Kolkata, Jan 27 (IBNS) The 37th Kolkata Book Fair, one of the most awaited literary carnivals in the city, was inaugurated on Saturday at the Milan Mela ground here with the presence of Bangladeshi intellectuals as major participants since the neighbouring country is the theme of the fair this year.
In the presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Bangladeshi academician Prof Anisujjaman inaugurated the 12-day fair. Bangladesh finance minister Janab Abul Mal Abdul Muhith was also present.
Of the 572 book stalls, at least 38 are of Bangladesh publishers this year.
Inaugurating the fair, Prof. Anisujjaman said though many major and iconic publications went online, humans cannot do without books.
Speaking at the function, Mamata Banerjee said with Bangladesh being the theme, the fair would further deepen the ties between West Bengal and Bangladesh.
This year the fair will pay tribute to late literary names like Sunil Gangopadhyay, Humayun Ahmed and Syed Mustafa Siraj.
On Jan 28, the fair will host an Award Presentation Ceremony where Monishankar Mukhopadhyay (Shankar) will be conferred the Lifetime Achievement award.
Other awardees are Rabishankar Bal (Promisiong Writer), Kabitirtha - (Little Magazine) and Bithi Chattopadhyay - (Sunil Gangopadhyay Memorial Award which was instituted from this year)
The Sunil Gangopadhyay Memorial Lecture will be delivered the same day.
According to the Publishers and Booksellers Guild, organizers, the fair last year registered a turnout of 1.7 million and books worth Rs 20 crore were sold.