The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh, who is himself an accomplished author of eight books and over 4000 published articles besides several chapters in leading textbooks of Medicine, said here today, that even when soap operas and celluloid fictions tend to fade away in the oblivion of ever-changing times, books are a “treasure” forever and a well written book survives longer than its author and, in fact, also immortalizes its author for the generations to come.
Delivering the inaugural address at the first India Public Libraries Conference (IPLC) 2015, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, the unique viability of well written literature reflects in the fact that when kings, monarchs and rulers get either forgotten or get reduced to the footnotes of history books, a well written word survives and so also, through it survives its creator. Citing several examples he said, even when successive generations tend to forget the great emperors and rulers of contemporary India, it is litterateurs like Rabindranath Tagore, Munshi Premchand and Sadat Hasan Montu who stand out as the “signature tunes” of 19th and 20th century India.
Bemoaning the dwindling habit of book reading ever since the advent of hi-tech internet and social media, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, in the past also there have been several phases when alternative means of narration seemed to take over the “written word” but eventually it was the printed word in the pages of books, journals and documents which outlived everything else and therefore, he said, without feeling discouraged, the connoisseurs of book reading should not give up their sustained effort to nurture the habit by promoting book libraries and by encouraging others to spend value time in the sublime environs of these libraries.
Calling upon the participants in the conference to update the library network through modern digital and technical means, Dr. Jitendra Singh expressed the hope that in strife-torn times like this, a renewed endeavor to promote public libraries will ultimately take over as an important instrument for “social inclusion” and untainted harmony for a society as diverse as ours.