Dhaka – A month-long book fair began in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka dedicated to the memories of heroes who laid their lives for the rights to mother tongue, officials said.
The fair titled Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2017 (Book Fair of immortals of 21st of February) is Bangladesh’s most prestigious and largest book fair.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate formally the fair in the afternoon at Bangla Academy premises as hundreds of book-stalls have been set to showcase publications amid festivity, triumphant and extravaganza.
The historic and national book fair is organized each year on the Bangla Academy premises and takes place for the whole month of February.
This event is dedicated to the martyrs who scarified their life on 21 February 1952 during a protest rally for the establishment of Bengali as one the state languages of the then East Pakistan.
As the curtain of the book fair will be raised Wednesday, the premises of Bangla Academy and Suhrawardy Udyan have been ready to stage colourfully, gorgeously and vividly.
Security has been beefed up in and around the book fair premises. Closed-circuit cameras have been installed to avert any untoward incident during the fair.
Hasina will also distribute prizes among the winners of ‘Bangla Academy Sahitya Puroshkar 2016′ and inaugurate a 4-day International Literature Conference 2017..
“Ocean of Sorrow”, translation of noted Bengali novelist Mir Mosharraf Hossain’s famous novel “Bishad Sindhu” and “Hundred Poems From Bangladesh”, published from Germany, will be handed over to the prime minister at the function.
Dong You Chen, Chinese researcher and translator on Rabindranath Tagore’s works, Austrian Menfred Kebo, Luz Maria Lopez from Puerto Rica and Indian essayist Chinmoy Guha will join the inaugural function as guests of honour.
Bangla Academy Director General Shamsuzzaman Khan said that preparations for Amar Ekushey Boi Mela-2017 are at final stage as the fair kicks off Wednesday.
Apart from Bangla Academy premises, around 400,000 square feet area on Suhrawardy Udyan was earmarked for the fair, he said.
The Suhrawardy Udyan part of the fair has been decorated with 12 divisions. Some 663 units have been allotted to 409 institutions at the academy and Suhrawardy Udyan premises.
Besides, 14 publication houses including Bangla Academy are given 15 pavilions covering an area of total 6, 000 square feet.
Some 100 little magazines have been allocated spaces at the Little Magazine Corner, south side of Burdwan House on the academy premises.
Children corner at the Suhrawardy Udyan has been decorated gorgeously with colorful lightings and toys of children this year like the previous years.
Fridays and Saturdays will be observed as Shishu Prohor (children hour) during the month of February at the fair.
Bangla Academy DG said 30 percent commission will be given on books published by the academy while 25 percent commission for other publications’ books.
Two main entry have been erected at Teacher-Student Centre (TSC) of Dhaka University and Doyel Chattar while three gates will be at Bangla Academy and eight gates at Suhrawardy Udyan at entry and exit points.
Bangla Academy has taken punitive action against 19 publications on various charges, including violation of the code of conduct of Amar Ekushey Boi Mela, selling pirated books and those ‘hurt religious sentiments’.
Of them, tour publications — Ba-Dwip Publication, Rongin Ful, Oikya and Nil Pori – were banned from the fair.