Over 300 publishers taking part in the event

The 25th Vijayawada Book Festival (VBF) began at Swaraj Maidan here on Wednesday with over 300 publishers participating in the annual event. It was inaugurated by former IAS officer R. Vaidyanath Iyer who had played an instrumental role in the VBF becoming a tradition. Income Tax Commissioner S. Jayaraman released the souvenir ‘Akshara Yatra’.

Participating as chief guest, Minister for Rural Development Dokka Manikya Vara Prasada Rao said society was going through the dominance of Internet and electronic media which made volumes of information readily available on the TV and computer screens.

It was in fact a blessing in disguise as people, including politicians, were getting excessively swayed by the digital content forgetting that books were the building blocks. For instance, politicians were blowing hot and cold on the question of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh without reading the Constitution which contained precedents showing how such tricky issues were sorted out. They were making the atmosphere surcharged instead of facilitating a sane debate.

The Minister said the principle of compromise which was a part of the political theory, came to his mind when he was reading a book titled ‘Parties and Partisans’ written by Ramachandra Guha.

Whenever a crisis crops us, be it people or political parties, a compromise formula had to be worked out without letting prejudices cloud our minds, the Minister observed in an oblique reference to the prevalent situation in which various sections of society were at loggerheads.

Solutions to such intractable disputes could be found only in books, Mr. Vara Prasada Rao said while asserting that a fine print more often than not puts things in proper perspective unlike the other trendy things around.

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