The ninth edition of the Bangladesh Book Fair was inaugurated by Bangladesh foreign affairs minister Abul Kalam Abdul Momen along with Bengali poet Shankha Ghosh and Toufique Hasan, Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh, at Mohor Kunja in Kolkata on Friday. The fair is on till November 10. The 10-day book fair has been organised by Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Kolkata in association with Export Promotion Bureau of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Gyan O Srijonshil Prokashok Samity.
“I am glad to be here. It is a platform where writers and publishers exhibit their talent before the book lovers in Kolkata," said Momen. Many writers and poets like Amirul Islam, a renowned children's writer, poet Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury will attend the book fair. On November 8, Bangladesh's State Minister for Cultural Affairs M.A. Khalid will attend the fair. The fair will also host cultural events, including programmes highlighting Bangladesh Shishu Mandir and Bangladeshi folk traditions.
"The main objective of a book fair is not only selling books but also to strengthen the cultural ties between the two countries, and also showcasing Bangladeshi literature in Kolkata," said Md Gofur Hossain, vice president Bangladesh Gyan O Srijonshil Prokashok Samity. "We have been organising this book fair for eight years now. The response has been very good. We are expecting more enthusiasm this time. This year, there are 61 stalls and 81 publications," said Hossain.
The Bangladesh book Fair started in 2011 at Gaganendra Shilpo Pradorshoshala in Kolkata, with only 20 publishing houses. Later it shifted to Mohor kunja, opposite Academy of Fine Arts, due to space crunch. It has grown big now, with many readers of Bengali literature from West Bengal waiting eagerly for this fair. Says Sanjoy Dutta, an avid reader: “There are many good publication houses in Bangladesh, and I personally wait for this fair to buy some good literature. My favourite writer from Bangladesh is Humayun Ahmed”.