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Mamata inaugurates Kolkata book fair, lays stress on cultural ties with Bangladesh

Kolkata, Feb 28 (PTI) Underscoring the cultural ties between West Bengal and Bangladesh, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said she is happy that the 45th International Kolkata Book Fair has Bangladesh as the theme country on the 50th year of its Liberation.

Inaugurating the 45th edition of the book fair at the Central Park in Salt Lake, Banerjee said the ties between West Bengal and the sovereign country Bangladesh cannot be “measured with a tape”.

“You (Bangladesh) have Nazrul (Islam) and we have Rabindranath Tagore as our national poets. But they cannot be divided by any partition,” she said.

Cautioning against any bid to create a division among people along religious lines, Banerjee said none one dictate people’s choice of food, attire or language.

“On both sides of the border, we observe the International Language day on February 21. We also utter Jai Bangla along with Jai Hind and Vande Mataram,” the chief minister said.

She paid her tribute to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, considered the founding father of Bangladesh, and her respect to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed with whom she shares deep personal ties.

Minister of Cultural Affairs of Bangladesh K M Khalid, who was present, also harped on the ties between Bangladesh and West Bengal and thanked the book fair authorities for focusing on his country on its 50 th year of Independence.

Banerjee expressed happiness that the book fair is being organised after a gap of one year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As the permanent fair ground at Milan Mela had been under renovation, the Kolkata Book Fair will continue to be held on the Central Park, she said.

“We will rename the Central Park venue as Boimela Prangan (Book fair ground),” she said.

The International Kolkata Book Fair had been shifted from Milan Mela ground to the Central Park in 2018.

The chief minister also urged the book fair authorities to take a pledge for world peace during the event as a tribute to the victims of the war between Russia and Ukraine. PTI SUS NN NN

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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