Anna Hazare seems to be the flavour of the season. At the 17th Delhi Book Fair, which opened at Pragati Maidan on Saturday, the social activist almost stole the limelight from the fair’s theme of travel and tourism.
While some stalls at the book fair displayed Hazare posters and pictures, a slim biography of Anna Hazare, published by Diamond Pocket Books in both Hindi and English, was flying off the shelves.
“Anna Hazare’s biography is the best seller of the day at our stall. We have sold about 100 copies of the book since morning,” said Ashish Gupta, director Saraswati House, a publisher who has set up a stall here. The stall also shows a large picture of Anna Hazare and the India Against Corruption logo at the cash counter.
The small biography of Hazare in English is called Anna Hazare: The New Revolutionary; while the one in Hindi is titled Krantidoot: Anna Hazare. The small books, apart from a brief biographical sketch of Hazare also has chapters on major scams in India, ‘philosophy of Anna’ , a note on The Jan Lok Pal Bill etc. “There is a lot of interest in the Hazare book. People from varied backgrounds want to know more about the Jan Lokpal,” says a salesman at the Diamond books counter which has prominently displayed copies of the book.
About 250 publishers are participating in the fair from both India and abroad, including from countries such as UK, China, USA and Pakistan. The event that will run concurrently with the Stationery Fair will see a number of seminars, (including one on corruption) book launches and workshops. Eminent writers of children’s literature in English, Hindi and other vernacular languages, will also participate. The fair will also see seminars on fiction, travel writing and e-books business in India.
Publishers are using the event to launch special initiatives to popularise Hindi books. Rajkamal Prakashan, for example, will launch a Pustak Mitr Yojana to deliver Hindi books at their readers’ doorsteps. Organised by India Trade Promotion Organisation, the fair will stay open from 11am to 8pm, till September 4.