PM for translating classical Bangla literature for world readers

United News of Bangladesh . Dhaka

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday asked the authorities concerned for the translation of classical and well-selected Bangla literature works into different international languages to introduce the world readers with the ocean of Bangla literature.
‘I urge you for the translation of the vast classical and well-selected Bangla works of literature to take those to the world readers,’ she said.
The prime minister was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair on the Bangla Academy premises.
Noting that books for children are too inadequate, Sheikh Hasina said there should be more books for the country’s future generation. ‘I think there’s a necessity to publish more books for our children.’
Praising the Bangla Academy authorities for publishing brail books on Bangladesh’s Liberation War history and its leaders for blind children, the prime minister said her government is also providing brail books free every year as part of countrywide distribution of free textbooks among students up to secondary level.
Turning to the background of the 1952 Language Movement, she paid respects to the language martyrs, founders of Bangla Academy, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, four national leaders and Liberation War martyrs.
She said Amar Ekushey got government recognition when Awami League had assumed office in 1956 for the first time.
The prime minister mentioned that the killing of Salam, Jabbar, Rafiq, Barkat and Shafiul was not only a blow to the pro-language movement but it was also to Bangali nationalism.
Following the language movement, she said, the suppressed Bangali people staged Education Movement, Six-Point Demand, Mass Upsurge in 1969 and historic national assembly election in 1970 and finally the War of Liberation in 1971.
Referring to the international recognition of Amar Ekushey, Hasina described her prompt action in 1999 to have the recognition of it as International Mother Language Day by Unesco.
She said her government set up International Mother Language Institute and it got class-II status from Unesco, which has now taken initiatives to preserve various regional languages. The prime minister also lauded Bangla Academy for its efforts in this regard.
She elaborated her government steps for the development of the Bangla Academy, including its infrastructure development, saying, ‘Amar Ekushey gives us the inspiration to move ahead…Bangladesh is advancing with its head high on the global stage.’
Bangla Academy chairman and Professor Emeritus at Dhaka University Anisuzzaman presided over the inaugural session, while Bangla Academy director general Prof Shamsuzzaman Khan delivered the welcome speech.
Cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor, president of the International Publishers Association Richard Charkin, publisher of Onno Prokash Mazharul Islam, British poet and poet Jibanananda Das’ s translator Joe Winter, Czech writer-researcher Ribek Martin and cultural affairs secretary Aktari Mamtaz also spoke on the occasion.
The theme of this year’s book fair is ‘Diamond Jubilee of Bangla Academy’ marking its 60 years. The fair will open at 3:00pm and continue till 8:00pm on working days, while from 11:00am to 8:00pm on holidays. The fair time was 2:30pm to 8:30pm last year.
There will be a seminar at the main stage of the fair at 4:00pm every day from February 2 to 29.
Like the previous year, the venue of the fair has been extended to nearby Suhrawardy Udyan. The authorities have allotted a total of 651 units – 111 at the Bangla Academy ground to 82 organisatons and 540 to 320 organisations at Suhrawardy Udyan. Besides, 15 pavilions have been allocated for 14 publishing houses, including Bangla Academy.
A four-tier security has been arranged for the fair and there will be enough lighting in and around the venue as the spot where blogger Avijit Roy was killed last year had the shadows of darkness.
Special security will be provided to writers, bogglers and publishers if they feel insecure during the Ekushey Fook Fair, said Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia. A total of 200 CC cameras and nine watchtowers have been set up at the fair venue from where security personnel will observe the fair activities with binoculars.

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