February 24, 2021 4:24:01 pm
Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam Wednesday inaugurated the 44th edition of annual Chennai Book Fair at YMCA ground near Nandanam in Chennai.
The event organised by the Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI) used to take place during January coinciding with the Pongal festival. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was postponed to February.
“I thank the organiser for providing me an opportunity to inaugurate this event. I request the readers not to just visit the book fair but to buy books and inculcate the good values mentioned in it and practice those in their day-to-day lives,” Panneselvam said.
BAPASI expressed happiness that the event is taking place amid the reports it might be called off this year due to the pandemic. They assured that all the Covid-19 protocols will be followed. The fair features 650 stalls and the public can visit the book fair from 11 am till 8 pm till March 9.
Meanwhile, actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam leader Kamal Haasan announced that every day he will be suggesting a book to inculcate the reading habit in the younger generation. Haasan, a multi-faceted personality had actively been running a magazine called ‘Maiam’ which later became his party’s name.
“With the advent of television and other advanced technologies, the habit of reading has declined. Some of them still read through Kindle and other online resources, under these circumstances, people might ask whether a book fair is required, I say It is needed. The event is conducted to celebrate our rich history, to celebrate the knowledge. Monetary benefit is not the only motive behind these events, a person who wants to learn about the Tamil culture has to visit the book fair once. He will get to know how many lakhs of books on different topics have been written in Tamil, how many thousands of scholars are there in this beautiful language. This is a cultural festival where readers and writers, publishers and artists meet and greet each other. Like Goa Film Festival, Jaipur literary festival, Chennai Book Fair is a big event,” Haasan said.
He further heaped praise on BAPASI for organising this event every year despite hurdles like the Covid-19 pandemic or the floods which washed away the city a couple of years ago.
“Atleast half of the population in Chennai know to read and write. If 75 lakh people visit this place, if that happens, there will be a great change in the society and the world will appreciate it. From today (Wednesday), till the end of the event, I will be suggesting a book daily through my Facebook and Instagram handle,” Haasan added.
Today he recommended Tamil writer Puthumai Pitthan’s short stories.
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