From a joke on bad phonetics, it has grown into a cultural phenomenon
Reclaiming a language is a gargantuan task. While the Bangla Academy revisits its dictionaries to change age-old spellings in a time when fewer and fewer people use them, an internet subculture has been fighting to revive the sanctity of the Bangla language.
Murad Takla turned six years old on November 18, 2018. What began as a joke on a poorly typed angry rhetoric on Facebook has grown into a thriving online community with a profound impact on our popular culture.
From memes to being name-dropped in Aurthohin songs, Murad Takla has made it.
The OG Murad Takla, “আদি ও আসল”, told the Dhaka Tribune about the phenomenon’s origin.
“Six years ago, I saw a comment on Facebook ‘murad taklka jukti dia bal faltu pic dicos kan lakapara koira kata bal’ and struggled to make sense of it with my friends. Once we figured out it meant “মুরোদ থাকলে যুক্তি দিয়ে বল, ফালতু পিক দিসোস কেন, লেখাপড়া করে কথা বল” (If you had the capacity, you would have explained why you used an awful picture, learn before you speak) we were scandalized by the horrible spelling.”
They developed an urge to push back against the swelling tide of ill-fated viral phrases like “cok dia pani portase” (চোখ দিয়ে পানি পড়তেসে) and “gebonta pasa kala hoa gelo” (জীবনটা পাশা খেলা হয়ে গেলো).
Many Facebook users believed the page was making a joke at the expense of a bald man by the name of Murad. Many a Murads have been on the receiving end of pointed inquiries.
But it has always been about reclaiming the Bangla language from the tendency to take shortcuts while typing, and making grievous mistakes that send the wrong message. Sometimes the
The sentiment is understandable, and is certain to resonate among many who seek to honour those who sacrificed their lives in the fight for the Bangla language.
Their growth from a conscious close-knit group of friends to a Facebook page and group with hundreds of thousands of active members, and countless others who partake in the scene, is a shining moment for the Bangla language.
As the Dhaka Tribune was told: “There is no such thing as a grammar Nazi, we are trying to prevent the distortion of language.”
How else will inspiring quotes like “geboner pode pode bada asbe kintu tomar calia gata hoba” (জীবনের পথে পথে বাঁধা আসবে, কিন্তু তোমার চালিয়ে যেতে হবে) be read?
Decoding the complex sentences is a delightful pastime for the throngs of Murad Takla fans, who seldom hesitate to call out a Takla when they spot one.
Murad Takla is perhaps the most prolific among entirely Bangladeshi memes. Their enduring popularity has enshrined them as a standard for the meme culture in Bangladesh. Many Takla words have become part of the vernacular, e.g. “france” (also spelt “frans”).