Ukraine in the lead as book fair returns after 2 years Let us be guided by prayers, not protests: Cm | Kolkata News


KOLKATA: A war more than 5,700 km away in Ukraine seemed to be on everyone’s mind. As Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the 45th Kolkata International Book Fair after a sabbatical year, she prayed for ‘world peace’ and urged everyone in Bengal to resort to ‘prayer, not protest’ . Discouraging any possible protest, she said, “Bengal has its own culture.”
“I don’t want to speak for or against anyone. We’re for everyone, we’re for world peace. We’ve fought Covid for two years, lost loved ones, we don’t want another war. Every death in every country must be excused,” Banerjee said.

“What can be achieved with peace and negotiations cannot be achieved through death and bloodshed. India had led the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), we lead for world peace. Let India also put an end to this conflict. We will always fight for peace.
Among the book fair’s 800 large and small booths, one is about Russia, showcasing the country’s literary culture as the fair opens to the public on Tuesday. Bidhannagar Police said there would be additional security measures around the stall to ensure no untoward incidents erupted.
At the inauguration, the Chief Minister acceded to the request of the General Secretary of the Publishers and Booksellers Guild, Tridib Chatterjee, to allow the fair to continue in Salt Lake Central Park. Emphasizing that the floor would now be called Boi Mela Prangon, Banerjee said,
“The Milan Mela pitch is being developed as an international standard pitch, where various fairs will be held from next year. But since this land is privileged to hold the book fair, we have no right to intervene in your choice. Instead, I will ask my ministers to name this land Boi Mela Prangon. This place will be a destination where all kinds of fairs can be organized but will be specially dedicated to the book fair.
Bangladesh is the central theme country of the fair this year. The CM said the relationship between Bengal and Bangladesh cannot be differentiated by a string between the two. “On this side of Bengal there was Rabindranath, and on the other side there was Nazrul.
The two Banglas are linked by their culture and their history. There is no difference between us, and the two Banglas unite in Biswa Bangla,” Banerjee said, asking officials to see if more buses could be run from Karunamoyee Bus Terminal during the fair.
Distinguished author Sanjib Chattopadhyay was congratulated on this occasion. “The way he talks, the way he writes, I don’t know if another Sanjib Chattopadhyay will ever come or not,” Banerjee said honoring him. Twelve of Banerjee’s own books were launched at the event.
Guild Secretary Chatterjee said the book fair could not take place in 2021 due to the pandemic, but they were inspired by the Chief Minister to gather their courage and organize the book fair this time . “We have lost many eminent personalities over the past two years. For the first time, the fair will be presented digitally around the world,” he said. A special pavilion has been erected in memory of eminent personalities who died during the pandemic.
The book fair, which will continue until March 13, has around 600 stalls and 200 small magazine stands. Organizers said Covid safety protocols were in place. Entrance is free and there will also be arrangements for e-passes for those who wish to take advantage of them.

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