Finally.....the landmark decision. Calcutta High Court pronounced the most eagerly awaited verdict of the city on Monday January 29. Kolkata Book Fair, the last fair among all still being held on Kolkata Maidan after its counterparts moved to other destinations after the Calcutta High Court's earlier judgement banning fairs on Maidan on ground of environmental damage, can no more be held on Maidan. This means this year's fair to be started at end of January is out.
Kudos to Subhas Dutta, the forever fighting environmentalist whose PIL in 2002 started it all. It's only because of his efforts that the court took notice of immense and irreversible environmental degradation of Maidan caused by fairs, especially Kolkata Book Fair which witnesses footfall of quite a few lakhs every year. Due credit goes to the lawyers who fought the case- Kalyan Bandopadhyay and Arunava Ghosh and the environment-conscious judge Bhaskar Bhattacharya who refuted many arguments of the lawyers of PCB and KMC on his own. I also personally thank them on behalf of the kids living in the city for paving the path of their living in a cleaner and greener city of tomorrow.
But the reaction from the writers, one of the important stakeholder groups of the book fair, were anything but charitable. They almost rubbished the verdict by terming it sheer nonsense. For them it was clear that emotion was overriding logic. But mustn't they be restrained in their expression as we look up to them and they have a definite, responsible social role to play? I remember watching Azizul Haque saying on a news channel"...in order to protect people from air pollution High Court caused brain pollution."