Prothom Alo awards best books of last year | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 26, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 26, 2012

Prothom Alo awards best books of last year

L-R: Sanat Kumar Saha (3-R) receives crest from Professor Anisuzzaman. Audity Mohsin (2-L) sings at the programme. Photo: Mumit M.

Widely circulated Bangla daily Prothom Alo conferred the '8th Prothom Alo Borsho Shera Boi 1417' (best books of last year) award at a gathering of writers and readers at Hotel Ruposhi Bangla in Dhaka on January 24.
Professor Sanat Kumar Saha received the award in Contemplative category for his book “Kobita-Akobita Rabindranath” (essays), while Aditi Falguni received recognition for her book “Apourusheyo 1971” (stories) in the Creative category.
Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman was the president of the jury board, which included Poet Belal Chowdhury, Professor Begum Akter Kamal, litterateur Abdus Shakur and Professor Hayat Mamud.
Welcoming all at the event, managing editor of Prothom Alo, Sajjad Sharif said, “This time 400 books were submitted for awards in two categories. Two important events -- 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore and 40th anniversary of our independence -- marked last year. Coincidently enough, the jury board selected two books on Tagore and the Liberation War.” Sharif also directed the event.
The creations of Rabindranath served as a lighthouse for progressive Bengalis during the Pakistan era, while the spirit of Liberation War teaches us to continue the fight for a just, liberal nation.
The programme was divided into two sessions -- live performance and award giving ceremony. Marking 90 years of National Poet's “Bidrohi”, Jayanto Chattopadhyay started off the cultural session with reciting the poem.
Noted Tagore singer Audity Mohsin rendered two songs -- “Anandadhara Bohichhey Bhuboney” and “Eto Alo Jaliyechho Ei Poboney”, while Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendra artiste Timir Nandi performed “Rokto Diye Naam Likhechhi Bangladesh-er Naam” and “Tir Hara Ei Dheu-er Sagor Pari Debo Rey” at the event.
The award giving session started with a speech by Professor Anisuzzaman. Highlighting the two books, he said, “Sanat Kumar Saha's essays in 'Kobita-Akobita Rabindranath' goes beyond the conventional way of thinking. Aditi Falguni's 'Apourusheyo 1971' feature stories of wounded freedom fighters, indigenous people and urban issues against the backdrop of globalisation.”
Professor Anisuzzaman handed over a crest, and a cheque worth Tk 50,000 to each winner. Members of the jury board adorned them with uttario.
Sanat Kumar Saha said, “The way Rabindranath Tagore is being worshipped as the torchbearer and pre-eminent Bengali, I doubt, he [Tagore] would've been comfortable with this. On the other hand, there is a tendency to reject Rabindranath. If Tagore's creation doesn't stand relevant, we'd move forward leaving the poet behind with honour. But we have to understand Tagore first. I tried to articulate this idea in my book.”
Aditi Falguni demanded the acceleration of the trial of war criminals during her speech. Her speech also highlighted issues like unending poverty and gender violence.
A documentary featuring Prothom Alo's 13 year-long journey was screened at the event. Thanking all, editor of Prothom Alo, Matiur Rahman said, “Bangladesh will go forward despite countless problems and obstacles. Prothom Alo has committed itself to fulfil its duties towards that triumphant journey.

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