25th New Delhi World Book Fair begins

New Delhi, Jan 7 (PTI) The 25th edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair themed 'Manushi - writings on and by women' began here today, with over 800 participating publishers from across the country and abroad.

Touted as Asia's largest, the nine-day fair was inaugurated today by Mahendra Nath Pandey, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development.

Jnanpith awardee and Odia writer Pratibha Ray and Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to India Tomasz Kozlowski were also present as Guest of Honour and Special guest respectively.
Talking about the Theme Pavilion at the fair, Ray said that literature is "beyond gender and geography", and that the section on women writing is in fact focussed on "human writing".

"I am happy that this year focus is on human writing. But, let me tell you literature is beyond gender and geography. So, all writers are feminists," she said.

Dismissing the popular belief that women are "late comers" in the profession of writing, which is largely believed to "male-driven", Ray asserted that all writers were different in their creative expressions as each experience is subjective.

"As the view of writers are different, naturally their writings will be different. It should be different, because if they are not, then why write the same things," she said.

The Theme Pavilion on 'Manushi' has on display books from different genres, posters and panels of some of the eminent women scholars of ancient and medieval India as well as women pioneers of modern Indian literature.

Both Pandey and Kozlowski highlighted the importance of books in the current technology-driven era.

The EU ambassador said that the seeming contrast between traditional books and the Internet, is "spacious" and insisted that technology must not be perceived as a threat.

"There is a perception that the role of traditional books in our social lives will be diminshed with the advent of the Internet and other technologies. Some people might even think that books and technology are at contrast.

"I personally think this contrast is spacious. Books are probably the most important form of technology that has ever been invented," he said.
Source - PTI

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