At a time when more people are getting attracted to sectarian and extremist ideologies all around the world, some authors have endeavoured to study its causes with attempts to dig out the past of communal harmony and sectarian hatred in the country and the region.
Although religious extremism in recent times has claimed a number of lives in the country, the authors took the challenge to deal with the issues in their new titles. Many of them have pointed that the present crisis is closely linked with the subcontinent’s decades-old sectarian problem.
This year, Amar Ekushey Book Fair has witnessed publication of several such titles that deal with contemporary sectarian tensions and religion-based political culture.
Historian Munatassir Mamoon told New Age that the number of books coming out on the particular topic was not very significant as readers interested in studying the history of communalism could find huge amount of content in the form of memoirs narrating sectarian clashes, partition of the subcontinent and mass killing during the Liberation War.
Researcher Syed Abul Maksud, however, observed that many authors, though concerned about contemporary sectarian issues, were avoiding the topic in their new writings.
‘Moreover, I found some works portraying sectarian issues without taking much care for historical authenticity or neutrality, rather reflecting personal understanding of the author,’ Maksud said. Publishers said that despite low-turnout, such research-based titles have ‘archival values’.
This year, Shrabon Prokashani has published Nuh-ul-Alam Lenin’s Rajnoitik Islamer Bishwayon o Jongibader Utthan: Poriprekshit Bangladesh, which contains 12 articles dealing with extremism as rooted in the discourse of state and politics, imperialists’ patronisation to pop-up religious extremism and sectarian hatred.
Boipotro Prokashan has published Jongibad o Somokalin Bangladesh authored by Chittagong-based journalist Mohammad Selim who has compiled his news reports on extremism, trial of extremists and photographs of evidences seized from extremists’ dens.
Rodela Prokashan has published Nastikkya o Bibidha Prasanga by Ranadipam Basu. The book discusses the use of religion in politics.
Stall attendants said that some visitors also asked for titles on sectarian issues published in the last few years.
Samhati Prokashan stall attendants said that many visitors searched for professor Serajul Islam Choudhury’s Jatiyotabad, Samprodayikota o Jonogoner Mukti.
Jatiya Sahitya Prokash stall attendants said that titles like Moulabad by Masudul Haque and Dangar Itihas by Sailesh Kumar Banerjee were on their display.
On Sunday, 107 new titles hit the bookstalls.
Bangla Academy on the 25th day of the fair held discussion commemorating language veterans Nadera Begum and Mamtaz Begum, and sculptor Novera Ahmed.
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