India Pavilion showcase Indian literature & culture @ Paris Book Festival 2022

“There is no greater medium than through books and culture for the India-France relationship to grow from strength to strength.” – Hon’ble Ambassador Shri Jawed Ashraf

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India was designated as the Guest Country at the Paris Book Festival 2022 being organized from April 21-24, 2022 as announced under the PM Narendra Modi – President Emmanuel Macron Joint Statement released in 2018 during the French President’s visit to New Delhi. National Book Trust, India was designated by Ministry of Education, Govt. of India as the nodal agency to set up the India Pavilion and organise the Guest of Honour presentations.

The inauguration…

Jawed Ashraf, Hon’ble Ambassador of India to France inaugurated the India Pavilion, who emphasised that apart from more than 400 Indian titles, 65 publishers, 30 authors being showcased at the India Pavilion, the litterateurs participating in the variety of literary sessions to be held at the India Pavilion are among the finest minds from India reflecting the culture, the diversity, the plurality of India in all its glory. The performances of Indian classical and folk music, mostly by French artists show how deeply we are connected to each other’s culture.

Prof. Govind Prasad Sharma, Chairman National Book Trust, India and the Leader of Indian Delegation said that time has been a witness to the strength of India-France relations and their cultural and literary activities. “French philosophers like René Descartes have been ideologically influencing the intellectuals, litterateurs and thinkers of India for centuries. National Book Trust, India has had the privilege of publishing Hindi translation of French traveler François Bernier’s ‘Bharat Yatra’, which is considered a prominent historical book of its time. Apart from Bernier, many eminent travelers from France, like Jean-Baptiste Tavernier and Jean Thévenot have also written about their voyages to India for the French readers. Hindi translations of books on Mahatma Gandhi,
Ramakrishna Dev Paramhansa and Vivekananda written by French thinker Romain Rolland are also immensely popular among Indian readers. On the other hand, Indian texts, like Upanishads, were also the subject of study for French writers and thinkers,” he said.

While, Yuvraj Malik, Director, National Book Trust, India, said that book fairs and literary festivals are a great platform for not only the writers but for the society also as they endorse socio-cultural integration. Talking about the exhibits put up in the India Pavilion, he said that our books are a reflection of not only the intricate ancient Indian knowledge system but also the deep Indian value system. Hon’ble Ambassador of France to India, Emmanuel Lenain said that book festivals are a unique platform to promote translations of the respective literature of both countries.

While, Vincent Montagne, President Syndicat National de l’Edition welcomed the Indian delegation to the Paris Book Festival 2022 to celebrate books and reading in all forms while bringing to light the exceptional richness of Indian literary production.

Books translated into French…

French translation of 10 Children’s books published by NBT-India – A Tale of Tails, A Visit to Kumbh, Friend, Holidays Have Come, Ravan Remedy, Vasu Meets a Tadpole, Sheela & Leela, Snake Trouble, Stories from Bapu’s Life, and The Flower and the Bee were also launched on the occasion.

India Pavilion highlights…

The India Pavilion which was designed by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (NID), represented the works of 65 Indian publishers with more than 15 digital and physical exhibitions displaying over 400 books published in various Indian languages.

Bringing its multi-lingual linguistic traditions and projecting its India@75 national project through events and exhibitions, NBT hosted more than 45 speakers – 20+ being from India and the rest, including Indian and French writers, joining from France in over 25 literary sessions at the India Pavilion. A plethora of literary sessions, rich and diverse, taking up interesting issues like ‘Indian influences on the Art and Architecture of Europe’, ‘Women Writers and Their Creative Sphere’, ‘Mahatma Gandhi and Romain Rolland: A 21st Century Perspective’, ‘Science and Ayurveda’, ‘Many Languages, One Literature’, ‘Climate Change Concerns in Contemporary Writings’ etc. were organised. The Indian delegation comprised of eminent authors, writers and personalities like Sudha Murthy, Vikram Sampath, Acharya Balkrishna, Gourahari Das, Anand Neelkanthan, Suddhasattwa Basu, among others.

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