No drive as yet against stalls flouting rules

Mohiuddin Alamgir

new05Many stalls in Ekushey Book Fair are selling books published by foreign publishers, pirated books and those brought out by other publishers since the beginning the month-long event, publishers have alleged.
But the fair committee is yet to launch any drive against the errant organisations and publishers who are breaking the fair regulations.
Cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor and the book fair authorities on January 28 had warned of stern measures against sellers of pirated books in the book fair.
Barring 2015, the fair authorities launched drives against the errant stalls in the first week of the fair.
Even last year, the fair committee members while visiting the fair on February 3 had warned at least 25 stalls not to sell any pirated books and titles published by other publishers.
Academic and Creative Publishers Association of Bangladesh president Osman Gani, also Agamee Prakashani publisher, said some dishonest stall owners are selling pirated books at the fair.
‘We demand closure of the errant stalls, otherwise others stalls will be encouraged to violate the rules,’ demanded Sraban Prakashan publisher Robin Ahsan.
Annwesha publisher Shahdat Hossian said the drive against organisations and publishers violating the rules would be helpful for maintaining a healthy environment at the fair.
As per article 6.1 of the fair regulations 2016 participating institutions can sell books printed and published in Bangladesh while, according to article 6.3, none will be allowed to display and sell pirated books and article 6. 4 no institutions and bodies in the fair would be allowed to sell books of other publishing houses.
Bangla Academy sources said the academy director general, Shahmsuzzman Khan, was abroad till February 5 and member secretary of the fair committee Jalal Ahmed was currently aboard, so they could not launch any drive.
The academy secretary, Anwar Hossain, said that they would launch a drive against the errant organisations as soon as possible. ‘We did not get any complaint about pirated book so far,’ he said.
‘The publishers have met us and assured us that they will go by the guideline,’ he added.
The fair on its sixth day on Saturday drew a huge crowd in the evening but in the morning, during the children’s hours, the presence of visitors was thinner compared to previous day.
In the morning, during children’s hours, from 11:00am to 1:00pm, children along with guardians visited the stalls in the children’s corner, having over 40 publishing houses for children and juvenile literature, inside the Suhrawardy Udyan premises.
The number of boys and girls was lesser than Friday as many schools were open on the day, said publishers as well as stall attendants.
The fair would have children’s hours on February 12, 13, 19 and 20 on weekends.
On the day, the academy held a preliminary round of general knowledge and extempore lecture competition for children that was joined by about 200 children.
A total of 155 new titles hit the fair on the day, with 38 collections of poetry leading the tally followed by 30 novels, 25 short stories and nine essays.
Bangla Academy held a discussion on past and present of folklore studies.
Today the academy will hold a discussion on past and present of translation of Bangla Academy which will be followed by cultural programmes at the main stage.

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