21st National Urdu Book Fair inaugurated in Solapur - a treasure-house of Urdu booksCulture 

21st National Urdu Book Fair inaugurated in Solapur – a treasure-house of Urdu books

I remember Choudhari Charan Singh once said that, Urdu is language of Turks and Mughals although their language was either Persian, Turkic or even Arabic.

Can we deny the fact that the major slogans during the freedom struggle to kick out the British were penned in Urdu?

Can we also deny the fact that the immortal narration of our country emanates from Allama Iqbal’s “Sare Jahan Se Achha Hindustan Hamara”?


To name a few, two distinguished icons of Urdu literature, devote Hindus, Firaq Gorakhpuri and Krishna Bihari Noor. Can we deny the fact about their massive services to the cause of Urdu?

Things have changed dynamically with deception and politicking, equally, the dwindling interest by so called Urduwallas, the language which enriched India’s history and culture, which really bridged the artificial gaps need a serious care.

With a unique geographical place Solapur is on the borders of Karnataka and with substantial Telugu speaking population, attained a status of multi lingual city. Marathi, Urdu, Kannada and Telugu are four major languages being spoken and patronised by this city.

21st National Urdu Book Fair inaugurated in Solapur - a treasure-house of Urdu books
21st National Urdu Book Fair in Solapur

The 21st Urdu Kitab Mela is organised by National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language, the department of HRD Ministry of India in association with local NGO Bazm-e-Ghalib is being organised in the city from 23rd to 31st December at M.A. Pangal Anglo Urdu High School ground.

A total of 90 book stalls have been installed to exhibit books from various publishers invited from all over the country.

Solapur Urdu Kitab Mela - a book stall
Solapur Urdu Kitab Mela – a book stall

It’s an opportunity for the readers, academics, students and Urdu lovers to enjoy vastly available options on various subjects.

The book fair was inaugurated on 23rd December by the Mayor of Solapur, Mrs. Shobha  Banshetti. A well-attended function was presided by Yunus bhai Shaikh, Ex MLC, a senior leader.

Solapur Urdu Kitab Mela - Iaungration
Solapur Urdu Kitab Mela – Iaungration Ceremony

Unfortunately, the State HRD Minister, the Minister of Cooperation Marketing Textile and the Guardian Minister – both belongs to Solapur, despite being in the city were conspicuous by their absence. Ministers’ lukewarm response to the programme of Central government Ministry has amused the people of Solapur.

The Mayor while speaking at the function said, Solapur is a multi-lingual and multi-cultural city. Such programmes can further enhance the culture of the city and we are happy that Solapur has been selected for this Book Fair this time.

Earlier Dr. Shams, the Publication Officer NCPUL in his welcome address lauded Maharashtra state and Solapur for patronising Urdu language with spirit and dedication which is missing in North India.

U N Beria, Ex-Mayor and senior leader while speaking stressed on the need for promoting the language and appealed to purchase the books to prove the love for Urdu language.


In his Presidential speech, Yunusbhai Shaikh was bit nostalgic and critical on those who still confine Urdu to a particular community. Reminding the huge contribution of Urdu in India’s Freedom struggle and its rich heritage, he showed his discomfort on treating this Indian language with bias.

Mr. Khurram of NCPUL, Dr Bashir Parvaz of Bazm-e-Ghalib, corporators, educationist Dr Faiz Ahmed were present on the dias. Capt Shafi Shaikh thanked all.

Earlier a rally of school children was organised in the city and also children performed on the stage with Kitab  Mela Song.

In the evening, Urdu stage performance by the team of Dedh Matwale was hilarious and enjoyed by the audience.

(Author is prominent Social Activist, member of Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi and Founder and Secretary of Muslim History Research Foundation, Solapur)