Slain Bangladesh publisher’s wife waiting for miracle to save bookstore Dipanpur

Dipanpur, a bookstore set up in Dhaka in memory of slain publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan, is going to shut down due to a financial crisis after a three-month closure amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Staff CorrespondentReuters
Published : 13 June 2020, 09:46 PM
Updated : 13 June 2020, 09:46 PM

His wife Razia Rahman, one of the founders of the store, says they would have no other way but to shut it after the end of June since they do not have enough money to continue paying the rent without business getting back to normal.

Islamists hacked Dipan to death at the office of his Jagriti Prokashony in Shahbagh on Oct 31 in 2015. He was the publisher of Avijit Roy, the US-based writer and blogger who was also killed in a similar attack in February that year.

Dipan’s wife and others launched the store Dipanpur at 230, Elephant Road on the floor above a furniture showroom on Jul 13, 2017.

But as the coronavirus lockdown began in March, there has not been any programme or sale for three months.

“We don’t have any income now. We don’t have any foundation either to run Dipanpur,” Razia said.

She said they already missed rent and the advance payment they had made will finish this month.

“If no miracle occurs or someone makes a big investment, Dipanpur will not reopen next month,” Razia said.

Farid Ahmed, president of publishers’ association Bangladesh Gyan O Srijonshil Prokashok Samity, expressed frustrations on hearing about the condition of Dipanpur.

“Dipanpur emerged with a unique collection of creative books. To the creative people, it became a place for hanging out. Business has reopened, but book business is far from normal,” he said.

The closure of Dipanpur will be a huge blow to the efforts to overcome the crisis of marketing creative books, the publisher said.

“It’s a misfortune for the creative-minded,” he added.