Rajender Kumar Sharma
Some famous person once said a beautiful line about books “Books are the cheapest vacation you can buy.” And these lines fit perfectly in today’s context. In today’s fast paced life, everything has become digital and online. Now writing and reading books has also become online. Books have gone virtual from the world of paper. The world of books has completely changed. E-editions of most journals are available online. Now there is no need to carry heavy books. You can easily read them anytime, anywhere on your laptop or mac book or mobile.
From this point of view, digitization is proving to be a boon for books. But it cannot be denied that the trend towards books has decreased in today’s young generation. Change is the rule of nature. To maintain freshness in the world, it becomes necessary to change according to time. If due to any change, damage to a particular person or decay of any of our heritage or culture starts, then it becomes necessary to consider it. According to an estimate of Google, by the year 2010, about 13 crore titles had been published. According to another report, the world famous Gita Press for religious books has published more than 72 crore books in 15 languages. In these publications, 16 crore 21 lakh and 11 crore 73 books of Shrimad Bhagvat Gita and Tulsi literature have been published respectively.
Books play a special role in our life. Contemporary books are the mirror of the society. Books are the storehouse of knowledge. Books can be our best friends. Human is mortal in this world, but their works, thoughts and books always remain safe. This is the reason why the importance of books has never diminished. Yes, it is true that in this era internet & computer, reading books has become accessible.
World Book Day was first celebrated on April 23, 1995 by UNESCO. It is celebrated to mark the death anniversaries of two of the world’s greatest writers, William Shakespeare and prominent Spanish historian Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. While the day Manuel Mejia Vallejo ( famous journalist & writter ) Halldor Laxness ( Noble Prize winner ) and the famous French novelist Maurice Drun were born.
Book and Copyright Day (Copyright Day / Intellectual Property Rights Day) is being celebrated all over the world on 23rd April. Could we forget the time, when books were the main source of entertainment for the people? But today due to lack of time, reading books has become a thing of the past.
One of the main objectives of celebrating World Book Day is to motivate people, especially the furure generation, to read books, to make them aware of the usefulness of books, to make them aware of the book industry such as book publishing and copyright of published material. Information has to be made available. The recognition and popularity of this day can be gauged from the fact that World Book Day is celebrated in about 100 countries of the world. The event is organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Every year, UNESCO and international organizations that are associated with the book industry such as publishers, booksellers and libraries etc. are represented in the Book Day event.
Since 2000, on World Book and Copyright Day, the” World Book Capital” is selected in an innovation by UNESCO and international organizations representing 3 major book industry sectors such as publishers, booksellers and libraries . Capital of Books in the World A city is selected to maintain Book Day celebration activities from 23 April of each year to 23 April of the following year.
This year UNESCO has selected Accra (Ghana) as the World Book Capital for 2023. Accra was chosen to promote the youth’s potential to enrich Ghana’s culture and economy. The recommended program in Accra aims to engage youth through literature to effectively train the next generation.
For the celebration of World Book and Copyright Day, a slogan is also chosen. This year’s theme is “Indigenous Languages” and the slogan is “Caring through Reading”. Four themes are proposed to be included in the program of World Book and Copyright Day. such as reading, development of book industry infrastructure, inclusion and digital access, and empowerment of children through reading. World Book and Copyright Day seems to be fulfilling its goals only because of the efforts of UNESCO and allied countries.
The Republic of India is such a linguistic bouquet in which flowers of different languages have been planted. The beauty of this bouquet increases even more when this bouquet gets the distinction of becoming a subject or theme of the world stage. This year’s World Book Day theme “Indigenous Languages” fits perfectly in the Indian context.
Let’s build national unity by saving the linguistic diversity of the country, while enthusiastically celebrating the “World Book Day” dedicated to “Indigenous Languages”. For a country like India where languages change at every distance, this year’s World Book Day becomes very important.
(Writer is a Columnist & Sr. Educator, Dehradun, Uttrakhand. Views are personal)
Rajender Kumar Sharma