Books alone will help us define our identity: Dharmendra Pradhan

NewsDrum Desk
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New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) Education minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday said that we need to nurture a book-loving society, as books alone will help us define our identity and navigate into the future.


Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the 52nd New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF), Pradhan lauded India's rich heritage of books and literature.

“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 future…. 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.

This year, the NDWBF has also started a new initiative, titled 'Festival of Festivals', which is hosting different literature festivals from across the country under one roof.


A total of seven literature festivals, including the Ahmedabad International Literature Festival, Bharat Literature Festival, The Great Indian Books Tour, and Pragati Literature Festival are taking part in the fair.

Apart from hosting Saudi Arabia as the guest country, more than 40 countries, including the UK, Austria, France, Spain, Turkey, Italy, Russia, Taiwan, Iran, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal are taking part this year.

Authors, publishers and literary enthusiasts from different parts of the world will be able to interact with each other and exchange ideas over the topics of culture, literature, traditions and history over the course of 10 days.


With a long list of performers, the NDWBF will also host plays, poetry, music and dance performances every day.

Folk fusion band 'Dashugs' from Ladakh, 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 will be some of the leading performers at the event.

While the tickets for children and adults have been priced at Rs 10 and Rs 20, respectively, the entry for school children and senior citizens are kept free.

The book fair will come to an end on February 18. PTI MAH ANB NB