Standing in support and solidarity
On February 24 when Russia launched a full-scale war against Ukraine, different cultural organisations and institutions in Ukraine asked for solidarity and support. IPA Secretary General, José Borghino’s response to the Ukrainian Publishers and Booksellers Association condemned this criminal Russian invasion and stated that IPA was founded with the intention of supporting peace. Current President, Bodour Al Qasimi, said, IPA stands in solidarity with publishers in peril all around the world and, especially at this moment, with their members in Ukraine. She stated, “In times of peace, books have a powerful uniting force. In times of conflict, books are even more important in fostering hope, supporting reconciliation, and cementing peace.”
An open letter from publishing professional in Russian appeared on the net protesting against the military operations in Ukraine and calling for their immediate cessation.
In India now, book fairs and litfests are back with physical shows. The 45th Chennai Book Fair was successfully held from February 16- March 6,which had 1.5 million footfall and ?150 million (?15 crore) of book sales with 800 book stalls as said by fair organisers, Book Sellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI) .
The ongoing 45th International Kolkata Book Fair (February 28-March 13) has had 6 lakh people who have already visited and overall turnout is expected to cross 2 million (20 lakhs).
Meanwhile, the 15th edition of Jaipur Literature Festival (March 5-14) began with celebrating literature in all its glory. Namita Gokhale, Festival Co-director, Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “The clouds of war are gathering around our planet; even as we struggle to recover from the pandemic, we are faced by chaos and disruption. This edition of the Festival is a celebration of heart, mind and intellect. It reflects the concerns of the world around us as well as the eternal questions and timeless answers that literature offers.”
While inaugurating the Amritsar Book Fair (March 5-13), Chief Guest Hon’ble Governor of Punjab Shri Banwarilal Purohit said NBT has been working towards making every section of the society knowledgeable and has delivered books across the country under the Har Haath Ek Kitaab initiative as per the National Education Policy.
Cheers to happier times – reading, peace, love, hope & solidarity!