January 31, 2019
Bangla CM inaugurates 43rd International Kolkata Book Fair today
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurates the 43rd International Kolkata Book Fair (IKBF) today at Central Park, Salt Lake. This year the Book Fair is being held from January 31 to February 11.
Among other distinguished guests at the inauguration was Euda Morales, an eminent author from Guatemala, as the Central American nation is the theme country this year. There will be books in 24 local languages of Guatemala.
The sixth edition of the Kolkata Literature Festival is also going to be held for a few days of the fair at the same venue. Distinguished writers, poets, directors, historians and other personalities from various fields will grace the occasion.
The focus tribe this year is Lepcha, and February 2 will be celebrated as Lepcha Day. From this year, the organisers of the IKBF have decided to showcase the literature and culture of one scheduled tribe every year.
There will be more than 600 book stalls and about 200 little magazine stalls.
Highlights of Chief Minister’s speech:
The book fair is very close to our heart. It is a lifeline for those who love books a lot.
This is the age of social media. There’s internet, Facebook, Twitter and other mediums where people write poetry or other essays.
Books are irreplaceable. Books are our stepping stone to learning and discovering new literature.
It would not be an exaggeration if I say Kolkata Book Fair is the best book fair in the world. This is nothing short of a festival.
Last year 2.2 million people visited the book fair. I hope the book fair becomes bigger and bigger in future.
Bangla celebrates all festivals with equal fervour. Durga Puja is celebrated in a grand manner. Christmas is celebrated across the world, but the celebrations in Bangla are on a different level.
This year, seven of my books have been published. One of them is political, titled ‘Biponno Bharat’. Other books are for children and poetry. Till date 87 of my books have been published. By next year, I will try to complete a century.
We have lost several icons this year. I remember sharing the stage with Nirendranath Chakraborty the year before last. Dwijen Da is also no more.
Do not allow any ‘dushtu’ people to spoil the magic of and charm of the ‘mishti’ book fair.