Kolkata E book Honest: historical past, themes, and occasions 2022!

What’s the Kolkata E book Honest?

The Worldwide E book Honest and formally আন্তর্জাতিক  কলকাতা বইমেলা বা  আন্তর্জাতিক  কলকাতা  পুস্তকমেলা  in romanized Bengali is a winter truthful in Kolkata. It’s a distinctive e book truthful as a result of it’s not a commerce truthful. This e book truthful is primarily for most of the people reasonably than whole-sale distributors. It’s the world’s largest non-trade e book truthful, Asia’s largest e book truthful, and likewise probably the most attended e book truthful. This truthful is the world’s third-largest annual conglomeration of books after the London E book Honest and the Frankfurt E book Honest.

Most Bengalis think about this e book truthful as an inherent a part of Kolkata. Due to this fact, the truth that 100s of them go to the e book truthful when it takes place isn’t unusual. The truthful provides a typical fairground expertise with the e book taste intact. There are picnickers, sweet floss sellers, singers, songwriters.

It’s the world’s largest bookfair by attendance with a complete of greater than 2 million individuals visiting the fairgrounds. Because the Kolkata E book Honest gained success, it impressed different smaller cities in West Bengal like Siliguri to host e book gala’s. The first World E book Honest in New Delhi in 1972 additionally impressed them.

How a lot is the recognition of the Kolkata E book Honest?

The recognition of the Kolkata E book Honest was seminal in India being nominated the Visitor of Honour on the Frankfurt E book Honest in 2006. This was in accordance with Frankfurt e book truthful organizers. Folks celebrated the e book truthful in songs, literature, theatre, and limericks in Kolkata.

The 44th Worldwide Kolkata E book Honest passed off on 29th January and ended on 9th February 2020. It occurred on the Central Park Mela Complicated, Karunamoyee. The federal government postponed the 45th version as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

How did the Kolkata E book Honest begin?

The e book truthful began on a small scale in 1976. The Kolkata Publishers and Booksellers Guild began it. The federal government began it to fulfill the rising public demand for books, and a relative lack of bookshops. Though the state now has a number of massive bookshops like Starmark, Crossword Bookstores, Starmark, and The Oxford Bookstore along with the e book store district of School Avenue, Kolkata E book Honest is rising yearly and the custom goes on.

What’s the length of this truthful?

The final e book truthful was the forty fourth e book truthful. It began on twenty ninth January 2020 and ended on ninth February 2020. The individuals thought that it will be a week-long occasion however the fashionable demand compelled the authorities to increase it. There’s often an prolonged vacation in Kolkata in the course of the interval of twenty third January to twenty sixth January.

Historical past of Kolkata E book Honest: What’s the venue of this truthful through the years?

Earlier, the Maidan which was Kolkata’s massive city park was the spot of the e book truthful. The federal government organized it on the Park Avenue finish of the Maidan, because of a greater street and rail community. This was after it moved there from the opposite finish of Maidan in 1991.

Because the yr 2009, the truthful is held in its new location at Milan Mela close to Science Metropolis on E.M. Bypass. The preliminary apprehension about lowered attendance on the new website has been confirmed unsuitable. Thousands and thousands visited the e book truthful in 2009.

Throughout the Eighties and early Nineteen Nineties, Kolkata performed host to 2 annual e book gala’s, one by the Kolkata Publishers and Booksellers Guild, and one by the Authorities of West Bengal − the Grontho Mela (‘Grontho’ is the archaic Bengali phrase for ‘e book’).

‘Grontho Mela’ was held from late December till early January and was the showcase for books revealed by Authorities-run publishing homes. This was initially a rival industrial enterprise. Nevertheless, the unprecedented progress of the ‘Kolkata E book Honest’ induced the Authorities of West Bengal to merge the 2 e book gala’s in 1992.

Conservation issues for the Victoria Memorial embody excessive mud air pollution, which is usually accentuated by public gala’s on the Maidan. The Kolkata Excessive Court docket determined in 2004 to maneuver all public gala’s to the Jap Metropolitan Bypass. This resolution was not greeted with enthusiasm by truthful organizers.

