Chittaranjan Saha: A pioneer of Amar Ekushey Book Fair
Published: 04:03 PM, 24 January 2022
Amar Ekushey Book Fair
February is the month of revolution for the people of Bangladesh. The month of holding on to the mother language. That's why the bell of book fair rang in February. The 'Amar Ekushey Book Fair' is held in the capital Dhaka throughout February. And for this fair, Dhaka city gets a colourful look.
'Ekushey Book Fair' is strongly associated with the creation, struggle and history of Bangladesh. Bangladesh emerged as an independent state in 1971. The following year, in 1972, Chittaranjan Saha arranged 32 books under the 'Bottola' adjacent to Dhaka University. The day was February 8. No matter how small the range was, Amar Ekushey Book Fair started from that day.
32 books written by Bangladesh refugees were published by Chittaranjan Babu from his publication 'Swadhin Bangla Sahitya Parishad'. Today it is known to all readers as 'Muktadhara Prakashan'.
Chittaranjan Saha ran this small fair almost alone for five consecutive years from 1972 to 1976. Its scope has been increasing since 1977. Shortly afterwards, the Bangla Academy in 1978 and Chittaranjan Sahara in 1979 joined the 'Bangladesh Book Sellers and Publishing Society'. The range of the fair is much larger.
As time goes on, its splendor increases. Writers, Readers, Publishers- This book fair has been enriched with the Tri-association.
This fair has a special significance not only for the people of Bangladesh but also for the readers and writers of West Bengal. It can be said that this Amar Ekushey Book Fair is another stage of the union of two Bengalis. However, the name 'Amar Ekushey' was not existing from the beginning.
In 1983, the then Director General of the Bangla Academy, Kazi Manzoor Maula, fixed the name. But, no book fair was held that year. At that time a truck was driven over a procession of students on February 14. Two students died in the incident. In response to the incident, the book fair was closed.
The following year, the fair started in 1984 under the name 'Amar Ekushey Book Fair'. That journey has not stopped even today. The book fair was held from the beginning of February to February 21 before. Now the whole month of February is full of book fair.
Like every year, Amar Ekushey Book Fair will be organized this year also. The book fair was held only on the premises of Bangla Academy before. It has also been expanded now to the nearby Suhrawardy Udyan since 2014. Publishers-editors also be present with various publications including Little Magazine.
The fair had started with only 32 books written by Bangladeshi refugees one day. Today, as the amount of books has increased, so has the scope of book fairs. Chittaranjan Saha will remain immortal in the publishing history of Bangladesh. This Ekushey Book Fair will also be immortal. Now just waiting for the screen to rise.