“There is no greater medium than through books and culture for the India-France relationship to grow from strength to strength.” –Hon’ble Ambassador Shri Jawed Ashraf
Shri Jawed Ashraf, Hon’ble Ambassador of India to France inaugurated the India Pavilion at the Paris Book Festival 2022 on 21 April 2022 at 6.30 pm (10:30 pm IST) in the august presence of Mr Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, Mr. Vincent Montagne, President, Syndicat National de l’Edition (SNE), Prof. Govind Prasad Sharma, Chairman NBT and Shri Yuvraj Malik, Director NBT.
Hon’ble Ambassador of India to France, Shri Jawed Ashraf while inaugurating the INDIA PAVILION at the Paris Book Festival 2022 emphasised that apart from more than 400 Indian titles, 65 publishers, 30 authors being showcased at the INDIA PAVILION, the litterateurs participating inthe variety of literary sessions to be held at the INDIA PAVILIONareamong the finest minds from India reflecting the culture, the diversity, the plurality of India in all its glory.The performances of Indian classical and folk music, mostly by French artists show how deeply we are connected to each other’s culture. He further said that the diversity of language, expressions, experiences present in the form of books showcased here at the festival area unique opportunity for the French audience to experience the vibrant Indian cultural heritage.
Prof. Govind Prasad Sharma, Chairman National Book Trust, India and the Leader of Indian Delegation as designated by Government of India said thattime has been a witness to the strength of India-France relations and their cultural and literary activities.French philosophers like René Descartes have been ideologically influencing the intellectuals, litterateurs and thinkers of India for centuries. National Book Trust, India has had the privilege of publishing Hindi translation of French traveler François Bernier’s ‘Bharat Yatra’, which is considered a prominent historical book of its time. Apart from Bernier, many eminent travelers from France, like Jean-Baptiste Tavernier and Jean Thévenot have also written about their voyages to India for the French readers. Hindi translations of books on Mahatma Gandhi, Ramakrishna DevParamhansa and Vivekananda written by French thinker Romain Rolland are also immensely popular among Indian readers. On the other hand, Indian texts, like Upanishads, were also the subject of study for French writers and thinkers – French scholar AnquetilDuperron translated part of the Upanishads in French; writers like Victor Hugo and more recently, Albert Camus, have also made repeated references to the ideas and principles contained in Upanishads.
Shri Yuvraj Malik, Director, National Book Trust, India said that book fairs and literary festivals are a great platform for not only the writers but for the society also as they endorse socio-cultural integration. Talking about the exhibits put up in the INDIA PAVILION, he said that our books are a reflection of not only the intricate ancient Indian Knowledge System but also the deep Indian Value System. The linguistic diversity is the backbone of our literary landscape. Speaking about NEP 2020 which was launched under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi has valuable opportunities to offer not only to the teachers, students and academicians but actually to the entire ecosystem of publishing.Quoting the statement of Hon’ble Minister of Education, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Shri Malik reiterated that the new National Education Policy will definitely create a new global order. Shri Malik also said that the Paris Book Festival being held in the 75th year of India’s Independence is an important event, and the INDIA PAVLION reflects this theme of AzadiKaAmritMahotsava.
Shri Malik also advocated the creation of an institutionalized New Delhi-Paris Book Forum as a result of these dialogues to sustain the vision of the PM-President Joint Statement.
Hon’ble Ambassador of France to India, Mr Emmanuel Lenain said that book festivals are a unique platform to promote translations of the respective literature of both countries. He further said that India and France both believe in the value of books and reading and their importance for the emancipation of people.
Mr. Vincent Montagne, President Syndicat National de l’Edition welcomed the Indian delegation to the Paris Book Festival 2022 to celebrate books and reading in all forms while bringing to light the exceptional richness of Indian literary production. India being the Guest of Honour Country at the festival would make it possible for the French readers to witness the diversity of India literature and the treasures of its cultural heritage. He also said that the Paris Book Festival would act as a trigger to encourage editorial cooperation between the two nations.
French translation of 10 Children’s books published by NBT-India – A Tale of Tails, A Visit to Kumbh, Friend, Holidays Have Come, Ravan Remedy, Vasu Meets a Tadpole, Sheela&Leela, Snake Trouble, Stories from Bapu’s Life, and The Flower and the Bee were also launched on the occasion.
India Pavilion Highlights
India is designated as the Guest Country at the Paris Book Festival 2022 being organized from 21 to 24 April 2022 as announced under the PM NarendraModi – President Emmanuel Macron Joint Statement released in 2018 during the French President’s visit to New Delhi. National Book Trust, India has been designated by Ministry of Education, Govt. of India as the nodal agency to set up the INDIA PAVILION and organise the Guest of Honour presentations.
The INDIA PAVILION which has been designed by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (NID), the Design Partners of NBT-India for the event, is representing the works of 65 Indian publishers with more than 15 digital and physical exhibitions displaying over 400 books published in various Indian languages.
Among the highlights of Indian presentation are launch and sale/exhibition of 10 illustrated children’s books in French translation published by NBT-India. Out of these books, one includes a story by Rabindranath Tagore, and another a book on Mahatma Gandhi for kids. A special edition book on Chandernagore situated in West Bengal in India highlighting French legacy in India would also be launched.
Bringing its multi-lingual linguistic traditions and projecting its India@75 national project through events and exhibitions, NBT will be hosting more than 45 speakers – 20+ being from India and the rest, including Indian and French writers, joining from France in over 25 literary sessions at the India Pavilion. A plethora of literary sessions, rich and diverse, taking up interesting issues like ‘Indian influences on the Art and Architecture of Europe’, ‘Women Writers and Their Creative Sphere’, ‘Mahatma Gandhi and Romain Rolland: A 21st Century Perspective’, ‘Science and Ayurveda’, ‘Many Languages, One Literature’, ‘Climate Change Concerns in Contemporary Writings’ etc. will be organised. The Indian delegation comprises eminent authors, writers, personalities likeSudha Murthy, VikramSampath, Acharya Balkrishna, Gourahari Das, AnandNeelkanthan, SuddhasattwaBasu,among many other distinguished writers and authors.
Cultural performances involving more than 50 artists including MsAparnaShreedhar, MsMallikaThalak, Ms Brigitte Chatiginer, MsMahinaKhanum will be organised to showcase the plurality and multiplicity of the Indian Culture.
Visit the India Pavilion at the the Grand PalaisEphémère, Paris, France from Thursday, April 21 to Sunday, April 24, 2022 from 10:00am to 8:00pm.