High hopes for Little Magazines at the International Kolkata Book Fair

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Culture

February 4, 2017

/ By / Kolkata



Little Magazine Stalls at the International Kolkata Book Fair

Little Magazine stalls at the International Kolkata Book Fair

The International Kolkata Book Fair, the most-attended book fair in the world, is being held at Milan Mela Grounds, Kolkata, between January 25 and February 5. The book fair caters to all ages and is a centre for knowledge and information for everyone.

With an average recorded footfall of 2.5 million year on year, International Kolkata Book Fair is truly international in the sense of the term, as book lovers, authors and publishers from across the globe look forward to participate in, present and share their literary skills with everyone.

The ‘Kolkata Boi Mela’ (Kolkata Book Fair) is a book lover’s paradise which celebrates a festive time when all the big and small publishers from across the country and the globe descend on the city, to bring the literary community under one roof.

One of the special attractions for the 2017 edition is the 200 little magazine stalls. The little magazine deals with varied subjects, including politics, cinema, arts, sociology, philosophy and religion. The library boasts of little magazines like ‘Sabujpatra’ by Pramatha Choudhuri, which started in 1914, Communist Party of India-Marxist founder Muzaffar Ahmed’s ‘Langal’ (1920), ‘Kallol’ (1923) that brought together luminaries like Kazi Nazrul Islam, Achintya Kumar Sengupta and Premendra Mitra, among many other titles.

Kolkata Little Magazine Library and Research Center, founded by Sandip Dutta, is a library of alternative and experimental literary magazines in Kolkata, India. It was founded on June 23, 1978 with a small number of periodicals which grew to one of the finest collection of alternative magazines in India. The library is situated at Tamer Lane in College Street, North Kolkata and boasts of over 60,000 collections – many of them rare and found only here.

“In September 1972, I held an exhibition of 750 little magazines to protest against the shocking upkeep of the books as well as to spread awareness. Since that exhibition, I have walked many a mile. So has my library. I am proud not only of keeping my vow but also of doing my bit to make available these books to the needy. They are ‘little’ only by name. Their contribution to society has been and continues to be immense,” said Dutta.

Kolkata has a prominent place in the history of Little Magazine Movement in India which was largely dominated by Bengali language magazines. The tradition continued with the advent of Post Modernist writing in Bengali Literature. With the arrival of Krittibash, Hungry Generation and periodicals like Kourab, many little magazines started to flourish. But, there was never a comprehensive preservation attempt made for these immensely valuable cultural items either in the academic or public libraries.

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