Curtains fall on Bangalore Book fest

At least 30,000 people visited the festival on the last day of the event. Although the Bangalore Book Publishers' and Sellers' Association, the organisers of the event has not come up with final figures on sales and number of visitors, the Programme Director B S Raghuram termed the response positive. "We are particularly delighted with Sunday's response. Till Wednesday, the BBF did a business of Rs six crore. Sale on the last four days too has been truly encouraging," he told Deccan Herald.

Bibliophiles made most of the opportunity out of the vast collection of books on sale. The sellers, on their part, offered additional discounts in order to boost their sales. Books on wide variety of subjects - science, religion, spirituality etc - found many buyers.

Taking part in the Bangalore Book Festival (BBF) may be a good business opportunity for most publishers, but for Hamid Mohsin, it was a 'blessing of the Almighty' to spread the message of peace.

Mohsin runs a not-for- profit organisation, Salaam Centre, to spread the message of peace thorough Quran, the holy book of Islam. At the BBF, he put up stalls exhibiting Quran and other books on Islam. But he didn't sell them.

He offered a free copy of the Quran along with books on fundamentals of Islam, biography of Prophet Muhammad, misconceptions about Islam and a DVD on the Prophet's life to non-Muslims.

Mohsin did not offer a translated copy of the Quran in Urdu, a language widely spoken by Indian Muslims. The reason:  "My initiative is to gift the Quran to non-Muslims who often unwittingly do not get a chance to read it. Unfortunately, they have misconceptions that they cannot access the Quran as its translation is not available in the language of their choice," Mohsin said.

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