CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes on Wednesday urged the state government to ensure stalls for the Dalits and tribal booksellers and publishers in the Book Fair organised by the Booksellers’ and Publishers’ Association of South India (BAPASI).
After hearing the petitions from P Amudharasan and AB Karl Marx Sidharatha, flagging lack of support in the annual book fair in Chennai by BAPASI, the Commission has recommended the state government to issue and direct the organiser to create a level playing field for everyone.
Dalit publishers and writers charged that BAPASI has been charging less for their members for the stalls to sell their collection of books. They were not allocating stalls for non-members. Though they approached the office-bearers of the organisation and managed to get a stall, they have been charged heavily. They were getting the approval a day ahead of the opening of the book fair, according to a release from the Commission.
The plaintiffs have further charged that BAPASI is unwilling to accommodate the Dalits and tribal writers and publishers. Taking this into consideration, the Commission has stated that writers and publishers from the marganalised and oppressed sections of the society should be encouraged to participate in such book fairs and provided ample opportunity to ensure social justice.