The Amar Ekushey Book Fair wore an animated look with a huge turnout of booklovers on Friday, which was also observed as the International Mother Language Day. People were seen thronging the fair from the morning. With the rolling of time, the crowd turned bigger. Although the crowd decreased a little at noon, the rush grew thicker again in the afternoon.
After paying homage to the Language Movement martyrs at the Central Shaheed Minar, cross-sections of people are rushing in the entire book fair ground with friends and family members to spend some quality time and buy their chosen books. Bookworms and crowds from all walk of life were seen standing in long queues at the entry gates of the fair being held on the Bangla Academy premises and at nearby Suhrawardy Udyan to enter the fair ground.
Clad in flowers and colorful cultural dresses, the crowds were seen roaming around the book fair. Kobita Khanom, from Jatrabari, who brought her 10-year-old son along with her, said Amar Ekushey has a special significance for the country and its people and the new generation needs to be introduced with the history.
"We went to the Shaheed Minar in the morning and paid tributes to the martyrs by placing wreaths there. Now, I have brought my son to the fair to see the books and learn more about the Language Movement and know the history," she said, adding that this is how children learn about their roots.
On the other hand, many people, who live far from the book fair venue and cannot visit the fair in working days, took the chance to pay tributes to the martyrs and visit the fair on the national holiday. Nasimul Huda, who came from Dhanmondi with his daughter, said it is important to convey the history to children.
"Quality books should be produced more for children so that they can get to know about the history," he said alleging that prices of books are high at the fair. “Ekushey book fair is the key event to spread out our sacred culture, language and literature. I along with my family came at the fair to purchase books on the Language Movement, as the new generation should be introduced with the glorious history of Ekushey February,” said Shahin Alam, resident of Azimpur area who thronged the fair along with his family members.
People of all ages, especially students and parents with their children, were found browsing through books at different stalls. This year Bangla Academy has set the theme of the fair as “Birth Centenary of Bangabandhu”, dedicated to the iconic leader, marking his birth centenary. The authorities have allotted 179 units at the Bangla Academy ground to 126 organizations and 694 at the Suhrawardy Udyan to 434 organizations and a total of 34 pavilions have been allocated this year.
The stalls for the mainstream publishing houses have been placed inside Suhrawardy Udyan while government organizations and the Bangla Academy set up their stalls inside the Bangla Academy compound.