It was as a result of the current location was within the coronary heart of Kolkata, and was very properly serviced by public transport. The e book truthful and some different gala’s, nonetheless, had been granted particular permission by the Kolkata Excessive Court docket to proceed holding the truthful on the Maidan in 2005 and 2006. Nevertheless, the selection of Maidan because the annual venue for the e book truthful is not sure.

The Authorities of West Bengal gave in to the demand of the truthful authorities for a everlasting round-the-year indoor house for the truthful, comprising solely a number of the stalls. The previous Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mr. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, in an announcement in 2005, had agreed to this request.

Nevertheless, no progress has been made on this entrance. Many inhabitants of Kolkata really feel it of their hearts that the truthful will lose its ambiance whether it is held indoors or away from the Maidan, which is an unlimited stretch of inexperienced within the coronary heart of the town. After a year-long uncertainty, the world’s largest non-trade e book truthful, settled for Park Circus Maidan to host the literary carnival. This occurred in 2008.

Nevertheless, organizers of Asia’s greatest e book truthful remained apprehensive. They saved in thoughts the shame in January 2007 when the Kolkata Excessive Court docket didn’t permit them to host the truthful on the Maidan on environmental grounds. The Publishers and Booksellers Guild needed to shift the most-awaited cultural occasion to Salt Lake in 2007 after the town’s inexperienced brigade received a authorized battle to dam the truthful on the Maidan.

Historical past of Kolkata E book Honest: E book Honest through the years:

1974 E book Honest of kolkata

Some younger publishers of Kolkata, sat chatting on the School Avenue Espresso Home about learn how to begin a rendezvous of e book lovers to fortify their publishing commerce. The instance of the Frankfurt E book Honest which was a industrial commerce truthful of books got here up.

When the younger publishers lastly determined {that a} e book truthful could possibly be organized, albeit, on an experimental foundation, seniors within the commerce rubbished it. They felt that books weren’t commodities that could possibly be offered in gala’s. The youths continued.

1975 Kolkata E book Honest

The Publishers & Booksellers Guild was fashioned. Sushil Mukherjea turned its founder President whereas Jayant Manaktala turned its first Common Secretary.

First Kolkata E book Honest 1976

With 56 stalls of 34 publishers, the first Kolkata E book Honest was organized on March 5, 1976, on the floor reverse the Academy of Tremendous Arts, beside Victoria Memorial. The truthful was inaugurated by the then state schooling minister, Mrityunjay Bandyopadhyay.

The entry payment to the truthful was 50 paisa. This was the yr when the Guild not solely organized the e book truthful for the primary time but in addition participated in World E book Honest and the Frankfurt E book Honest.

The yr 1979 was the bicentenary yr of Bengali publishing. This was commemorated by the Anandabazar Patrika. They organized a e book exhibition-cum-fair on the bottom reverse Rabindrasadan from February 10. Steadily the truthful imbibed all of the qualities of a global occasion.

The gates of the truthful started to be modeled on landmark constructions from overseas nations. The Guild workplace additionally began wanting like a duplicate of an Indian architectural marvel. The Guild began publishing names and particulars of all titles in print on the truthful and a good listing. A quantity of seminars and colloquy turned everlasting options of the truthful.

The E book Honest of 1983

The seven-year-old Kolkata E book Honest received a retinue of holiday makers from the sector of literature. They’d come from all around the world. The then Secretary-Common of Worldwide Publishers Affiliation (IPA), Geneva, Mr. Koutcowmow attended the inauguration ceremony of the truthful that yr.

The earlier yr, Peter Withers, the then Director of Frankfurt E book Honest visited the truthful. A distinguished member of the Guild, Asoke Ghosh, received the Kolkata E book Honest its worldwide accreditation. It was from this time onwards that the dates of the Kolkata E book Honest began being talked about within the calendar of the IPA annually.

1988 E book Honest

The e book truthful wanted extra space yearly to accommodate the ever-growing variety of publishers. After a while it turned merely not possible to accommodate the truthful within the floor reverse Rabindrasadan and Birla Planetarium. Therefore, the Guild needed to convey the truthful nearer to Esplanade. The uncared for greens adjoining Park Avenue and Outram Highway turned the brand new venue of this worldwide occasion.

