Several literary personalities attended an event on Monday to promote the Urdu language and fulfil the basic needs of students and researchers.
The event “100 Kitabain 100 Mehmaan”, or a hundred books and a hundred guests, was attended by at least 200 people, who listened to eminent Urdu scholars speak on the importance of reading and lapses in the publishing industry.
The fair was organised by the National Language Authority (NLA).
Guests started to pour in at 11am. Though the book fair primarily had books dealing with the subject of linguistics and research, translations and other informative books were also available.
Some of the speakers on the occasion were Ashfaaq Saleem Mirza, Manzir Naqwi, Iqbal Faheem jozi, Khurram Siddiqi, Dr Saluddudin Darwaish, Kashifa Ilyas, Tariq Shahnaz and Humaira Ashfaq.
The organisers termed the event a success, saying that the public responded enthusiastically, with a large number of students and teachers coming to attend the fair.
The public relations officer Hameed Qaisar said, “NLA has published about 600 books till now; we decided to be innovative in naming the exclusive event book sale to attract visitors.”
There were two stalls that contained books and the monthly NLA magazine “Akhbar-e-Urdu”. One of the aims of the fair, according to Qaiser, was to increase the number of subscriptions to the magazine, which costs Rs500 for a year.
Speakers, on the occasion, requested the NLA to republish some of the books that were out of print such as the “Kahsaaf-Tanheedi-Istilahat” (critical terminologies) and stressed timely printing of course books. They also praised the authority for arranging the book fair.
Addressing the audience NLA Chairperson Dr Anwaar Ahmed said they wanted the participants to help the authority grow. He said literary, educational research and official institutes are the caretakers of a nation, therefore instead of presenting the monthly Urdu magazine to the eminent, he intends to make it accessible to people who had a need for it. He said he would make all efforts to continue holding similar fairs to ensure availability of books at discounted prices for passionate readers.
The speakers praised the efforts of the chairperson who had provided a “welcome distraction” from the scalding heat. The audience responded to the effort and not only bought books but also gave suggestions to the authority for further improvements.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2011.