NEW DELHI, 5 AUGUST. The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu inaugurated the ‘Festival of Libraries’ in New Delhi today (August 5, 2023). This Festival is being organized by the Ministry of Culture with the aim to promote the development and digitization of Libraries and cultivate the culture of reading.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the development of libraries is correlated to the development of society and culture. It is also a measure of the progress of civilizations. She stated that history is full of such references in which the invaders considered it necessary to destroy the libraries. This shows that libraries have been considered a symbol of the collective consciousness and intellect of a country or society. She pointed out that such incidents do not happen in the modern era but there are incidents of disappearance of rare manuscripts and books. She said that efforts can be made to bring back rare books and manuscripts.
The President said that libraries act as a bridge between civilizations. In ancient and medieval periods, people of many countries carried books from India, translated those, and gained knowledge. At the heart of such efforts is the thought that books and libraries are the common heritage of humanity.
The President said that a small book has the potential to change the course of world history. She referred to Gandhiji’s autobiography, where he mentioned the great positive impact of John Ruskin’s book ‘Unto This Last’ on his life. She said that books contain in them the fragrance of the land and the vastness of the sky.
The President said that efforts for the conservation of manuscripts and modernization and digitization of libraries are very important. The nature of libraries is changing with the use of information and communication technology. Accessibility has become easier. She noted that the National Virtual Library of India is being developed to achieve the national goal of ‘One Nation, One Digital Library’. She expressed confidence that with the success of the National Mission on Libraries, the culture of connecting with libraries and reading books would be strengthened.
The President said that libraries should become centers of social interaction, study and contemplation. She appreciated the Ministry of Culture for taking forward the national campaign for the development of libraries.