Bangla Academy, established on 3 December 1955, is the national academy for promoting the Bangla (Bengali) language in Bangladesh. The main office of the organization is located at the Burdwan House, once a part of the campus of the University of Dhaka, beside Suhrawardy Udyan.
The importance of establishing an organization for Bengali language was first emphasized by the linguist Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah.Later, following the Language movement, on April 27, 1952, the All Party National Language Committee decided to demand establishment of an organisation for the promotion of Bengali language.
During the 1954 parliamentary elections, the United Front’s 21 point manifesto stated that, “The prime minister from the United Front will dedicate the Bardhaman House for establishing a research centre for Bengali language”. Following the election success of the Front, the education minister Syed Azizul Haque placed the order to fulfill this promise.
In 1955, the Government formed a committee to expedite the process. The committee was composed of leading intellectuals like Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah, Dr. Qazi Motahar Hossain, Dr. S.M. Bhattacharya, Dr. W. H. Shadani, and Muhammad Barkatullah. On December 3, 1955, the prime minister, Abu Hossain, inaugurated the Bangla Academy.
At first, Muhammad Barkatullah acted as the Special Officer in charge. Later, in 1956, Dr. Enamul Haque took over as the first director general. In 1957, an act of the parliament formally established the funding source and the Government support for the Academy. The first book published by the academy was Laili Maznu, an epic by the medieval poet Daulat Ujir Bahram Khan, and edited by Prof. Ahmed Sharif. The first fellow of the academy was the poet Farrukh Ahmed.