New Delhi: Sanjay Dhotre, Union Minister of State (MoS) for Human Resource Development (HRD) inaugurated the India Pavilion at the International Book Fair in Guadalajara, Mexico, yesterday. This is the 33rd edition of Guadalajara International Book Fair and will continue till 8 December. India is the Guest of Honour nation in this edition, and is the first Asian country to have received this honour.
This fair, which is called Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara, is the biggest book fair in the Spanish-speaking world. The National Book Trust (NBT), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) Government of India, is participating as the nodal agency of the Govt in this book fair.
Sanjay Dhotre delivered the inaugural address at the book fair during its opening on 1 December where he highlighted the deep literary connection between India and Mexico and referred to the legendary Mexican poet Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz’s first visit to India in 1952. He said, “Paz took deep interest in the culture and heritage of India, and he wrote poems on Vrindavan, Shiva-Parvati, and on Amir Khusro.”
Dhotre also said that India and Mexico are in opposite directions on the world map and are thousands of miles apart from each other, but both countries have great similarities in terms of their people, bio-diversity, family and cultural values, and even climatic conditions. He added that both countries represent very old civilisations, and both have undertaken a sustained struggle to get independence from colonial rule.
Referring to the 150th birth anniversary celebration of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, Dhotre said that Gandhi’s philosophy ‘Let Our Lives Be Open Books’ is the theme of the India pavilion at the fair as it represents, among other things, an atmosphere of interaction and communication provided by platforms such as book fairs.
Dhotre expressed hope that this book fair will provide a platform for an accelerated literary, academic and cultural exchange between the two countries, and great literary pieces of both the countries will be translated into Indian languages and Spanish.
He also invited publishers from across the world to the World Book Fair being organised by NBT in New Delhi in January 2020.