AMAR EKUSHEY BOOK FAIR 2013
Only real publishers to get stalls: officialsSardar Mahabbat Ali
The organiser of Amar Ekushey Book Fair has slashed down the number of publishing houses participating in the fair this year in order to accommodate only the genuine publishers and to ensure that quality books are printed.
This year only 234 publishing houses will be accommodated in 397 units of stalls in the fair scheduled to begin on February 1.
‘The number of stalls may increase to at best 450 with the inclusion of some government organisations,’ said Murshid Anwar, public relations officer of Bangla Academy, the organiser of the fair.
Among the publishers, 113 will get one unit stalls, two-unit stalls will go to 79 houses while three-unit stalls will be allotted to 42 publishers.
Last year, the fair organising committee approved about 580 units of stall for more than 450 government, non-government, socio-cultural and media organisations whereas the number of stall was 450 units in 2011.
This year, the book fair will be devoted to popular author Humayun Ahmed, who died on July 19 in 2012.
The Bangla Academy, tasked with organising the fair since 1978, is getting prepared to hold the Amar Ekushey Book Fair on its premises like the previous years.
The academy director general, Shamsuzzaman Khan, said the number of participating publishing houses this year would be less than that of the previous years as the fair organising authorities aimed at banning the ‘seasonal’ publishers.
Sticking to his announcement of last year, he said no stall will be allowed for socio-political, cultural organisations and NGOs, considering the existing political situation in the country.
Sources in the academy, quoting detective branch information, said fanatic forces might attempt to perpetrate violence on the fair premises, so anyone would be allowed to set up stalls outside the academy premise.
‘We must prevent such organisations which may affect the environment of the fair,’ Shamuzzaman told New Age.
He also confirmed permitting works of classic writers like Rabindranath and Nazrul in the book fair.
The allocation of stalls for the little magazine will be declared on January 24 after the closing day of submitting applications.
The lottery for distribution of the stalls will be held on January 25, according to the fair regulation.
Though the fair was launched with only 30 publishing houses in 1980, the number has been increased manifold over the years.
Talking to New Age, the publishers welcomed the academy decision to restrict the fair to the publishers only. They stressed the need for proper implementation of the policies.
‘The fair should be only for the genuine publishers and should not extend outside the academy premise as the authorities cannot execute the guidelines for the stalls on the streets,’ said Oitijjya publishing house proprietor Ariful Islam Nayeem.
Agami proprietor Osman Gani said, ‘It is very good that the academy will not allow any organisations except the real publishers.’
‘But the fair authorities tend to forget the fair rules once the fair is opened. We are concerned over this trend,’ he said.
Sandesh proprietor Lutfar Rahman also echoed him urging the authorities to implement the rules properly for the sake of local publication industry.
The law enforcers and supervisory committee of the fair would prevent any type of stalls on the footpath from Dhaka University’s TSC to Doyel Chhatar to facilitate the movement of visitors, the fair authorities said.
The book fair is held annually every year to mark the language movement in 1952.
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