1991 E book Honest of Kolkata

Following the Frankfurt E book Honest, now the Calcutta E book Honest began having a focal theme yearly. First, it was the Indian states that turned themes. Assam was the primary focal theme, adopted by Orissa, Tripura, Bihar, and West Bengal. The literature and tradition of the respective state had been highlighted.

Kolkata’s E book Honest of 1997

The truthful turned worldwide in its actual sense. For the primary time, the focal theme was a overseas nation – France. Together with this modification, one other new idea was “Montemarte”. It was a spot within the fairground the place eminent and promising artists got here day-after-day to color.

That yr, the truthful was completely demolished by a violent outburst of fireside on the sixth day. Everybody within the truthful suffered an enormous loss. After that, the then State Tradition and House Minister of West Bengal Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee took the initiative. It was due to this that the truthful was re-constructed inside 3-days.

The E book Honest of 1998

The truthful was once more organized in accordance with its schedule with Britain because the Focal Theme and the truthful was inaugurated by eminent scientist Richard Dawkins.

1999 E book truthful of kolkata

Bangladesh was the focal theme. Sheikh Hasina, the then Prime Minister of Bangladesh got here to this metropolis of literature, to the inaugural ceremony of the E book Honest.

2006 E book Honest of Kolkata

This was the final time that the e book truthful occurred on the Maidan. Spain was the theme and Australia participated as Visitor of Honour.

E book Honest of Kolkata 2007

Preparation of the thirty second Kolkata E book Honest 2007 was at its peak which had Australia as the Focal Theme and the USA because the Visitor of Honour. Darkish clouds had began hovering across the truthful by then. A Public Curiosity Litigation was filed by some environmentalists in opposition to the truthful on the Maidan.

Calcutta Excessive Court docket dominated a day earlier than the inauguration that the e book truthful must transfer from the Maidan. In the meantime, an enormous delegation of contributors had arrived from Australia, the USA, and different nations. The Guild was compelled to dismantle the constructions on the Maidan and re-organize the truthful on the Saltlake stadium. Solely 10 acres of house was accessible in opposition to the 23 acres of land on the Maidan.

Kids’s pavilion, Montemarte, and plenty of different common options needed to be unnoticed. The schedule of the truthful needed to be revised and the truthful re-started from February 10. To worsen issues, the sky opened up delaying development. Guests complained of lack of transport to the make-shift venue.

The bottom plan was additionally complicated. Booklovers nonetheless tried their finest to courageous the chances. A comparative examine which was carried out later confirmed that solely 8 lakh individuals visited the truthful on the Salt Lake Stadium. This was in opposition to the 25 lakhs who visited the earlier yr.

2008 E book Honest of Kolkata

The E book Honest had the USA because the Focal Theme and the truthful was scheduled from 30 January to 9 February. It was inaugurated on 29 January. A Public Curiosity Litigation was filed on the bottom of disrupting the setting in opposition to organizing the Honest at Park Circus.

On the twenty eighth of January, only a day earlier than the inauguration, Hon’ble Calcutta Excessive Court docket ordered that the E book Honest couldn’t be organized at Park Circus Maidan. The Guild needed to endure an awesome lack of face as 67 delegates had already reached Kolkata from the USA and from totally different Latin American nations.

Authorized advisors of the Guild now felt that it was time to maneuver the Supreme Court docket, in any other case, all truthful venues would come beneath PIL assault. Below this circumstance, the Guild, with its opinion of nearly all of members determined to postpone the thirty third Worldwide Kolkata E book Honest. Presently, one other group was fashioned that organized a good named Boimela 2008 (E book Honest 2008) at Saltlake Stadium within the first week of March. The full footfall of that truthful was 5 lakhs.

A debate between the efficacy of the 2 e book gala’s began. A particular depart petition was filed on the Supreme Court docket in opposition to the judgment of Hon’ble Calcutta Excessive Court docket, which they termed as an impugned one. In different phrases, if somebody wished to file one other PIL in opposition to the e book truthful, he needed to first transfer to the Supreme Court docket. To get the truthful again to the Maidan, the then Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, wrote to the Union House Minister.

