With UNESCO declaring Delhi the World Book Capital for the year 2003-2004, the 16th World Book Fair began in New Delhi on February 14 with special focus at India’scontribution to the rich heritage of human kind and civilisation.
The theme of the fair is also India’sContribution to World Civilisation in the Field of Science and Technology.
Illustrating the theme there is an exclusive pavilion displaying books in all Indian languages and audio-visual materials based on them. Institutions like Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, INSA, Nehru Planetarium, NISTADS, NISCAIR, NSC, IGNCA, Vigyan Prasar along with country’spremier publishing houses have contributed their mite to make the theme pavilion an exciting affair. Various scholars and scientists will interact with the audience while introducing their chosen work in the pavilion. The entry to the fair is free. The fair organised by the National Book Trust (NBT) will conclude on February 22.
Union Human Resources Development Minister, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, inaugurated the fair and noted writer V.S. Naipaul was the chief guest. There are a total of 1218 participants from 17 countries including Pakistan, Germany, France, Nepal, Israel, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Switzerland, Cote D Ivoire, USA, Mauritius, Portugal and Zimbabwe. Altogether, 25 foreign participants have occupied 40 stalls and three stands in the fair.
A two-day international seminar on ?Civilisational interface and the contemporary global context: an Indian perspective? organised on February 15-16 is another attempt towards a serious deliberation on a subject of great contemporary relevance. ?The seminar is expected to initiate a process of enquiry, which may bring out the dialogue in a clearer perspective,? said NBT chairman, Brij Kishore Sharma while talking to Organiser. Swami Dayananda Saraswati delivered the keynote address. Some of the themes of the seminar included?Macro-level issues concerning the dialogue of civilisation: India’srole, the content and context of interface among civilisations and the relevance of the Indian vision, India’sinterface with the west: distortion, critique and cultural hegemony, challenge to peaceful and creative interface among civilisation, interface of cultures and the role of the mass media, the problem of terror: a critique, etc.
Another two-day seminar on Bharatiya Sanskriti ki Vahika Hindi is scheduled to be held on 18-19 February.
A multi-lingual Kavi Darbar will also be organised on February 20 to bring together some of India’sinteresting voices in contemporary Indian poetry. There is an exclusive children’spavilion where activities for and by children are held every day. To ensure that the visitors have an easy access to the books and publishers of their choice, participants have been classified into various categories and placed in specific halls.(FOC)