A total of 143 books hit the bookshelves on the day with 31 books being officially unveiled. A total of 1,776 new books have been brought out thus far.
Communication Minister Obaidul Quader unveiled a nonfiction work, “Digital Bangladesh and Social Changes,” by Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap at the Unveiling Circle in Suhrawardy Uddyan. The book is about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s philosophy behind “Digital Bangladesh.”
The unveiling ceremony of new titles began at 4pm as usual, but then took a different turn.
The launch of Golap’s new book, set to start at 4:30pm, turned into a gathering of the writer’s political followers and ate up nearly two hours of the ceremony time, since Quader, the chief guest, did not arrive till around 5:45pm to join the writer and his guests.
According to the Bangla Academy information centre, each writer at the unveiling ceremony is assigned a launch time and given 5 to 10 minutes to present his or her work. However, those whose books were assigned to be launched in this time had to forego their official launch and hold it at various spots around the stage.
The writers expressed the sentiment that the situation was out of their hands and they can’t do much else about it.
Mamun Mizanur Rahman was one such writer whose first short story collection, “Heshe Heshe Dubechhilo Chad,” was scheduled to be unveiled at 5pm but he held his launch opposite the stage at around 5:30pm. The launch of Golap’s book ended around 6:15pm.
Jalal Ahmed, member secretary of the Bangla Academy Book Fair Committee, told the Dhaka Tribune that such an incident won’t be repeated in the future.
He said: “I was not aware of the delay at the unveiling ceremony. Had I known, it would have been handled. If they had indeed done this, it was not right. We will take care of the matter so that everyone gets their rights.”