E book Honest of Kolkata- 2009

It was noticed that the development work at Milan Mela was virtually over. New land had been annexed to the present campus, to make it 18 acres. The thirty third Worldwide Kolkata E book Honest was held there. It was determined that the 4 everlasting halls of Milan Mela would have publishers of English and overseas language books whereas the outside will have regional publishers.

The open floor was to have a Focal Theme pavilion, Worldwide Complicated, AC corridor, Press Nook, Kids’s pavilion, and many others. Scotland was the Focal Theme that yr. The gates had been the duplicate of various architectural landmarks of that nation. The Guild Workplace was constructed as a duplicate of the Asiatic Society.

A Theme Tune for the e book truthful – Oi Daakche Boi (Books beckon), was created by Bickram Ghosh. The lyrics had been by Sugato Guha, whereas Srikanto Acharjee, Lopamudra, Shubhamita, Rupankar, Rupam Islam, and Ruprekha lent their voices.

After what appeared a unending wrestle, the thirty third Worldwide Kolkata E book Honest was inaugurated on the Milan Mela Floor. Among the many famous overseas dignitaries was Dominique Lapierre, the author of ‘The Metropolis of Pleasure’. The general turnover that yr was Rs 17 crores.

E book Honest 2010

The USA was the theme nation. The manager committee determined that if an individual purchased books price Rs 200, the entry payment can be refunded. This naturally boosted the sale of books.

E book Honest of kolkata 2011

Mexico was the Focal Theme. This was the time when an aeon-making resolution was taken by the Guild. It was alleged that Guild is making a revenue via the truthful. The principle supply of Guild’s revenue was the sale of tickets. The Guild dominated that entry can be made free. This was not all.

The Little Magazines had been additionally given free house. The lease controversy continued, however the state authorities intervened to provide the Guild an NGO standing. This meant that the Guild would be capable of use the Milan Mela floor if the state authorities paid for organizing its gala’s.

E book Honest of kolkata 2014

This yr a brand new occasion was organized in the course of the E book Honest. Kolkata Literature Competition— A competition of literature modeled on the Jaipur Literature Competition and Edinburgh Literature competition. The three-day competition was attended by eminent writers who converged to debate and disseminate the newest developments in writing.

E book Honest of Kolkata 2018

This yr once more E book Honest had a brand new tackle. The Milan Mela Complicated going beneath renovation completely and a brand new worldwide truthful complicated, as conceptualized by the Hon’ble Chief Minister, West Bengal was created there. The Central Park Mela Grounds was the brand new venue for the forty second Worldwide Kolkata E book Honest 2018.

Though this floor was barely smaller than Milan Mela, the infrastructure, accessibility and different logistics had been all at par with Milan Mela. Due to this fact, the Central Park Mela Floor was the very best various to Milan Mela. With the all-out cooperation and help from the Authorities of West Bengal, your entire space had a complete facelift inside a brief interval.

2018 was France’s third look as a Focal theme nation on the Worldwide Kolkata e book Honest. 2018 was the event of the seventieth yr of the Indo-France diplomatic relationship. Due to this fact, the cultural wing of the French Embassy organized the Bonjour India Competition in chosen cities of India.

The Bonjour India competition’s closing ceremony was held on the forty second Worldwide Kolkata E book Honest. The biggest Theme Pavilion within the historical past of the E book Honest was introduced by France as part of Bonjour India Competition.

2019 Kolkata’s E book Honest

“The Coronary heart of the Mayan World- Guatemala” was the theme nation for the primary time on the E book Honest. Beginning this yr, aside from the Focal Theme Nation, it was determined to focus and showcase the literature and tradition of 1 Indian scheduled tribe within the E book Honest.

Mayel Lyang Lepcha Improvement Board of West Bengal got here ahead and for the primary time they participated on the Worldwide Kolkata E book Honest. “Purchase books and win a E book Library” – the grand finale of the each day lottery for successful E book Present Coupon was organised.

4 fortunate winners had been introduced with a E book Library. Every E book Library consisted of a designer bookshelf stuffed with books price one lakh. The winners would have the privilege of choosing the books they need. This presentation was yet one more effort of the Guild in the direction of rising the studying habits of e book lovers.

