Publishing News [National]

India took a major leap today in documenting and preserving its language diversity with the People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI) launching the volumes on languages spoken across 10 states in India including Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Karnataka. These volumes have been published by Orient BlackSwan. The ceremony was held at New Delhi which saw the launch of 26 books/volumes. These were launched by former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in presence of several dignitaries, intellectuals, historians and academicians like Kapila Vatsayan, Asis Nandi, Ashok Vajpayee, Major General (Retd) LK Gupta, chairman, INTACH. PLSI, an initiative of Bhasha Research and Publication Centre, Vadodara, will eventually bring out 60 such volumes by the end of 2018 to be published by Orient Blackswan. These volumes will be published both in Hindi and English. Some volumes will also be published in regional languages of India.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister of India, stressed the fundamental importance of languages to human society, saying that, “Innovative research related to languages” needs to be encouraged. Dr. Singh appreciated Bhasha Research and Publication Centre for making efforts to preserve the Indian languages. Dr GN Devy, general editor and chairperson, PLSI said that, “The central idea of this survey is to document and preserve 780 languages which are being spoken in India today. Today is the day of celebration of language diversity for the country and we will ensure that these languages survive the test of time and place.”

Dr Ganesh Devy also announced the next big project “Global Languages Survey” under which over 6000 languages being spoken in the world will be surveyed and documented. Talking about the project Devy said, “India will be only country in the world with such a big repository of world languages. Global Language Survey Report aims to ensure that no language ever slips into oblivion. We aim to complete the entire exercise by 2022.”

Along with this, the event also saw the launch of “Dakashinayana Indian Thought” (DIT) series which is an attempt to bring together discursive literature available in Indian languages and democratic culture. These are compiled by collective of thinkers and scholars from different parts of the country.

Three Leaves Books International, a unit of Lajwanti Group, is a celebrated publisher and distributor of children’s school and reference books full of fun and knowledge. Getting constant accreditations and awards for their excellence in publication of widely acclaimed academic titles, the company has recently been honoured with five prestigious awards including the First Prize for Best Production 2016 from The Federation of Indian Publishers during the Delhi Book Fair 2016. Moreover, they also bagged four awards at the Beijing International Book Fair 2016 and seven at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) 2016 in Singapore.

Headquartered in Delhi, the company is run under the aegis of four prolific directors—Yash Chhabra, Rita Chhabra, Lakshya Chhabra and Kanika Chhabra—who take up diverse roles in bringing up the publishing firm to a global level. Over the years, Three Leaves has been a regular participant in every leading book fair at both domestic and international levels—latest being their landmark presence in the Sharjah International Book Fair 2016 in UAE. Kanika is at the helm when it comes to the company’s successful participation in the reputed book fairs in India and abroad. Highly commended academic books from this internationally reputed publisher are for Nursery to Class X students.

Block Printed Textiles of India: Imprints of Culture, authored by Eiluned Edwards and published by Niyogi Books, has been selected to receive the RL Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award for 2016. The award will be formally presented at the award banquet, which will be held at the next TSA Biennial Symposium, Oct. 19-23, 2018 in Vancouver, Canada.

The award encourages the study and understanding of textile traditions by recognizing and rewarding exceptional scholarship that clearly communicates its subject, fostering appreciation for the field of textiles. Although not a first from the Asian continent, Block Printed Textiles of India: Imprints of Culture is the first ever book from India which has won this award.

Block Printed Textiles of India: Imprints of Culture describes how one of the subcontinent’s foremost crafts has played a key role in the creation of visual identity in India and has also been a significant source of revenue through centuries of international trade. It reveals how block prints are integral to both caste dress and modern urban style. Used nowadays for soft furnishings and fashion, they have become a perennial favourite with Indian designers and in the global fashion market. Contemporary production and use of block prints is explained, and the social and historical roots of the craft are outlined. The book is lavishly illustrated and creates a vibrant account of the development and recent regeneration of the craft, confirming that block prints are stamped with the imprints of an ancient, diverse and ever-evolving culture.

Without Prejudice: Epic Tale of a Mumbai Bar Dancer, written by Devasis and published by Niyogi Books was officially launched at Mumbai. A novel on the life sketch of a fictional Mumbai Bar Dancer, the book delves deep into the roots of their evolution as dancers and attempts to answer how the sudden decision of closure of the dance bars ran the danger of depriving a section of the populace of a dignified (albeit not being seen so by some sections of society) way of earning their living.

The book was launched in the presence of Alyque Padamsee (theatre personality & advertising professional), Kiran Khalap (brand consultant, author and advertising professional) & Varsha Kale (women leader & activist). The session was moderated by Manasi Sontakke.

Alyque Padamsee noted that the book throws light on the dance bars which the society pervades as vulgar, dirty and cheap, though it is not and also that it is right time for the society to break such shackles of prejudice against a few.

Activist Varsha Kale added that it is the right of women to earn her livelihood if it necessarily means to flaunt her body. Ultimately it is the person's choices which matters rather than the society dictating terms.

Kiran Khalap and the author, Devasis discussed about the book in detail and gave a structure to the whole discussion about the dance-bar industry.

Trisha De Niyogi, the publisher, said "Without Prejudice is the fine line between fiction and nonfiction. What starts out as a story of a young girl beautifully unwraps or rather blossoms into a story of the bigger scheme of things, a much bigger cause: women empowerment."

Bookaroo believes that there is a book for everyone – in fact, many books. Bookaroo’s 10 Walls in the City event, Bookscapes were recently held at the Patel Chowk Metro Station, New Delhi; SPYM Juvenile Addiction Centre in Mukherjee Nagar, New Delhi and Blind Relief Association, Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg, New Delhi.

At the Blind Relief Association, they created a Tactile Bookscape of the capital city’s various landmarks. A Braille Book explaining the various monuments on the display was created for distribution in the school. Executed by the art and disability access consultant, Siddhant Shah, this model tactile display and the book not only excited the children in the JPM Blind School, Lodi Road, but also made them curious enough to know more about the city and its architectural landscapes.

Between now and November 2017, Bookaroo will paint seven more walls in various spots in Delhi and the NCR.