetry Award

This award is conferred to the Bangladeshi poets since 2010.[8][7]

List of Honorary Fellows

As of 2016, there are 159 persons made Honorary Fellows by the academy.[7]

  • Mohammad Ferdous Khan
  • Emazuddin Ahmed
  • Ferdousi Rahman


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  1. Al-Helal, Bashir (1986). Bangla Academy'r Itihaas (History of Bangla Academy) (in Bengali). Dhaka, Bangladesh: Bangla Academy. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Mamun, Muntasir (January 2004) [1993]. Dhaka: Smriti Bismritir Nogori (in Bengali) (3rd edition, 4th printing ed.). Dhaka, Bangladesh: Ananya Publishers. pp. 178–180. ISBN 984-412-104-3. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Islam, Sirajul (2012). "Bangla Academy". In Islam, Sirajul; Helal, Bashir Al. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. 
  4. "বাংলা একাডেমির সংক্ষিপ্ত ইতিহাস". Bangla Academy (in Bengali). Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  5. Reporter. "Bangla Academy marks 54th founding anniv today". Dhaka Mirror. New Age BD. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  6. "বাংলা একাডেমির প্রাক্তন সভাপতিগণ" [Former Presidents of Bangla Academy] (in Bengali). Bangla Academy. Retrieved 27 March 2017. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "পুরস্কারপ্রাপ্তদের তালিকা" [Winners list] (in Bengali). Bangla Academy. Retrieved 31 July 2017. 
  8. "Mazharul Islam Award introduced". The Daily Star. 10 September 2009. Retrieved 2017-12-17. 
  9. "Abul Hossain receives Mazharul Islam Poetry Award". The Daily Star. 23 September 2010. Retrieved 2017-12-17. 
  10. "Syed Shamsul Haq receives Mazharul Islam Poetry Award". The Daily Star. 29 November 2011. Retrieved 2017-12-17. 
  11. "Shahid Qadri gets Mazharul Islam Poetry Award". The Daily Star. 15 June 2013. Retrieved 2017-12-17. 
  12. "Mazharul Islam Kobita Puroshkar and Sadat Ali Akhand Shahitya Puroshkar announced". The Daily Observer. 23 December 2015. Retrieved 2017-12-17. 
  13. Islam, Sirajul (2012). "Nasiruddin, Mohammad". In Islam, Sirajul; Quiyum, Nurul. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.