Published: 30th June 2018
State Institute of Languages through its 'look beyond Kerala' programme is taking its books beyond in a bid to promote reading
The State Institute of Languages, which functions under the Cultural Affairs Department, was established on September 16, 1968
For the first time in its 50-year history, the Kerala Bhasha Institute (State Institute of Languages), is taking its books beyond Kerala in a bid to promote reading among the Malayali diaspora.
The institute is organising book fairs in major Indian cities including Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai as part of a first-of-its kind 'look beyond Kerala' programme. The first exhibition - in Chennai - will be held at the Kerala Samajam School from July 1 to 8. ''The Bhasha Institute was established in 1968. But this is the first time we are looking beyond the Sahya mountains. We have selected cities that have a huge Malayali population,'' institute director V Karthikeyan Nair said.
The idea is to promote books published by the institute and to encourage the use and study of the Malayalam language. The second exhibition outside Kerala will be held in Bangalore in October, Karthikeyan Nair said.
The State Institute of Languages, which functions under the Cultural Affairs Department, was established on September 16, 1968, as part of a central scheme aimed at publishing university-level textbooks in the vernacular languages. The governing body was headed by the then Chief Minister E M S Namboothiripad and N V Krishna Warrier was the first director.
To date, the institute has published - mostly in Malayalam - approximately 5000 books covering language and literature, science, technology, and humanities. This year, the institute is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
According to Karthikeyan Nair, in organising these book fairs outside the state, the institute requires the support of Malayali organisations there. ''Our funds are limited. We need to have the infrastructure in place for organising such programmes,'' he said.