Literature at the India Pavilion in Paris Book Festival 2022

The Indian presence at Paris Book Festival saw a broad and diverse range of literary and cultural activities being organised at the India Pavilion.

02 May 2022 | By Rahul Kumar

India was the guest of honour country during the show

India was the guest of honour country during the show. 

The India Pavilion, designed by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (NID), represented the works of 65 Indian publishers with more than 15 digital and physical exhibitions displaying over 400 books published in various Indian languages.

The physical exhibitions at the India Pavilion included collective exhibit of books from India, exhibit of Indian children’s books translated into French, exhibition of books under India@75 series, national heroes of India: a representative exhibition, exhibit of books of authors visiting as part of the official India delegation, exhibit of UNESCO documents on India, exhibition of special edition of Chandernagor: A Burg of the Moon, written and illustrated by Suddhasattwa Basu on French Legacy in India, 

Digital exhibitions on the sidelines included Gandhi and Rolland: exchanging letters and ideas, reading spaces in India: a representative chronology, This earth of ours: looking at biodiversity, environment and climate change in children’s literature in India, PM-YUVA mentorship scheme for young authors, National Education Policy 2020, and snippets from French books on Indian art, culture, painting, literature, etc.

The India Pavilion during the Paris Book Festival 2022 was set up at the Grand Palais Ephémère, Paris, France from 21 to 24 April. 

The first literary event at the India Pavilion was a discourse on cultural communication to children through translation. Chaired by Govind Prasad Sharma, chairman, NBT with panellists Yuvraj Malik, Suddhasattwa Basu, Gaelle Benacchio, Sudha Murty, Valerie Goudart, the discussion revolved around the French translation of ten Indian books for children published by NBT. 

The first literary event on Day Two was a discussion on reflection of Covid in art and design with panellists Suddhasattwa Basu, Jonak Das, Hanif Kureshi and Martine le Coz. The Session also saw the launch of the book, Heartbeat of Rajasthan - Rahis Bharti Dhoad by Martine le Coz in French. Govind Prasad Sharma, chairman, NBT released the book. 

Celebrating 75 years of India’s Independence, the next session India@75 and Vision of New India talked about the achievements of India as a modern independent nation, and the vision of New India. The tone of the session was set by the keynote by the Ambassador of India Jawed Ashraf. Tradition of debate, pluralism and diversity in views, thought and speech has been the defining principle of Indian ethos and our democratic values. India remains resilient and stronger, he said. 

In context of NEP 2020 and on occasion of World Book & Copyright Day, a discussion on internationalisation of education and the role of books was held where Yuvraj Malik, director NBT with Govind Prasad Sharma, chairman NBT talked about possibilities of an international curriculum to train students and young readers as true global citizens to reach their optimal potential and the role of books in achieving this goal. Shreerupa Mitra delivered the keynote address.

In the session, Beyond guest country: institutionalising India-France publishing ties, Govind Prasad Sharma and panellists Yuvraj Malik, EN Nandakumar, Vincent Montagne and Annie Montaut discussed about the takeaways of India’s participation in the Paris Book Festival 2022 as the Guest of Honour Country.

On Day Three, the session, Literary diversity: India and France perspectives, discussed how literature from the two cultures share common perspectives and also appreciates social diversity. The session has Rajesh Kumar Vyas, Jitendra Kumar Soni, Sudeep Nagarkar and Gaelle Benacchio with Kumud Sharma as moderator.