Top publishing house denied stall at the national book fair

Bangla Academy barred a top publishing house, Adarsha, from setting up a stall at the national book fair of the country, which takes place every year in February to commemorate the sacrifice of the martyrs who were shot down on February 21, 1952, by the then government of East Pakistan when they asked for their right to communicate in the mother tongue.

The decision was made after the Bangla Academy raised questions about a book penned by Faham Abdus Salam, the son-in-law of BNP’s secretary general and a scientist by profession based in Australia. The academy claimed that the book Bangalir Mediocrityr Shondhane, which can be translated as In Search of the Mediocrity of Bengalis, has words that demean the courts and judges, the Bangladesh constitution, parliamentarians, the War of Independence, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the country’s founding president, the March 7 address, and prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

This incident alone explains the dire state of freedom of expression in Bangladesh.