The most tragic thing about Bangla (Bengali) literature today is the absence of information about it in Internet. Internet is the biggest place for information and millions of people are browsing for information and entertainment everyday. If you do a search in Google about Bangla (Bengali) literature you will have to feel frustrated. Except Wikipedia and Bangla (Bengali)pedia there are not a lot of information about Bangla (Bengali) literature. This is ia tragic matter because Bangla (Bengali) literature is one of the richest literatures in the world. Rabindranath Tagore, the greatest figure in Bangla (Bengali) literature got Nobel Prize in 1913 and he was the first writer from outside of Europe and America to get this prestigious prize.
Tagore's achievement did not take place all of a sudden. Rather it came after 100 years of modernization and reformation process in Bangla (Bengali) literature that started with Rammohan Roy, the father of Indian reformation movement. It was Ram Mohan Roy who realized the need to reform the Indian society and embracing the liberal and positive aspects of the western civilization. A little later Michael Madhusudan Dutt turned this concept into reality in to Bangla (Bengali) literature by introducing sonnet and blank verse. Thus social reformation and modernization in literature occurred hand by hand in Bengal. The ground was prepared for Tagore to come and shine in the world literature.
It is true that Tagore almost single-handedly elevated Bangla (Bengali) literature to become one of the richest literatures in the contemporary world. Tagore's achievement made every Bengali writer proud and it created a new enthusiasm for them. After Tagore got Nobel Prize in 1913 the golden age of Bangla (Bengali) literature started and for the next 30 years it continued with a handful of writers in every genre. Kazi Nazrul Islam excelled in writing poems about social justice and he also successfully used both Hindu and Muslim heritage in his poems. It was in his poems that the idea of unity between Muslims and Hindus was echoed again and again. Sharatchandra emerged as the most popular novelist in Bangla (Bengali) literature. His novels touched people from every background in the society and still today his novels are most widely read in Bangla (Bengali) literature. Jibananda Das caught the attention of the readers for writing poems about nature and Bibhutibhushon Banerje did the same in prose in Bangla (Bengali) literature.
History of Bangla (Bengali) literature is more than 1200 years old and among the modern Indian languages (belonging to the Indic branch of Indo-Eurpean language Familiy) Bangla (Bengali) literature is among the earliest literatures. The first text of Bangla (Bengali) literature Charyapada was written perhaps in 9th or 8th century. This book is a collection of songs and poems written by a number poets (mainly Budhists). The poems contained description of everyday social life instead of praise to gods or goddesses. The most fascinating aspect of Bangla (Bengali) literature is that poets and writers from 4 religions have contributed in its development. Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian writers have their contributions in Bangla (Bengali) literature and Bangla (Bengali) literature has been enriched from these religions too. The presence and interaction among the poets of different religions have made Bangla (Bengali) literature a literature of liberal humanism. Bangla (Bengali) literature influenced its speakers so much that in 1952 Bangla (Bengali)deshi people sacrificed their blood against the Pakistani rulers to uphold the status of Bangla (Bengali).
It is really a sad matter that hardly any information is available in Internet about this great literature. There must be a broad initiative to change this scenario.