Visitors at the fair in Ranchi on Sunday. (Hardeep Singh)
A three-day exclusive book fair for rural writers wound up at Ranchi’s HPDC Hall on Sunday with a call to set up academies for tribal languages at both the state and the national levels.
The fair, which was jointly organised by the All India Tribal Literary Forum, Ramnika Foundation (Delhi) and Sahitya Akademi also mooted the idea of a three-language formula for the tribal children, that called for the learning of an additional language apart from their mother tongue and Hindi.
“The response to the fair was overwhelming. Our aim was to give the tribal writers the respect they deserve and provide a platform for the sale of their writings. The fair was hugely successful in that respect,” said Prabhakar Tirkey, a political activist who was in the team that conceived the idea of holding the event.
Prabhakar added that the fair also helped them in providing a platform for facilitating interactions between tribal writers and intellectuals.
Prabhakar’s associate Ratan Tirkey seconded him adding that the fair had notched whopping sales figures.
“Books worth more than Rs 5 lakh have already been sold with people continuing to pour in numbers even in the concluding session,” Ratan said.
President of All India Tribal Literary Forum Hariram Meena added that Indian literature was incomplete until all its components were integrated together and the event was a huge step forward in that regard.
“The tribals of the state also have a rich collection of folklore and folk tales that should be compiled, translated and introduced to other linguistic groups,” Hariram said.
Citing the example of the Adan-Pradan series that had been once brought out by the National Book Trust, he added that his organisation was committed towards helping local writers taking part in national level book fairs.
“It was really heartening to see that young writers, government officials, university staff members and even non-tribal writers attended the book fair. A number of publishers too responded positively,” said Vasavi Kiro, the joint secretary of All India Tribal Literary Forum.
Ravi Bhushan, a former professor of Ranchi University who is also a literary critic said that he found the works of the tribal writers very promising. “It was nice to see that such an event was organised,” he said,