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Saturday, February 2, 2013
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PM pulls for Bangla

Opens Ekushey book fair

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina browses the book stalls of Amar Ekushey Boi Mela at Bangla Academy after inaugurating the month-long book fair yesterday. Photo: BSS

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday laid importance on translating the popular books of Bengali literature into other languages and vice versa to enrich Bangla.

"There is a wrong perception in a section of people that Bangla language will face debacle if we give importance to other languages," she said.

"I will be happy if our litterateurs and people don't suffer from the confusion and give importance to the learning of other important languages," she added.

The premier made the remarks while addressing the inaugural function of the month-long Ekushey Book Fair-2013 on the Bangla Academy premises in the capital.

Hasina said her government is trying to make Bangla one of the official languages of the United Nations. "I hope we would be able to earn the recognition."

The inaugural function began with the national anthem, recitation of the verses from religious books of different religions and Ekushey song.

A one-minute silence was observed in memory of the martyrs of the Language Movement.

Praising the role of Bangla Academy in promoting Bangla language, literature and culture, Hasina said since its inception in 1955, the academy has been making relentless efforts for intellectual development of Bengali people.

The government has taken initiatives to prepare a legal framework for strengthening the activities of Bangla Academy, she said, adding that a committee would also be formed to formulate a Jatiya Grantha Niti.

Ekushey, she said, is a source of inspiration for Bengali people. It's a tale of valour and sacrifice of the nation to establish its right to speak in mother tongue.

The spirit of the Language Movement had inspired Bangabandhu to go for the freedom movement, the premier told her audience.

Hasina said after independence, Bangabandhu had taken Bangla to international stage by delivering his speech in Bangla at the UN. He also inspired Bangla Academy to arrange first Jatiya Sahittya Sammelan in 1974.

Laying importance on cultivation of Bengali literature in all spheres of society, she said the spirit of Bengali national should be promoted to resist all evil forces.

The premier appreciated the efforts of Bangla Academy for organising the book fair, saying "The fair has created an opportunity for us to get involved with the contemporary literature and knowledge."

For new writers, the fair is a centre of fostering their creativity and talents, she told her audience.

Hasina also mentioned that the government would actively consider the proposal for shifting the venue of Ekushey Book Fair to a wider space near Shikha Chirantan at Suhrawardy Uddyan.

Cultural Affairs Minister Abul Kalam Azad attended the function as special guest while Director General of Bangla Academy Shamsuzzaman Khan gave the welcome address.

President of Bangla Academy and Prof Emeritus Dr Anisuzzaman chaired the function.

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