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45th Kolkata International Book Fair -The Asian Age

45th KolkataInternational Book Fair is going on in Central Park, Kolkata with full gaietyand euphoria. The fair began on February 28 and the curtain of the fair will bepulled down during the evening hours of March 13, 2022. During the past twoyears starting from the year 2020 to 2021 Kolkata Book Fair could not be heldmainly due to the scourge of pandemic Covid-19. Anyhow this year with theblessings of The Almighty the fair is being held at the venue Central Park,Salt Lake, located in the Eastern part of Kolkata. It is difficult for thecitizens of Southern part of the city to travel towards Salt Lake book fairground due to distance and heavy traffic snarl-up. However the citizens of thecity, near Suburbs, which means people from South 24 Parganas and North 24Parganas thronged into this Book Fair.

So far more than onelakh people have stepped into the precincts of 45th KolkataInternational Book Fair ground, Salt Lake venue. More is expected this week. Anexpected turnout to the tune of more than one lakh is evinced this week. If Ithrow light about last week’s euphoria then it would be unethical to ignoreBangladesh Diwas celebrations for two days on March 3 and March 4, 2022. Thestar attraction of the celebrations was vocal music Nazrul Geeti presentationby Agnibina, from Kolkata, India. Another star attraction pertaining toBangladesh Diwas was unique Rabindra Sangeet presentation by Dr RajashreeBhattacharyya from Kolkata, India and Ms Shyama Rahman from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Apart from the vocalmusic presentation Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, noted civil servant andpoet,  gave wonderful discourses on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahmanin his entitled ‘Rajnitir Kabi Bangabandhu’ or ‘Poet of politics Bangabandhu’.He seemed to be well versed personality which was expressible through his styleof presentation. Also on the occasion Professor Pabitra Sarkar, noted scholarand linguist of repute from Kolkata, India, Ms Shelina Hossain, novelist andlitterateur of the people and current chairman of Bangla Academy, Dhaka,Mohammad Nurul Huda, noted Bangladeshi poet and novelist, Minar Monsur, notedpoet and novelist, Dr Imanul Haq, noted scholar and teacher of repute, Kolkata,India, Tariq Sujhaat,  noted poet and publisher, Dhaka etc variousother gave wonderful presentations on the occasion of Bangladesh Diwascelebrations at SBI corner auditorium in Kolkata International Book Fair groundKolkata.

So far I have tried togive a broad outline of 45th Kolkata International Book Fair,Kolkata. This time the euphoria was at its peak. But the negative part of thisbook was too much high price of the books available at the fair ground.Bangladesh stall at the fair ground was unique and exemplary. The discount rateis @20% but slightly lower than previous 25%. In other stalls of Kolkata andother parts of India the discount rates are [email protected]% pertains to both Englishand Bengali books plus vernacular languages. Ananda Publisher Stall, Dey’spublishing stall along with Patrabharati wore a barren look. Among the Bengalipublishers of Kolkata, Sishu Sahitya Sangshad and Manisha Granthalaya (withRussian classics, history and literature) have been successful in drawing goodsbecause of moderate price levels of the books. Among all Kolkata’s veteranteachers of Bengali literature Dr Sushrima Dutta’s new book ‘Shilpe Rupantar’was launched during the fair at Press Corner auditorium by ProfessorSadhan  Chatterjee.

Last but not the least awonderful anecdote about liberation struggle of Bangladesh and Bangabandhuentitled ‘Bangabandhu in creativity, wisdom and humanity’ was launched at thefair ground in the august presence of Dr Dipu Moni, honorable educationminister of Peoples Republic of Bangladesh.  In all there are 36writers have contributed to this book inclusive of poetry by honorable MrTaufique Hasan, Deputy High Commissioner, Bangladesh, Kolkata, India.

So far the euphorianoticeable was quite unique in nature. But the last two year’s trauma in Indialike rest of the globe due to the scourge of pandemic Covid-19 has been deeplyfelt in my observation. There were many reputed business houses were closed dueto menace of Covid 19 however things are slowly returning to normalcy. What isstriking in my mind from economic perspective is that previous there was richerand middle classes upright in India now during post Covid-19 phase we find thatgap between rich and poor is widening gradually with upper middle class sectionwill dominate the show in the upcoming days of life.