Current Affairs 2017 - April

Prime Minister inaugurates International Basava Convention

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unveiled translated volumes of Vachana in 23 Indian languages on the occasion of Basava Jayanti. The 23 Vachana volumes were edited by late M M Kalburgi and have been translated into other languages by more than 200 people. Prime Minister also released the digital version of the work. This is the first ever celebration of Basava Jayanti at the national level in New Delhi.

The translated volumes of Vachana was commissioned by the Basava Samithi at a cost of 2.5 crore rupees of which the Karnataka government has contributed 1 crore rupees. The celebrations also coincide with golden jubilee of Basava Samiti that was set up by former Vice President B D Jatti 1964 to spread in Basavannas message.

Vachana is a prosaic form very much popular in the Kannada literature. It propagates values of universal brotherhood. It was penned by Basavanna and other saints. The 12th-century social reformer Basavanna used this style of writing to spread social awareness and bring equality in the 12th-century society.

Basavanna

Basavanna was a 12th-century philosopher, statesman, Kannada poet and a social reformer who lived in Karnataka during the reign of the Kalachuri-dynasty king Bijjala I. He served as the chief minister of his kingdom.

Basavanna rejected gender or social discrimination, superstitions and rituals. During his tenure as Chief Minister, he introduced many new public institutions like Anubhava Mantapa (“hall of spiritual experience”) that would facilitate men and women from all socio-economic backgrounds to have a healthy and open discuss on various spiritual and mundane questions of life. A 13th-century sacred Telugu text, the Basava purana by Palkuriki Somanatha offers a full account of Basava’s life and ideas.

In 2003, former President of India Abdul Kalam inaugurated Basaveshwar’s statue in the Parliament of India. In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the statue of Basaveshwara along the bank of the river Thames in London.

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First book village in the country to come up in Maharashtra

From May 4, Bhilar, a tiny hamlet in Satara district of Maharashtra is all set to become India’s first ‘book village’. The concept of book village is inspired by Britain’s Hay-on-Wye, which is a Welsh town located in the United Kingdom, famous for its bookstores and literature festivals.

Under this initiative, tourists and locals can come and read books, magazines, newspapers stacked at 25 artistically decorated locations around the village. The books on wide-ranging subjects and 15,000 books in Marathi would be made available on these premises. Some of the books that will be available for the readers are very rare and out of publication, including novels, reference books about Maharashtra and Marathi culture written by prominent authors.  To make sure that the books are returned by the tourists, tourists will be made to pay a nominal deposit.

Bhilar has been chosen as already it attracts a number of tourists who throng the village to taste the locally produced strawberries. The state government has chosen Bhilar to further promote tourism and the Marathi language.

Bhilar

Bhilar is a small village located near picturesque hill station Panchagani in Satara district of Maharashtra. The village is popular for its strawberries. Near the village exists the British-era hill station of Mahabaleshwar. Bhilar produces nearly 100 tonnes of strawberry every year. Around 90% of the village’s population of around 10,000 is involved in strawberry farming.

Hay-on-Wye

Hay-on-Wye is a village located in Wales of the UK. It is the world’s largest second-hand book centre. In 1972, a person named Richard Booth established a second-hand bookstore in an abandoned fire station and subsequently many followed, making Hay-on-Wye a book paradise. Today there exists around 30 bookstores catering to the needs of the village’s population of 1,500 people. Every year, the village hosts the Hay Festival, one of the world’s top literary festivals. Recently, the village also made news when a note written by author Enid Blyton was discovered in one of the village’s bookstore.

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