Vol. 5 Num 598 Thu. February 02, 2006  

Read more books, develop habit of study
PM tells Ekushey Book Fair inaugural ceremony

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday called upon the people to read more books developing the habit of reading in every house, inspire children to read books and give book as gift to the loving ones.

She also reiterated her call to inspire the new generation to learn other necessary languages, including international language English.

The Prime Minister was inaugurating the month-long `Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2006' on the Bangla Academy premises.

"Knowledge has no international boundary," Khaleda said, adding that selective books in Bangla language will have to be translated into foreign languages while books of science, technology, philosophy and creativity in other languages will have to be published in Bangla.

She said apart from further enriching and strengthening the Bangla language, the other literatures and knowledge resources will have to be translated into Bangla.

Khaleda said spirit of the `Ekushey' has assumed a new meaning and significance at the new post-independent perspective.

"This fair can enhance book mentality" people will have to be well educated by generating a study habit so that they can make valuable contributions in nation-building activities," she said.

"Book fair is a big part of people's culture in Bangladesh -- book is the upholder of nation's history, culture and tradition," she said.

She said her government has maintained their initiative to make book - the key element of education -- easily available as well as to raise the love of book in the society. But the mere initiative of government or state is not enough for achieving the goal.

"We all have to work en masse to attain the goal. All have to remember that knowledge-based state is a strong state," she told the inaugural function.

Ministers, state ministers, MPs, political leaders, intellectuals, writers, publishers and other distinguished personalities attended the function.

"So, this state -- the result of huge sacrifice -- will have to be further strengthened by efforts of all through acquiring knowledge overcoming the resource constraints."

Khaleda paid tributes to the language martyrs as well as those who made contribution in different ways and at various levels before and after 1952 for upholding the dignity of and flourishing the mother tongue, Bangla.

One minute's silence was observed at the inaugural function to pay respect to the language martyrs.

The Prime Minister said so far, Bangla Academy had published 4,000 books, which is a remarkable achievement for the nation.

She said the foundation of forming a knowledge-based society has become stronger following the publishing of large number of books on language, literature, science, culture and technology by Bangla Academy in last 50 years.

Khaleda said that in last four years, she announced "Book Year", "Library Year," "Child-literature Year," and "Science Book Year" to encourage education and practice of knowledge.

The current year also has been declared as the "Technology Book Year", she said, urging the publishers to publish more worthy books to keep their contribution in building up a knowledge-based society.

Bangla Academy Chairman Prof Wakil Ahmed, Director General Dr Abul Kalam Manjur Morshed and Bangladesh Book Publishers' and Sellers' Association President Abu Taher also spoke at the function with State Minister for Cultural Affairs Begum Selima Rahman in the chair.

The Prime Minister formally inaugurated the book fair by cutting ribbon and visited some bookstalls. She also bought some books at the fair.

Earlier, she lays the foundation stone of the proposed Bangla Academy Bhaban on the academy premises.