2020 E book Honest

The forty fourth Worldwide Kolkata E book Honest was held from 29 January to 9 February. Russia was the theme nation for IKBF 2020. The Russia Pavilion additionally hosted periods by numerous Russian authors and audio system. The owl ‘Tito’ was adopted because the mascot for the Kolkata E book Honest 2020.

2021 E book Honest

The e book truthful this yr was canceled as a result of pandemic of COVID-19. Nevertheless, it has been determined that the forty fifth version of the Worldwide Kolkata E book Honest will begin on thirty first January 2022. This was introduced by chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Bangladesh goes to be the theme nation of the truthful. However as a result of pandemic, it couldn’t be held in January. So it was held within the final week of February ranging from the twenty eighth of the given month.

Contributors within the Kolkata E book Honest

Most bookstalls within the e book truthful preserve English and Bengali books. Standard bookstalls embody Ananda Publishers, Dey’s Publishing, Deb Sahitya Kutir, Mitra Ghosh Publishers, Pratibhas, Punashcha, Sishu Sahitya Samsad, Deep Prakashan, Tuli Kalam, Bhasha o Sahitya, Maondol E book Home, Saraswato Library.

These are among the many Bengali language e book retailers. The others are Well timed Books, Seagull Books, Rupa and Co., Penguin India, Tata Mcgraw-Hill. These are amongst English language e book retailers.

Just about all main European scientific publishers or corresponding franchisees arrange retailers, together with Oxford College Press, Cambridge Universitry Press, Kluwer and Springer Verlag. The truthful’s diplomatic mission stalls show and promote books from their nations.

The British Council, United States Data Service and Alliance francaise sometimes host stalls. The European Union, Bangladesh and several other Latin American embassies have hosted stalls in recent times. Most main information media in Calcutta have stalls, together with The Statesman and The Telegraph.

Calcutta establishments, which have their very own press or publishing home sometimes host stalls. This consists of the Indian Museum, Asiatic Society. There are additionally survey institutes just like the Zoological Survey of India, Botanical Survey of India, Geological Survey of India. It additionally consists of universities just like the College of Calcutta, Jadavpur College, and Rabindra Bharati College. Different notable annual stalls embody:

  • The well-known Santiniketan-based used bookseller Subarnarekha
  • A stall hosted by Kolkata artist Rathin Mitra, that includes his well-known panoramas of Kolkata
  • The BenFish (Bengal Fisheries) meals stall, which generally attracts extra clients than most bookshops

The preliminary rule was that solely publishers, and never establishments that simply offered or distributed books however didn’t publish any books, can take part within the truthful. This rule had been waved within the 2000s. This rule typically compelled small distributors to convey out a token publication simply to have the ability to take part within the truthful.

In 2014, Wikipedia made its first look on the Kolkata E book Honest, launching its marketing campaign to enthuse individuals to develop into common contributors to its website. It booked a stall and lined up an consciousness program to enroll volunteers. By the way, Kolkata fares poorly in terms of contributing to the world’s greatest on-line encyclopedia. As of 2013, the town had solely seven senior contributors and a few volunteers.

Wikipedia wants individuals from Kolkata to contribute voluntarily not solely to the mom web site but in addition to its Bengali language model of Wikipedia. The E book Honest authorities have already sealed the deal and are wanting ahead to this heavyweight participant.

Occasions that happen within the e book truthful

Quite a lot of occasions happen together with the e book truthful. They’re:

  • Quite a lot of e book signings and e book releases with first version distributions are held at the side of the truthful, as a result of excessive visibility of the truthful.
  • A collection of seminars and talks by literati.
  • Aggressive occasions for varsity youngsters like essay writing and trivia periods.
  • The Stroll for Books to lift cash for little one literacy packages.
  • Theme nation occasions, together with a chat by the Chief Visitor.
  • The Asoke Kumar Sarkar Memorial Lecture, the annual lecture delivered since 1984 by famous publishers and educators like W. Bradford Wiley.
  • The E book Bazaar, the public sale held on the final day of the truthful to public sale off the rest of the inventory, has been discontinued.


The Kolkata E book Honest attracts lots of people searching for free propaganda and thought promotion. The truthful does have its share of truthful and helpful propaganda, and reduction fundraisers, alongside the traces of the Frankfurt E book Honest protest motion in opposition to the official German spelling reforms.

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