Delhi, with its infrastructure and economic resources, is a great platform for any kind of cultural activity. It is far easier to set up organizations, activities and events in Delhi than almost any other place in India. Let us see a few facts about Delhi and the literary world.
1. Literary capital of India
Happily taking over the epithet from Kolkata, Delhi has in the past couple of decades made great strides in establishing a strong literary culture. With its libraries, international book events, and book fests, Delhi is in the literary limelight very frequently. With a large number of publishing companies, Delhi is also a boon for new and established authors. Most of the niche publishing companies are also established in Delhi. All this qualifies in making the city the literary capital of India.
2. Delhi Literature Festival
Delhi got its own literature festival for the first time in 2013. Conducted in April every year, this festival takes place over two days. Delhi Literature Festival includes a number of events, speeches, book readings, panel discussions, book launches and workshops, giving an impetus to both established authors and new authors as well as to readers and publishers. It’s a great opportunity for budding authors to network and develop new ideas.
3. World Book Fair
The lit fest is not the only big book event in Delhi. Also very popular is the World Book Fair that comes to Delhi every January or February and is held at Pragati Maidan. The oldest book fair in India, this event has been taking place since 1972 and is organized by the National Book Trust of India. More than a million visitors come from all over the world to attend the event. This is one of the biggest book events globally and puts Delhi on the literary map globally.
4. Delhi authors
Delhi has always held a high place in the literary world because of its capability of producing authors, poets and playwrights. From Ghalib who won people’s hearts with his poetry in the 1600s to Arundhati Roy, who won the Booker Prize and turned the spotlight of the book-loving world on India, Delhi has been the place where a large number of authors live and work. Some of the famous past and current authors residing in Delhi and NCR include Vikram Seth, Manju Kapur, Ashok Vajpeyi, William Dalrymple and Rakshanda Jalil, among many others.
Delhi has some of the best stocked libraries in India. Apart from the British Council Library and the American Centre Library, which are famous for the vast number of titles they carry, Delhi can also boast of Delhi Public Library, which not just has a large number of books on various subjects, but also organizes various cultural events. This library also has a great ‘books on wheels’ service, making it simpler for residents to access books sitting in their homes. There are also the university libraries and the India Habitat Library. In addition, Delhi also has a large number of smaller private libraries.
6. Hindi and Urdu literature
Delhi, being the Mughal capital, had long produced Urdu works of fine caliber, but in the last six decades since Independence, it has also become the hub for Hindi literature, which was previously limited to the cultural centers of Uttar Pradesh, such as Varanasi and Allahabad. Notable Hindi authors from Delhi are Uday Prakash, Nikhil Sachan, and Divya Prakash Dubey.
7. Books on Delhi
Finally, Delhi might have everything that all other literary hubs have, but it has something more – the inspiration for a series of books based on the city. From William Dalrymple writing about his experiences in the city to Khushwant Singh weaving a poetic story around the history of the city, from Mahmood Farooqui writing about Delhi’s plight in 1857 to Ranjana Sengupta describing Delhi’s history and character, there are a large number of books written on Delhi. Very few cities in the world such as London, Jerusalem and Paris, have had this honor, and Delhi has joined their hallowed ranks.
Image credit: rajkumar1220 on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/IMG_20141217_101736441.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Kavitha is a freelance content writer and French translator, and has been working in this field since 2008. She has degrees in computer applications and international business and has a background in business and international trade. She enjoys learning languages and is currently learning Japanese. Her interests vary from books and writing to travelling and history.[/author_info] [/author]