Source : The Hindu
India’s ‘traditional affinity’ to sustainability will be the dominant theme at the event opening in January
The World Book Fair to be held from January 6 to 14 here will have a dominant green theme. For a start, it will emphasise that Indian civilisation thought deeply about the environment thousands of years before climate change became a global concern.
Since the focus is on the environment, the fair is putting some eco-fiction too on the shelves. And, apart from discussions on contemporary concerns, environment protection in ancient Sanskrit lore is to be brought to life with visual representations. India’s ‘traditional orientation towards the protection of all creation’ — be it humans, water, air, or forests — will be debated. The theme is striking given that Delhi’s poor-to-hazardous air quality range has hit global headlines.
The event, however, seeks to reinforce the oft-repeated claim that traditional Indian thought was not centred around humans, contrasts it with ‘modern western thought’ that sees humans as central to the planet.
A similar pitch on India’s environment-friendly culture was made by the official delegation in a publication released at the UN climate change conference in Paris in 2015.
“The Shanti Paath talks about peace for the earth, water, herbs, and trees,” a senior official told The Hindu. “Indian thought discussed these much before there was an environmental crisis. Today, after a crisis, the world is discussing climate change.”
Thus, there will be 600 books on the environment — including various studies, children’s books and eco-fiction in various languages. The European Union is the guest of honour and will host an environmental protection photo exhibition.