By Pinaki Das
Agartala, Mar 29 : Thousands of book lovers are coming every day at the ongoing 25th Agartala book fair in search of books written by their favourite writers.
The ten-day fair which will conclude on April 4, is being held at the Sishuniketan ground of Agartala. They consider the fair to be a golden opportunity as over 150 publishers of the state along with some from Kolkatta and even few from Bangladesh are participating in the fair.
The Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (ICAT) Department of Tripura with cooperation of the state publishers have organised the fair.
Along with the book lovers, writers and the publishers are also very happy the books released in the fair are doing good business.
Dilip Saha, a publisher said the fair displayed books of Taslima, included Lajja, Shodh and Dwikhandito.
Soroj Chakraborty, a writer said, "It very unfortunate the way a women writer like Taslima had to suffer in West Bengal for expressing herself against the religious fundamentalist and ultimately compelled to leave India."
"The way Taslima was hounded by a section of civil society is shameful. Each passing day it seems the freedom of expression in India is becoming a myth," said Purushattam Roy Barma, a visitor.
Dr Dilip Das, another writer said that the way Taslima was forced to go away from India proves that "we are gradually loosing at the hands of religious fanatics. This is very unfortunate that the right to expression is also dying."
However, Das felt that one should be careful while writing and should not hurt one's sentiment.
It becomes all the more significant as the Taslima episode happened in India.
The difference between a democratic and an authoritarian government blurred when religious fanatics blew her creative expressions into smithereens for allegedly going against Islam.
The way she was forced to leave India indicates a setback to the country's liberal image said Safhi Ahamed, a Bangladeshi professor.
This type of fair not only creates a healthy atmosphere in northeastern state, but the huge participation of people particularly the youth proves that Tripura is gradually moving towards normalcy.