Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has stressed the need for digital publication of the books alongside the printed ones and their translation into different languages to reach the Bangla language, literature and culture at the global stage.
"I request all the publishers to be digital publishers alongside printer ones. We can reach quickly our Bangla language, literature and culture not only within the country, but also to the global stage," she said.
She said this while opening the Amar Ekushey Book Fair (2024) for the record 21st time at the Bangla Academy here this afternoon.
The Prime Minister said, "This is the era of science and technology and we have to move ahead keeping pace with the present time."
She said the new generation now prefers to read books on tab or laptop instead of printed versions. Despite the fact, the printed versions will not be erased as many, mostly aged people, still like to read the printed versions of the books.
The Prime Minister also suggested making audio version of the books so that one can learn by hearing. She asked the Bangla Academy to open a separate web portal to display the digital versions of their publications.
"We will march ahead if we compete with the era," she opined. The Prime Minister also stressed the need for translating the literary works to reach Bangla language, literature, culture and history to the global people.
"We can know about a nation or a country through its language and culture. So, translation is required to this end," she said. The premier said the more the Bengali literatures will be translated into different other languages the more the global people will know those.
"Everything of ours, including language, literature and culture, will reach quickly the global people if we can take measures to translate into different other languages," she said.
The Prime Minister said Bangladeshi people, too, can know foreign literatures and cultures through translation. "There are lots of languages across the globe. We cannot know those without translations." she added.
Referring to her government's Vision-2041, Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh would be a smart country in future by making its population, government, economy and society smart.
"If we want to build a smart society, we'll have to enrich everything like language, literature and culture," she said.
Noting that now the book fairs are held at the district-level, the Prime Minister said the government would take this book fair to upazila-level in phases.
Mentioning that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered his speech in Bengali in the United Nations General Assembly in 1974, Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu had taken Bengali to the international stage.
Rabindranath Tagore had brought international recognition for the Bengali language while Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman took Bengali language to the international stage through his speeches, works and political, social and economic struggles, she added.
The Prime Minister later moved around the book fair by visiting different stalls.