Yesterday (8th November 2015) was a watershed afternoon for migrant literature in Singapore and South East Asia. The afternoon kicked off by Banglar Kantha Poets practicing by reciting poetry at Dibashram-Banglar Kantha premises. Then, as a cavalcade the Banglar Kantha Poets and volunteers with the community pioneer Mr. AKM Mohsin, the panelist for the Migrant Poetry Event at the Singapore Writers Festival started for the Arts House. The man who started Banglar Kantha a decade back, is the catalyst for many cultural interventions in the Singaporean Literary Landscape. The crew took the 147 bus, alighted four steps later from Rowell Road next to the Parliament and the Supreme Court, walked in to the august environment of the Arts House, in to the seminar room where we settled in. Mr. Shivaji Das, travel literateur and co-panelist in the event and esteemed debate moderator Mr. Alvin Pang, made the seminar room a cultural space to contend with.
Babu Bhai, Shihab Bhai, Mohar, Liton and Mahbub performed their poetry to the applause of the over flowing seminar room. The theme resonated with the refined crowd of intellectuals. After the performances, there was a panel discussion probing myriad aspects on poetry written by the migrant community with Mohsin Da and Mr. Shivaji Das, moderated by Singaporean Poet Mr. Alvin Pang.
This event expanded the discursive space for the migrant in Singapore by bringing forth the migrant voice in the discourse on ideas. This initiative fosters greater understanding and integration with the Singaporean core, a term popularized with the recent elections . This is indeed
Mohsin Da’s and Banglar Kantha’s contribution to the Singaporean core.