Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar said that a crisis of character is being witnessed in the society today and it was necessary to give the impression of character, which we receive from home and by reading good books.

The Governor was speaking at the release of the book ‘Devdhara: Himachal Pradesh’ published by the National Book Trust, India here today. This book has been written by author and senior journalist Dr. Rachna Gupta, who is also member of Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission.

Speaking on the occasion, the Governor said that this book would pave a new way for the readers to learn, research, and explore information about Himachal. He said that the habit of reading good books was a must and it should become a campaign. “Books and magazines kept in a house are helpful in building the character of the new generation. Why don’t we all go to some school once a month and inspire students to read books”, said Arlekar.

He said that this book was a quick reference book not only for the people of the State but also as a quick reference manual for the people visiting Himachal for various reasons. He described the release of this book as ‘Manikanchan Yoga’ as it was a combination of the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence of the country and the Golden Jubilee Festival of Statehood of Himachal Pradesh.

Shri Arlekar said that he has read this book and it has given clear information about the history, various events, characteristics of all the districts, geography and culture. He congratulated the National Book Trust for the publication of the book in the state and said that people’s sentiments were attached to the history and heritage of the State. He said the Britishers had distorted the facts and efforts should be made to ensure that these imposed assumptions did not become permanent. We must ensure development besides preservation of history, he said.

The Governor said that books were our true friends and guides also. There was a need to inculcate the habit of reading in the new generation; otherwise they would be attracted towards drugs, he added. “Today there is a crisis of character, therefore a need to give sacraments is important, which we get from home and by reading good books. The future of the country depends on what the young generation thinks”, said Arlekar.

Prof. Govind Prasad Sharma, President, National Book Trust said that the release of the book was not only an occasion of joy for the author but also for the readers, publishers and critics. “The world of books is different – it is a friend, philosopher and guide. Books offer alternatives to ideas. A democratic society is always in search of alternatives and books fulfil the alternatives”, he said.

Ram Subhag Singh, Chief Secretary said that if a book was being published by the National Book Trust, then it was a proof of its significance and timeliness. Describing the development journey of the State as incomparable in the last fifty years, he mentioned the important role of the State in climate change and environmental protection in the coming ten years.

Dr. Rachna Gupta, the author of the book, while throwing light on its creation journey, said that in the last twenty years of journalistic life, she realized that every day something new emerges from the gulf of news but it gets lost the next day. She has tried to mould her similar experiences in the form of a book. She said that the development journey of Himachal Pradesh has progressed from a very difficult period and all round governments, politicians and bureaucracy have played an important role in it. The author shared many memories of the first Chief Minister of the State, Dr. Y.S.Parmar.

Yuvraj Malik, Director, National Book Trust said that the beauty of this book was its simplicity and it would be easy for any common man to understand. For the last 65 years, the National Book Trust has been playing its role as the ‘Knowledge Partner’ of the country by publishing excellent books for all age groups of the country in more than fifty languages.

In this book, a neutral analysis has been made of Himachal Pradesh’s 50th anniversary by highlighting its natural and acquired characteristics and achievements. In this, the primitive, mythological, historical, socio-economic, political and psychological, trends and democratic methods of the past have been analyzed.

Ajay Kumar, Chairman, Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission, Sanjay Kundu, Director General of Police, Chairman of various Commissions, senior officers of the State Government and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.


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