Ekhushey BoilMela :History and Importance

The Ekushey Book Fair or Omor Ekushey Boi Mela (Bengali: অমর একুশে গ্রন্থ মেলা Ômor Ekushe Grontho Mêla "Book Fair of the Immortal 21st"), popularly known as Ekushey Boi Mela (একুশে বই মেলা Ekushe Boi Mêla "Book Fair of the 21st") or Ekushey Grontho Mela is the national book fair of Bangladesh. It takes place over whole month of February each year, and is dedicated to the agitators who died on 21 February 1952 in a demonstration calling for the establishment of Bengali as one of the state languages of former united Pakistan.

Muktodhara Publishing house started a little sell in front of Bangla Academy in the 21st February 1972,[1] the Shaheed Day, later International Mother Language Day. Chittaranjan Saha of Muktodhara took the initiative.[2] Later, other book publishers joined there unofficially. Gradually it became official and the most popular book fair of Bangladesh. Bangla Academy took over organization of the fair in 1978. In 1984 it was named Amar Ekushey Book Fair.[3] Notably, in 1990s, another national book fair called Dhaka Boi Mela was initiated. This book fair is organized by government in February every year.


Although Ekushey Boi Mela started merely as a book fair, it has evolved into a national cultural festival reflecting the cultural spirit of the modern Bengali nation. [1] In addition to book sales, Bangla Academy organizes literary and cultural events everyday. Thousands of people gather everyday not only to purchase books but to spend time in the company of books and their authors with a patriotic zeal. There is no entry fee. Publishers of Bangladesh take year-long preparation to publish a huge number of books during this month. Profit is not the consideration. In 2008, 362 book stalls have been set up by publishers, book sellers and such other organization including Bangla Academy and Nazrul Institute.[4] The venue of the book festival and outside is decorated with banners, festoons and placards in conformity with the spirit of Amar Ekushey. The entire fair venue is free from smoking and polythene. [5] It is the cultural reunion of Bangladesh where nearly every writing-related person comes. Attracted by discounted price (25%), readers rush there. Given the importance, generally head of government inaugurates the book fair on the first day of February. TVs make life broadcast of the inaugural ceremony. [2]

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