Vol. 5 Num 321 Fri. April 22, 2005  
Letters to Editor

Distortion of Bangla

Bangla band music was never given much appreciation since its emergence in the music arena of Bangladesh as some classical music artists, connoisseurs, intelligentsia termed the trend as a violent assault on the serene culture of Bangla music predominantly occupied by Tagore songs, Nazrul Geeti, traditional folk songs and classical raaga songs. But it gained popularity among the young generation, the generation after the Liberation War, when Azam Khan with his songs of social awareness blasted the age-old notion of music in Bangladesh. He is now a living legend. After him, different groups like Feedback, Miles, Renaissance, Feelings (now Nagar Baul), LRB, Souls enthralled the souls of thousands of music lovers. Their brilliance in music composition, captivating voice, harmonious lyrics, passion in expression, outstanding get up (specially that of Miles) played a major role in this respect. Some numbers of these groups have cut a niche in the heart of music lovers. The degradation in social condition, love, depression were the themes they worked on a lot passionately.

Now the scenario is changing. As these groups are getting older, the new are turning up. They are not like the old ones as the theory of human history says that the new must confront the old. But the thing is that they are distorting and destroying the Bangla language which was not done by their older counterparts. They are probably devoid of any sense of melody, harmony in music. They are called underground bands; the trend is alternative metal. They are too much instrumental, guitar seems to raise a storm, drums seem to cause tectonic violence.

The most ridiculous thing they do is that they distort the accent of Bangla words. They pronounce them in the English accent, keeping the Bangla 'Ra' sound, for example, silent, which really sounds cacophonic, disgusting. I believe, in this process, they undermine the harmony of the sounds of a language that sounds so sweet. Some people say that these 'buddies' are from the aristocratic society and taught in the English language, so they cannot pronounce Bangla in the normal Bangla accent. All right, then I do not mind proposing to them to sing in English . English is an international language, people all over the world exercise their different forms of art, be it literature or music in English to uphold their regional identity in the international sphere. So, why should these people not use English if they cannot pronounce Bangla properly? The degree of acceptance will be measured by the listeners. The listeners will decide whether they would accept them or not.

My request is that the Bangla language should not be distorted. This language certainly possesses a standard form and has a dignified history. This must be taken care of.

Photo: Afsar Ahmed