3 receive Bangla Academy Literary Awards
Saturday, 01 March 2008

Ekushey book fair ends

Staff Correspondent

The month-long Amar Ekushey book fair, that concludes, attracted large crowds on the Bangla Academy premises, the fair venue, with the booklovers hurrying for collecting their favourite titles on Thursday.

Three writers — Munzur-i-Mowla, Jatin Sarker and Lutfar Rahman Riton — received the Bangla Academy Award 2007 for poetry, essay and juvenile literature respectively at a function at the fair on the day.

Each prize carried a check for Tk one lakh, a crest and a citation. The Bangla Academy president, M Harunur Rashid, chaired the award ceremony while its director general, Syed Mohammad Shahed, delivered the welcome speech.

In his instant reaction, Munzur-i-Mowla, a former secretary to the government and also a poet, translator, playwright and essayist, said, ‘First I would like to pay tribute to the language martyrs. It is not important for writer to win a prize, but a writer as expected will always write something.’

A graduate in English from the Dhaka University and Harvard, and who also has a good number of books to his credit, said he was grateful to the academy for choosing him for the award.

Jatin, a post graduate in Bangla literature from the Rajshahi University and former teacher of Nisirabad College in Mymensingh, said, ‘I have been inspired by the rural people to write on peasants and village bards. I am dedicating my award to them.

I will be very happy if their sufferings end one day.’ Forty years ago in 1967, he also got the Dr Enamul Haque Award from the Academy. Riton, who has some eighty books on different literary genres, said, ‘Bangla Academy prize is the most prestigious award for a writer in Bangladesh. After receiving a prize, the social responsibility of the writer is increased.

And I will remember it.’ Harunur Rashid said, ‘Getting an award for a writer is the beginning of a new era in his life. That is why award is much important.

I would like to propose the government to establish a research institute for conducting studies and research on languages and cultures for helping survival of all the languages in the country.’ On the 28th day of the annual event, 81 new titles hit the fair with poetry dominating in the list.

The new arrivals included nine collections of stories, 11 novels, three collections of essays, 17 collections of poems, five research works, four collections of rhymes, five juvenile literatures and two biographies.

A group of young writers and artists on the day formed a human chain protesting the life threat on professor of Economics at Jahangirnagar University and eminent writer Anu Muhammad who threatened over mobile phone on February 22.

A number of books were launched at the Writers’ Corner at the fair. Former adviser to the caretaker government Akbar Ali Khan launched Prosanta K Roy’s research book ‘Bangladesh—Dark Facets Of Land Rights and Management: With Directions to Agrarian Reform’.

AH Development Publishing House has published the book. On the concluding day, the fair will remain open from 11.00am to 9.00pm.

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