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Dharmendra Pradhan: Books alone will help us define our identity

Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan remarked on Saturday that we must cultivate a book-loving society because books alone will help us identify our identity and navigate the future. Speaking during the 52nd New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF) opening ceremony, Pradhan praised India’s rich literary tradition.

“Mankind has an uninterrupted love affair with books. Be it the scrolls of Egypt, the palm leaf, and ‘bhojpatra’ manuscripts of India, humans have always found the written word irresistible. Books give us humans our peculiar identities,” he said. He added that book writing, publishing, and selling should be seen as a “labour of love” instead of commerce.

“As far as India is concerned, books will never lose their charm. As the knowledge century further unfolds, the book alone will help us define our identity and navigate into the futureâ€æ. a book is an intellectual product, not a commodity. Book writing, publishing, and selling, therefore, cannot just be commerce, it has to be a labour of love,” Pradhan said.

“As we envision to realise the goal of ‘Viksit Bharat’, we need to nurture a book-loving and book-reading society that fosters forward-looking ideas and helps build a progressive social order,” the minister said. He also inaugurated the National Digital Library which includes more than 1000 books in digital and audio format in 22 Indian languages along with English. The book fair opened on Saturday with ‘Multilingual India: A Living Tradition’ as its theme and participation of over 1000 publishers across nationalities and languages. During the course of the fair, the theme pavilion at the book fair will host book launches, author interactions, and panel discussions in different Indian languages and dialects.

Over the course of ten days, authors, publishers, and literary fans from all over the world will engage and exchange views on themes such as culture, literature, customs, and history. With a broad roster of artists, the NDWBF will also offer plays, poetry, music, and dance acts on a daily basis.

Some of the main performers at the event will include Ladakh-based folk fusion band ‘Dashugs’, Sanskrit rapper Shlovij, indie folk fusion band Yugm, Sadho Band, Shadaj Band, Jasu Khan and Group from Rajasthan, and Kerala-based rock band Thaikkudam Bridge.

While tickets for children and adults are charged at Rs 10 and Rs 20, respectively, schoolchildren and old persons can enter for free. The book fair will close on February 18.

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Source: India Today

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