India: Urdu book fair a flop


Spread over 10 days, the Kul Hind Urdu Kitab Mela or the All-India Urdu Book Exhibition at the Quli Qutub Shah Stadium in Hyderabad was touted to be a grand book fair. One which would be a delight for lovers of the language. But a day before its conclusion, all the diacritics and its nuanced nastaliq script could not stop it from being a flop show, or so scores of publishers claim.

The book exhibition is a collaborative effort of the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language, a ministry of HRD agency , and the state’s own Urdu Academy (UA).Hundreds of titles stocked at its 123 stalls expectantly stare at a handful of visitors. “The exhibition has failed.I would have made as much as Rs 1.25 lakh in 10 days. I have sold books worth only Rs 6,000,” said Sultan Chowdhary , a Delhi-based publisher.

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