The Biplab Deb government in Tripura has dealt yet another blow at the Communist stranglehold, this time by shifting the venue of Agartala Book Fair.
Books are said to be a man’s best friend, and remains one of the major sources of knowledge and acumen, but what happens when kids are made to read matter lauding Mao and Lenin when their minds are highly impressionable? Tripura has been facing this peculiarly horrifying trend for the past several decades before the Communist rule came to an end only in 2018.
The ruling Left Front and Communists had imposed their ideological bias upon the education curriculum of the state. The Communist regime had started the Agartala Book Fair in the year 1980-81. It is one of the oldest and biggest book fairs in the Northeast. SFI has come under the scanner in the recent past for propagating anti-India sentiment at the Book Fair.
The Book Fair, whose 38th annual edition is being organised now has been infamous for pursuing the nefarious Communist agenda, giving space to hatred and anti-India sentiment.
Even during the 37th Agartala Book Fair held last year, there was massive outrage over a Students’ Federation of India (SFI) bookstall. The bookstall showcased a book called ‘Gujarat Files’ and showed derogatory Prime Minister Modi and the then BJP President (Now Union Home Minister), Amit Shah in poor light.
Not just this, a student protesting against the SFI bookstall revealed, “They (SFI) have put up anti-India books at their stall. One of their books shows the map of India shaped like a piece of meat, hung upside down at a shop with Prime Minister Modi Ji as the shopkeeper. Another book shows the PM and BJP president Amit Shah in poor light. As Indians, we will not tolerate this. We want the stall closed down immediately.”
Since 2018 however, the Biplab Deb government has been trying to herald a cultural change and rid the Book Fair of all such nefarious elements. As a part of this change in mindset, Tripura Chief Minister, Biplab Deb inaugurated the Fair at Hapania International Fair Ground, which is 5 kilometres away from Agartala. The venue has shifted from the Umakanta Academy or Children’s Park- the traditional venue of Agartala Book Fair.
CM Biplab Kumar Deb said, “This book fair is an example of model state. The fair was organized for the first time out of Agartala city, bringing it close to people from the suburbs.” For a heartening change, the Book Fair started by paying homage to those CRPF troopers who gave the supreme sacrifice during the Pulwama terror attack last year.
The Book Fair, therefore, turned out to be a great success even though the Tripura Publisher’s Guild tried to place spoilsport by boycotting the Agartala Book Fair. Taking a dig at the Publisher’s Guild, CM Biplab Deb all said that while some people tried to dishearten others, the people of Tripura were not disheartened.
Tripura Chief Minister has been taking jibes at the Communists for using books and education in order to indoctrinate the people of Tripura with their agenda. After storming to power, he had said, “The Communists only wanted the people of Tripura to study Mao [Zedong] and forget our Hindu kings. They removed Mahatma Gandhi from textbooks in government-run schools. I am going to implement NCERT syllabus in all these schools which will also have chapters on Tripura’s history.”
With this Book Fair, Tripura CM has taken a massive step forward when it comes to ridding the state of Tripura of nefarious pro-Communist, anti-India propaganda.