Muktangan evolved from an informal gathering of Tallahassee Bengali families and students who celebrated a ‘Sarbojonin’ Durga Puja for the first time in Tallahassee in 2011. Prior to 2011, a small ‘ghorwa’ Durga Puja was organized at the residence of Jhunu and Somnath Chatterjee in which many families participated.
Over the years, several people including Jhunu Chatterjee, Sanjit Datta, Ashis Sanyal and Debajyoti Sinha had expressed the view that a community Durga Puja should be organized in Tallahassee. Tallahassee residents made long trips to larger cities such as Atlanta, Orlando or Tampa to attend Durga Puja. The community Durga Puja in Tallahassee idea was formally initiated by Ashis Sanyal at Jhunu Chatterjee’s request and he then invited families and students to a meeting at his residence to decide how it might be accomplished.
During that meeting a committee was formed to organize Durga Puja. Ashis Sanyal was selected as the President, along with Debajyoti Sinha as Vice-President, Jhunu Chatterjee as the Secretary, Subhasis Das as the Treasurer and Kakali Sarkar as the Assistant Treasurer. Tathagata Mukherjee, Shantanu Chakroborty and Samiparna Chatterjee were nominated as the student representatives on the committee.
The first community Durga Puja at Tallahassee was held on October 1st, 2011 at the Student Services Building on the Florida State University campus and it was a huge success with more than 100 participants. Somnath Chatterjee was the main priest for the event and was ably assisted by Tathagata Mukherjee, Jhunu Chatterjee and Chaity Banerjee. Decorations for the puja was organized by Sanjit Datta with the able assistance of Bikash Saha, Pradeep Karmakar, Abhisek Mukherjee and Sudipta Karmakar. Deepen Ganguly, Shantanu Chakroborty and Ravi Gupta assisted with the overall logistics and food arrangements. Sourav Saha and Anita Nag helped with the arrangements for small children, video and still photography. The day-long festivities concluded with sindoor khela and a cultural program organized by Rumi Sinha, Samiparna Chatterjee and Mausumi Das. The program included songs, skits and musical performances.
After the 2011 puja celebrations concluded, a new committee was elected. Realizing the importance of forming a formal Bengali association, the name Muktangan, Bengali Association of Tallahassee was selected to expand the activities of the group beyond just the celebration of Durga Puja to other activities related to Bengali culture and heritage. This name (Muktangan means open forum or courtyard in Bengali) was registered with Department of State, Florida as a formal non-profit corporation by the 2012 committee consisting of Bidhan C. Saha (President), Debajyoti Sinha (Vice-President), Somnath Chatterjee (Secretary), Kakali Sarkar (Treasurer) and Subhasis Das (Joint Secretary). The articles of incorporation and bylaws for Muktangan BAT were drafted by Subhasis Das with inputs from all the families.