Flavours of Costa Rica in Kolkata as 41st book fair opens doors to bibliophiles

KOLKATA: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is leaving no stone unturned to register her protest against demonetization. While all this while, she was vocal about her stand in the state and Delhi, now she has written a book on note ban, which was released at the inauguration of the International Kolkata Book Fair, 2017.

The CM unveiled the 41st edition of the fair, accompanied by Costa Rica’s popular author Roxana Pinto Lopez and poet Nirendranath Chakraborty. Costa Rica is the theme country of this year. Deputy high commissioner of Bangladesh Zokey Ahaad inaugurated the Bangladesh pavilion.

Mamata’s “Note Katha” —published by Dey’s—talks about the economic crisis that the country has plunged into, thanks to demonetisation. Citing statistics and economists’ views, she has explained how a robust economy was suddenly facing a downturn. She did not forget to mention how Trinamool was the only political party challenging the Centre on note-ban and the consequent onslaught it faced.

Five of her other books were also published this time, bringing her total tally to 69. “Mamata Banerjee is our bestselling author and tops our chart through the year,” said Sudhangshu Dey, also the president of the Guild.Mamata sang paeans to the book fair: “I can compare the book fair to my mother’s aanchal, her veil, which always soothed my nerves. It is here I seek refuge… it is like an illusion to me… magical… I become emotional when I come here.”
Lopez was thrilled to participate in the largest book fair in the world that she always wanted to visit. She stressed the importance of gender equality in her country, which had a large number of female authors, who commanded equal popularity as their male counterparts, if not more.
Tracing the fair’s journey—from 1976 when only 37 publishers participated till now when over 700 publishers set up stalls—Guild secretary Tridib Chatterjee said, “It’s been a long journey through fire, literally… much has been achieved, much is left to be done…”
A little over 500 stalls, plus 200 outlets for little magazines, have been set up this time. But most stalls are yet to be ready yet, given Bengal Global Business Summit has just finished.