Our Correspondent ● Kolkata: The International Kolkata Book Fair (IKBF) 2016 will start from 27 January. It will be inaugurated on 25th of January in the presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The focal theme for this year’s fair is Bolivia, signifying 50 years of immortal struggle by Che Guevara against Imperialism. Another important highlight of this year's fair will be the 3rd Kolkata Literature Meet which will start from 4 February. A combination of distinguished writers, directors, historians, theatre personalities and pets will grace the Literature Festival.
Tridib Chatterjee, General Secretary, Publishers & Booksellers Guild (PBG), told the newsmen that IKBF is the most revered and cherished festival in Eastern India. The 40th IKBF will witness the highest number of national participation along with glorified presence of many foreign countries making it a culturally diverse event. He also informed that France has initially confirmed its participation in IKBF 2016 as the focal theme country. However, in September they had withdrawn their name due to certain shortcomings and later, Bolivia came forward and confirmed their presence as theme country, Chatterjee mentioned. He, on behalf of PBG, thanked the book lovers, Embassies, booksellers and publishers and the Government of West Bengal for their support and contribution to IKBF and said, PBG is looking forward to host another successful innings for the most sought after event of the year in Kolkata, the cultural capital of the world.
Chatterjee also added that last year there was a total footfall of over 20 lakh, and book worth Rs. 20 crore was sold.
This year there will be more than 600 general book stalls along with 200 stalls for little magazines. The IKBF 2016 will witness the revered presence of new countries like Guatemala, Norway and China. The festival days will be elevated further with the participation of UK, USA, France, Japan and Latin America etc.