Kolkata Book Fair Pushed Back to July Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
By: Sashwata Saha
The 45th edition of the International Kolkata Book Fair -- India’s largest annual book fair -- shelved in January due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will now be held in July, the Publishers and Booksellers Guild president Tridib Chatterjee said in a press conference in the city earlier on Thursday.
Like the three previous iterations, the fair, which draws people from far and wide every year, will be organised at Central Park in Salt Lake.
This year's theme country would be Bangladesh as 2021 marks the one-hundredth birth anniversary of freedom fighter and Bangabandhu (the Friend of the Nation) Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Also, India’s eastern neighbour would be celebrating 50 years of independence in March.
“With the COVID-19 situating having improved, we have decided to organise the much-awaited 10-day book carnival in July. By then, we hope assembly polls and board exams will also be over. The exact date, however, is yet to be finalised,” Chatterjee said.
The guild will also pay homage to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, as part of the year-long observation of his ‘125th’ birth anniversary and legendary filmmaker and author Satyajit Ray whose literary works would be celebrated at the fair on the occasion of his birth centenary on May 2.
Apart from that, a special section at the carnival would be dedicated to honouring the contributions of veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee, former president Pranab Mukherjee, and noted writer Anisujjaman -- all of whom died last year.
As is its custom, the Kolkata Literature Festival will be held alongside the book fair.
The International Kolkata Book Fair is a unique book fair in the sense of not being a trade fair, ie: the book fair is primarily for the general public rather than whole-sale distributors. It is the world's largest book fair of its kind, Asia's largest book fair and the most attended book fair in the world. It is also the world's third-largest annual conglomeration of books following the Frankfurt and London Book Fairs.
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