Urdu Lovers Flock To National Urdu Book Fair In Tamil Nadu’s Vaniyambadi

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Visitors at a book stall at the 25th National Urdu Book Fair at Vaniyambadi, Tamil Nadu. Photo courtesy: The Hindu.

India Tomorrow

VANIYAMBADI(Tamil Nadu)—The 25th National Urdu Book Fair organized at the premises of the 100-year-old Islamiah College here is attracting a large number of Urdu lovers from Vaniyambadi and other nearby towns.

The Urdu book fair, which is the first in South India, will continue till January 11.  

Organised by the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Languauge(NCPUL), in  association with 120-year-old Vaniyambadi Muslim Educational Society (VMES),  the book fair was inaugurated by NCPUL director Dr. Sheikh Aqueel Ahmed and Mohammed Hashim Malack, Managing Director, K. H. Group of Companies.

NCPUL is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education, Department of Secondary and Higher Education, Government of India.

G. Vishwanathan, founder, Vellore Institute of Technology and Ghani Mohammad Azhal, general secretary, Vaniyambadi Muslim Educational Society, were among those who attended the inaugural function.

Women managing the stalls at the National Urdu Book Fair at Vaniyambadi, Tamil Nadu.

Vaniyambadi was chosen as the place for the Urdu book fair because Vaniyambadi is a Urdu hub in Tamil Nadu with many other towns around it like Tirupattur, Ambur, Peranambattu, Gudiyattam, Melvisharam, Krishngiri and Hosur having  considerable population of Urdu speakers.

“Despite being small in size, Vaniyambadi has a rich history, especially among its Urdu natives, who speak the refined language similar to that spoken in northern India,” says NCPUL’s educational officer, Ajmal Sayeed, who is also officer in-charge of the fair.

 He says the aim of the fair is to promote Urdu literature among people in Tamil Nadu and the region. 

VMES vice-president Yusuf MD Patel, who is coordinator of the fair, says that 60  Urdu publishers from all over the country have displayed their books in Urdu at 100 stalls. Guidance Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi, Markazi Maktaba Islami Publishers, New Delhi, Iqra Educational Foundation, Mumbai, Educational Book Service, New Delhi, Goodword Books, New Delhi, and Qazi Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi, are among the major publishing houses who have taken part in the fair.

Most of the books in the fair are on Urdu literature, poetry, grammar, history, biographies, position of women in Islam, stories for children and medicine.

According to NCPUL press release, the most notable works on display are the translated versions of celebrated writers’ works including George Orwell’s Big Brother is Watching You, Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a self-help book, and Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins. 

The popular books  among the visitors are the pocket-size Quran and the translated versions of Tamil poet Subramania Bharati (also known as Mahakavi Bharathiyar).

Many literary and academic events like Mushairas, ‘tamsili’mushaira  in which students dressed  up like great Urdu poets present their couplets), meet the author sessions, guest lectures from journalists, debates, Urdu dramas, bait bazi(recitation of Urdu couplets in the form of Antakshri) and many other events are being organized in the fair.

Debates on contemporary issues “Can e-books and electronic media replace printed books”, “Is social media a boon or bane”, “Is the technological development changing temperament and interests,” and “Is online education better than conventional way of teaching” are also planned to be organized at the fair.

An oratorial contest on science for college students are also among the events to be organized.

A special lecture on science and Urdu language by former vice-chancellor of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) Aslam Pervez is also being organized.

A discussion and interaction on “Urdu Taleem-o- tadrees ke tareeqe” and “funne taleem-o-tarbiyat: jadeed nazariyat” are also among many events to be held in the book fair.

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