Crowds throng venue of International Book Fest - The New Indian Express

Crowds throng venue of International Book Fest

Published: 03rd December 2012 08:39 AM

Last Updated: 03rd December 2012 08:39 AM

The 16th International Book Festival, 2012, which began here on Saturday has turned out to be a huge crowd puller.

The flow of people belonging to various  demographic backgrounds is a tell-tale that the Malayalis have not divorced books and reading from their emotional and intellectual lives.

The lay out and organisation of the various stalls cater to the maximum benefit of the book lovers. Almost all topics like fiction,  academics, religion, lifestyle and self management have been covered. The stalls that sell used books also have a good number of visitors, especially the students.

“I buy books from my pocket money and cannot  afford the high prices of certain books. The  availability of used books helps me,” said a young college student.

Malayalam fiction books have widely sold on the first day. “Many people come asking for books by Madhavikutty and Basheer,” said a stall manager. “Short stories and novels by the new generation writers are also in great demand,” he added.

Many publishers associated with religious institutions are also attracting a reasonable number of visitors.  “This shows the trend of increasing religiosity and the decline in rational thought among the Malayalis,” reasoned a retired school teacher. A fierce debate on literature and society, where noted Malayalam litterateurs took part, was held on Sunday morning. Writers expressed their concerns about the negative influence of economic and cultural globalisation. They felt that the increasing commodification in all aspects of life will be a challenge to the  cultural activists. Writer Narayan threw light on the subaltern writings that challenged the Brahminical hegemony in Malayalam literature.

Minister for Registration Anoop Jacob inaugurated the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, organised as part of the book fest.   “Vivekananda fought against the evils of caste system. But unfortunately, casteism is a reality in the cultural and social spheres,” the minister said.

Books by Geetha Suraj and M M Savithri will be released on Monday. Following this, dancer Shyamala Surendran will be honoured.  

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