BANGALORE: “World Book and Copyright Day is being celebrated on April 23 every year. UNESCO has fixed this day as it coincides with the birth and death anniversary of noted English poet and playwright William Shakespeare. We should be ashamed to celebrate something which is decided by UNESCO and other Western countries,” Kannada poet Sumatheendra Nadig fumed.
He was speaking after inaugurating a workshop on book publishing organised by Kannada Book Authority (KBA) and Karnataka Publishers’ Association on Monday.
Terming this the impact of increasing Westernisation, Nadig said, “We should not celebrate days like Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, just because somebody has told us to do. We should understand why we are celebrating such days. Such celebrations should come from within us and give us happiness.”
He further said, “Books not only play a pivotal role in the development of individual, but also pave way for the development of the country. Everyday should be celebrated as the Book Day and activities to imbibe the habit of reading among children is needed.”
Dr Ramakantha Joshi, President, Karnataka Publishers’ Association, said “About 90,000 titles are published in India every year. India holds seventh place in the total number of books published every year in the world. It holds third place in publishing English books.” Joshi lamented that books are not reaching readers due to various reasons like poor distribution system.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Siddalingaiah, Chairman of the Kannada Book Authority, said “While we are regretting that the number of Kannada readers are decreasing day-by-day, a new circle of Kannada readers is being created at the same time and this includes the IT, BT crowd as many are getting attracted to Kannada. About 4000 to 5000 Kannada books, matching the international standards in fields like health, science, spirituality and various other fields are getting published every year.”