Exploring Indian Alternatives in Reading and Writing’.
The focal theme of Indian Ruminations Literary Festival 2011
24th and 25th September 2011 at Vylopilli Samskrithi Bhavan, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
“A book is the most effective weapon against intolerance and ignorance.” – Lyndon Baines Johnson
The passion for reading and writing is one of the greatest gifts of human life. One in the company of books is the luckiest person. India has always been a land of passionate readers. No matter whether they lead a rural or urban living, the younger generation of India is fond of reading books, particularly books written in English language. The English Education in India had opened up a wide window for reading the global literature and at the same time had inspired many Indians to pen in English. Recently global recession had affected the literary market of the western countries but India has showed a 15% growth in the literary market. Taking this into account India is now targeted by the foreign publishers as best market for their books. To an extent they have succeeded in their mission of making India a celebrated host for many foreign literary festivals. We the Indian readers are often attracted to the foreign best- sellers which are tailor made for western readers; that may ultimately disappoint the Indian readers’ expectations. At the same time we forget conveniently that today India is abound with Indian writers in English. We fail to explore those successful writers who pen the pulse of India, living and experiencing life from every parts of India. They are unknown for the simple reason that they are not ranked ‘best sellers’ or published by the foreign publishing giants. Hence it is time for us to realize and shift our reading preferences to the alternative Indian writings. ‘Best seller’ tag should not be an essential yardstick of readers’ choice any longer.
Sandhya S.N & J.T Jayasingh