BANGALORE: The state government will soon evolve a comprehensive Kannada Book Policy to streamline all activities relating to the publication of books, including copyright issues, said Kannada Book Authority (KBA) chairman Dr Sidhalingaiah.
Speaking to Express, noted litterateur Sidhalingaiah said that the publication of Kannada books, which started as early in the 19th century, has now evolved into a major business.
“All other commercial sectors involved in manufacturing products have developed a policy code; a code of conduct for book publication is also desired,” he said.
He informed that the KBA had constituted a committee, comprising various experts of the Kannada book industry, to evolve a draft policy on Kannada books under his chairmanship in 2008, which was submitted to the state government.
The committee also included people like Prof M H Krishnaiah, Dr Vijaya and Karigowda Beechanahalli and representatives from the Public Library Department.
“The state government which received the draft on the Kannada book policy has decided to put it in public domain and has solicited opinion from the public and industry stakeholders,” Sidhalingaiah said.
He added that formulating a separate policy on books is the first such attempt made in any of the Indian languages.
He said that while creating the Kannada book policy members of the committee have debated on issues relating to book publishing, sales and subjects relating to authors and their rights and privileges. The policy also recommended the state government to earmark a minimum of Rs 50 crore every year to buy books from publishers, authors and other stake holders.
The policy also recommended to declare books as products of cultural and economical sectors and create an eco-system in which all stakeholders develop a better relationship and promote reading. It also recommended to ensure the availability of books at affordable prices.
The scope of the book policy also extends to other languages such as Tulu, Konkani and Kodava. Every year the Kannada language accounts for the publication of more than 3,500 books, thousands of re-printings and an equal number of publications of unrecorded books.