Three conditions determine the peculiarity of Bengali imagination.
Firstly, her historical and geographical ecology, secondly,
the stagnancy of its production methods, and thirdly, the parallel
existence of its folk elements.
The administrative map of Bangladesh was not the same in all
ages. The people of Bangladesh are also varied. The eras of
Angas, Palas, Pathans, Moguls indicate, there never was a definite
administrative border and so the mentality of administrative
map. On the other hand, with the evolution of BANGA or BANGLA
language, the gulf remained between the language-speaking groups
and her administrative map. But, the evolution of BANGA or BANGLA
marks the evolution of its historic consciousness. In the earliest
historical period BANGA used to denote a definite land but eventually
a much greater land was identified as Bengal where grades of
many different even self-contradictory cultures collided or
coexisted. Since the stages of development were not equal and
similar the cultural sameness could not be established or evolved
in spite of the political or administrative equation.
The name BANGA is laden with historical memory. Various consciousness
deriving from different professional categories created diversified
rather stratified culture. Yet the underlying unity of tone
is there. In spite of the existence of various communities of
professional or religious group, the basic unity of this culture
remained unperturbed because of the static and stagnant nature
of its economy. The cultural unity came from this non-changing
aspect of life. Despite the changes in religious belief, Buddhism,
Hinduism and Islam, the basic structure of the material culture
remained undisturbed and repetitive. This repetitive culture
lacks freshness and individualized expression. So, the traditional
way of living intensified the regionalism. At the centers of
urban culture, Sanskrit during Buddhist and Hindu period, and
Arabic and Persian during the Moslem rule, remained the language
of media for this court culture. So, the regional rural culture
did not get the impact of these far-off efforts and lifestyle.
The court culture produced a sort of unreal half-urban language
and literary convention. The prominence of this culture and
tradition lasted till the 19th century.
On the other hand the 'Punthi' literature was tiresome due to
lack of diversification of interests. Yet, during the same period,
limericks, rhymes, proverbs, ballads, seasonal ballads, all
sprang from the common language of the people. One gets a different
taste and touch altogether. These have limited surprises clear
and sharp satire and wonderfully keen awareness of life and
nature. In the language of Punthi literature the impact of the
individual is negative from beginning to the end. Material-wise
the Punthi literature seems to be depicting one symbolical man,
monotonous and idealized without any life.