BHUBANESWAR: In the process of economic liberalisation the middle class is busy in its own prosperity and problems and has forgotten its traditional role of a transformer in society. But only books can change this situation and revive the mindset.
When the middle class stops thinking about the working class then the ‘collective intervention’ in democratic process like protests, rallies stop taking shape in gifting us situations like unprecedented price rise and inflation which were never experienced decades ago, said noted economist and Deputy Chairman of Kerala Planning Board Prof. Prabhat Patnaik while inaugurating the 26th annual Bhubaneswar Pustak Mela (BPM) here today.
It is the middle class that takes the lead to change society, but all over the world it is now being experienced that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the economic liberalisation policies have changed the thinking process of the middle class as the people are immersed in their own progress and have little or no time to think about social equality, justice, price rise and many things and even forgot the vital tool of democracy _ to protest any unnatural happening through a mass reaction.
Even now village farmers in many parts of the country are not getting Rs 20 a day to feed their families.
“Books will again help people to ‘de-class’ themselves and bring in another renaissance through rapid social changes,’’ the economist hoped.
BPM secretary Barendra Krushna Dhal also said that the economic development so far has not become ‘inclusive’, depriving many of its benefits.
There were hardly 150 titles published in a year when the book fair movement started, but now it has reached over 3,000 titles per annum in Orissa, said BPM committee president Satakadi Hota.
Four writers Gaganendra Nath Das, Madan Mohan Mishra, Ram Prasad Purohoit and Amiyabala Patnaik were felicitated on the occasion.
Four hundred stalls have been set up on the Exhibition Ground this year where more than 70 national publishers are participating and more than 250 new titles are likely to be released.
Among others, BPM committee members Prof. Khageswar Mohapatra, noted writer Bibhuti Patnaik and writer-translator Jugal Kishore Dutta spoke.