Northeast, spirituality, Jinnah – diversity at Delhi Book Fair

New Delhi, Aug 29 ( Jaswant Singh’s “Jinnah – India, Partition and Independence”, “The Essence of Buddha” by Japanese spiritual master Ryuho Okawa, “The Dhammapada” by Eknath Easwaran, “The Idea of Justice” by Amartya Sen and literature from northeastern India – the 15th edition of the Delhi Book Fair offers book buffs all that’s new in Indian and world literature.

The fair was inaugurated by Minister of State for Corporate Affairs Salman Khursheed at the Pragati Maidan here Saturday. It will end Sep 6. It is hosted jointly by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and the Federation of Indian Publishers.

“The focus this year is literature from northeastern India, which still needs vigorous promotion to join the mainstream. The Asom Sahitya Parishad will organise seminars about literary activity in the state and the latest publications – both fiction and non-fiction – are on display. All the seven states have been adequately represented,” Naseem Ishaq of ITPO told Inditop.

The fair also has delegations from Abu Dhabi, Iran, China, Pakistan and the US, along with representatives from the Frankfurt Book Fair, Ishaq said.

According to R.C. Govil, president of the Federation of Indian Publishers, over 230 publishers from India and abroad are taking part in the event.

“The display profile of the fair covers fiction, non-fiction and academic books besides children’s literature and classics,” Govil said.

The exhibition is spread across four halls in the sprawling venue that wears a festive look with banners, hoardings and colourful posters put up by publishers listing their “highlights and best-sellers of the year”.

India, says Ishaq, publishes nearly 90,000 books annually in 24 languages.

According to estimates by the Federation of Indian Publishers and ITPO, 25 percent of the books are published in Hindi followed by 20 percent in English. The rest consists of vernacular literature, foreign literature and translations. The estimated annual turnover of the Indian publishing industry is Rs.100,000 million.

“The fair has planned several seminars around the latest publication and education trends in the country. It includes panel discussions on writing, illustrating, publishing and promoting children’s books, copyrights issues, a round table on the state of Indian school textbooks, scientific stories in Indian literature and the publication scenario in northeastern states,” she said.

Apart from promoting reading habits, especially among the youth, the fair is a platform for co-publishing agreements, translation copyrights and reprin arrangements, the organisers said.