destination india

Sunday, June 12, 2005

fate of indian writers

It is strange that the presence of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhaya is miniscule on the net even though movies based on his novels are the rage of the day. Devdas, Parineeta are finding takers globally, thanks to the marketing strategies evolved by assigning new look artistes and settings while trying to retain the old world charms. Director after director tries to prove his one-upmanship. It is undoubtedly, a great feeling for the efforts to spread Indian culture – the sari is catching the fancy of the West; even Oprah tried it out, thanks to Aishwarya Rai! Probably, the next series to hit the screens will be the Srikanto episodes – they have enough substance to make the world sit up and take notice.

Unfortunately, no one has bothered to put his life story or details about his writings on the internet.

It must be said that with the gradual encroachment of various forms of entertainment of the shorter versions, the attraction of the printed word is fading into oblivion. Till quite recently, there used to be sections in the newspapers and magazines where writers had chances, however slim they might have been, of discovering their potentials. Those options have shrunk just as the dress of our heroines of the celluloid and the tiny screens are shrinking. Apparently, some sort of competition is on to identify an idol who can bear to bare the maximum without losing self composure. As some have already discovered, baring too much poses problems in personal life also: the man on the street considers you to be cheap and easily affordable!

Small time magazines are invariably swallowed up by the larger fishes because, no one likes to encourage competition of any sort whatsoever. Who knows, one fine day, the tiny four page magazine being ignored today may suddenly find some patron who can manipulate strings to make it enter the arena and compete with the stalwarts!

Yes, writing today is a cut throat game. If you do not have the contacts, just forget it. From what it seems, writers are literally created by the big houses as business strategies to augment their market potentials. The subjects that are to be encouraged are clearly spelt out as also subjects that are considered taboo. The fashions of the day are dictated by these magazines, fashions of not just the newly weds or the would-be brides but also for school and college going kids. Then there are the special nooks where free medical advice is doled out for free along with legal advice. The most pitiful part is that despite such doses of knowledge, crime does not seem to have been contained. Bride burning, harassment by in-laws, pre and post marital relationships continue. Lawyers who handle divorce cases are laughing their way to the banks. The apparent gainers are those who control the magazines and, in turn, dictate which products need to be promoted.

(to be continued…)

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