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Sunday, 13 November 2011

Book lovers miss Anna at fair

PATNA: Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, who successfully mobilized Indian youths against widespread corruption quite recently, is being missed badly at the National Book Fair at Gandhi Maidan.

"I am very much influenced by Anna. I had even participated in anti-corruption stir at Kargil Chowk here. It is extremely sad there is no book on Anna's life in this so-called national book fair," Ashok Chandra, a student of journalism at Patna University, told TOI.

TOI talked to over a dozen visitors at the book fair on Saturday. Almost all of them said they were searching for some material on Anna.

This is despite the fact that many books have been published on Anna Hazare. Most of them are of semibiographical nature. While some are in Marathi, Hindi and English versions have also come into the book market.

After Anna's anti-corruption crusade, Pentagon Press brought out 'Anna Hazare: The Face of India's Fight Against Corruption' which details Anna's life and his movements. Another book, which has been translated into English by B S Pendse, 'Ralegaon Siddhi: A Veritable Transformation' is also virtually a book on Anna. "My Village - My Sacred Land," published by CAPART publications is another such book.

However, none of them are available here. "Anna's biography is available online. But today, Anna has got such a stature that every household should have at least one hard copy of his biography," said Dhrub Kumar, a city-based writer.

For Shruti Sinha of Magadh Mahila College, Anna is a 'GK issue'. "These days every examination has question on Anna Hazare. If I have a book on him, it will be better," Shruti told TOI. Bihar coordinator for India Against Corruption, Ratnesh Chaudhary also pitched in for books on Anna.

When informed about it, director of Prabhat Prakashan, Piyush Kumar told TOI that a book on Anna's life is ready. "We are trying to launch the book in Patna book fair within two to three days," he said.

Over 30,000 book lovers on Friday visited the book fair. "Footfall starts right at 11am and reaches its peak as evening approaches. In the last two days, more than 50,000 book lovers have come here," said Rakesh Kumar, in-charge of the book fair.

In the wake of brisk buying, several publishers have increased the rebate on their books. Former President A P J Abdul Kalam still tops the sales chart. Kalam's motivational books, 'Jeevan Briksha', 'Wings of Fire', 'Ignited Mind' and others are witnessing brisk buying.

Probably taking the cue from CM Nitish Kumar who had written 'Vikshit Bihar Ki Khoj' in Hindi, which was a hit in 2010 Patna book fair, Bihar's industry and disaster management minister Renu Kumari Kushwaha has written a book, 'Gandhi Darshan Ke Panch Sutra'. The book is available at Prabhat Prakashan stall. It will be formally released by eminent journalist Kuldip Nayar on November 16.

On Saturday, a workshop on creative writing and drawing was held at the book fair. Over 200 students from five different schools participated in the event. A discussion on 'Career in Media' was also held in the evening.


Sunday's Events

Poster-making competition from 11am to 1pm

A workshop on satirical writing. Famous satire writers like Alok Puranik, Ravindra Rajhans, Gopal Chaturvedi and others will participate in it.


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