Patna: Inaugurating the 21st Patna Book Fair (PBF) at Gandhi Maidan here, Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi today said that he will seek the Centre's help to make the fair an international affair.
"I will go to New Delhi and meet the Union Minister for Human Resources Development to demand help for making PBF an international one. I know that the fair organisers do not demand anything from the government, but this we can do this much for them," Manjhi said in his inaugural speech.
State Education and HRD Minister Brishen Patel and Consumer Minister Shyam Rajak who had stayed away from a programme attended by Manjhi yesterday, attended the book fair inauguration.
Manjhi advised students to shun books which promote hatred, communalism and bad qualities.
"Reading good books will improve your future. If your future is good, Bihar's future will become better and the state will develop further."
He asked authors to avoid writing books that encourage criminality, obscenity and anti-national feelings. He also asked the publishers to sell books at affordable prices so that people from deprived sections could buy them.
The state government, he said, wants to open libraries at block, panchayat and village levels and will provide financial help if they want to purchase books.
About 250 publishers from across the country are participating in the 12-day annual Patna Book Fair, which is sponsored by Centre for Readership Development.
The theme of the fair this year is 'Child awareness and representation of women'.