** Road disorder needs proper implementation of law ** Global food supply risks rise as key traders leave Russia ** 56 hurt in clashes among AL, BNP and cops in Natore, Khulna, Rajshahi ** Bangladesh serves as a model for rest of world: US Asst Secy Noyes ** People crowd the shop of a Trading Corporation of Bangladesh dealer for essential commodities at subsidised prices in Dhaka's Lalbagh on Saturday amid high prices of daily necessities in the market. Agency photo ** Rohingya national shot dead in Cox's Bazar ** BFUJ, DUJ express concern over misuse of DSA ** Dhaka seeks greater Dutch support for Rohingya repatriation ** I told DB everything I know about Arav Khan: Hero Alom ** Three Juba Dal leaders expelled for attack on journalists ** Several arrested from Paltan after chase, counter-chase ** UN Human Rights chief urges immediate suspension of DSA ** Trump indicted, first US president to face criminal charges ** A road beside Humayun Shaheb Railgate, Golapbagh, in the capital damaged due to ongoing rail line installation work and waterlogging by rainfall in the area causing sufferings to the pedestrians, commuters as well as the drivers. This photo was taken on Friday. ** Body of Chinese engineer recovered from sea ** Journalist Shams taken to Kashimpur jail ** IMF needs billions from rich nations to help poorest countries ** US expresses deep concern over use of DSA in Bangladesh ** HRW: Halt Rohingya repatriation plan ** Activists of left leaning students bodies stages a rally at Dhaka University premises in the capital on Thursday protesting the arrest of Prothom Alo journalist Samsuzzaman Shams. NN photo ** Repeal of Digital Security Act demanded ** Prothom Alo journalist Shams denied bail, sent to jail ** Japan to provide $1.27b to Bangladesh for three key projects ** HC verdict on Zahangir's GCC mayoral post deferred ** Private firm to supply gas from Bhola to industries in Dhaka **

Ekushey Book Fair and our aspirations

31 January 2023

Majhar Mannan :
Ekushey book fair is not just a matter of selling books; it is also a matter of spirit.  Many of our young people today are going astray and becoming drug addicts and they are turning away from books.  If children and teenagers have a passion for books, they will not go astray; they will have the opportunity to build a beautiful life. Once upon a time there was a great trend of reading books among teenagers and youngsters but nowadays it has been seen that such tendency has greatly decreased. Once upon a time, children and teenagers used to give books to their friends for various occasions but today that culture has gone up and now they don't have much passion for books. Adolescents and young people suffer from a variety of stressors and at this point a good literary book can serve as a valuable tonic for them. A good book gives children and adolescents a disciplined life, gives them confidence and arouses their curiosity.
Reading books builds curiosity among young people and takes them to the brink of a new horizon. Good books serve as one of the therapies for the mental development of children and adolescents. By reading books, young people and teenagers get a chance to know about their level of mind. There are some things that children and teenagers may not be able to share with others but they can easily do it through reading books.
A book can act as an axe to break the frozen sea inside a person.  Even if young people want to write, they have to read a lot of books. According to Joseph Addison, 'Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.' Books are the best wealth of human beings with which no worldly wealth can be compared.  Knowledge gained from good books never ends. According to Chinese Proverb, 'A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.' Virginia Woolf says, books are the mirror of the soul.
Due to the lack of thoughtful practice, creative attitude is being lost among the young people today. Today, mobile, computers, laptops and other electronic devices have become the company of young people. The driving force of all the historical movements in the country was the student society and they regularly read books, newspapers and magazines. There is a huge void in the field of art-literature and free-thinking practice today. And because of the aversion to books, many young people today are not in the right position and they are involved in various forms of extremism and sectarianism.
Once upon a time there were libraries in every village, thana, upazila of the country and children and teenagers used to go there and read books but it is really difficult to find the existence of all libraries today. Children, teenagers and young people today are being deprived of the joy of reading books in childhood. Facebook, Twitter and various other media are destroying the culture of reading books today. Libraries are no longer a popular destination for children and adolescents.  There were a lot of book shops in Dhaka's Aziz Market but they have come down today. The indifference of children and adolescents towards reading books is being noticed today and as a result it is becoming really difficult to create a thoughtful nation. There is no substitute for reading books to build a thoughtful and humane society. Writers will attract young people and teenagers through their thoughtful and varied writing. The habit of reading books has to be transformed into a social movement and publishers and writers can play the biggest role in this. Publishing companies should sell books to young readers at affordable prices.
It is the responsibility of the parents to introduce their children to various types of books. The sweet smell of the pages of the new book gives so much joy to the reader that the young society has forgotten it. People are chasing after money and fame and they are losing their mindset and children and teenagers are becoming self-centered. According to Rabindranath Tagore, a good book is the best way to purify oneself. According to Leo Tolstoy, three things are very necessary in human life and they ate  books, books and books. Prominent poet Omar Khayyam said that everything is lost from life, only a book becomes evergreen. If children and adolescents do not read books, the country will not have poets, writers, philosophers and novelists. Pramath Chowdhury has shown the importance of reading books for children and adolescents in his essay. However, many experts believe that many modern writings are not up to standard, which is why the number of readers is declining. Nowadays, the readers of poetry have decreased a lot because such high-level poetry is no longer composed.  Some experts say that now the school and college students cannot be called learners, rather they should be called examinees. In the current education system, the present generation has been trapped in the net of exams and they no longer have time to read books.  There was a time when there was a lot of competition to read books to inspire teenagers but it got lost. However, the younger generation needs to be made bookish and if they cannot be made bookish then they will not become an asset for the family, state and society but will become a burden.

(The writer is Assistant Professor, B A F Shaheen College Kurmitola, Dhaka Cantonment).

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