In e-book age, Sahitya Akademi winners reach out to readers

Wednesday, Feb 17, 2016,14:15 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | At a time where electronic books and devices to read them are gaining ground, Sahitya Akademi-award winning writers expressed their interest to embrace technology. Telugu writer Volga who has been awarded for her short story says it’s only educated people in the city who are least interested in reading as people in villages are still very much hungry of literature.

Through library movement, or thorough other literary forms like songs and street plays we have to reach out to them (villagers), she said. The writer also said that the library culture is systematically destroyed in India and added ‘literature will survive.’ Arun Khopkar, who is a filmmaker, actor and a writer who received the award for Marathi for his his book on memoirs Chalat-Chitravyooh pointed out that technology helps readers connect with literature despite geographical challenges.

E-book has also allowed a whole lot of people, who are not residents of India but have kept in touch with their own language. I have this collection of 20,000 books but it is just very difficult to maintain it, he added. Kula Saikia a story-teller from Assam  stated that people in his state have also accepted the technology. Printed books have an advantage of their own, if you have printed books in home then some of the family members develop the habit of reading.

However, he added that e-book scores points when it comes to ‘transportability.’ You can read a number of books when you are travelling around the world with Kindle, he said. The Akademi awarded writers had got together to discuss literature at an event during the ongoing Festival of Letters of the Sahitya Akademi.

The conversation then veered towards the rural landscape of the country as some of the panelists had  village backgrounds. Hindi poet Ramdarash Mishra amd among the seniormost in the panel, said he had the ‘fortune’ of being a villager but the values in the villages are fading day by day. I have the fortune of being from a village, came to the city and gained new experience.

We have values in villages, I still try to live in the city with those values, but the villages are now changing, the values are vanishing, he said. However, he cited that in these changing times, the dalits have found a voice as they were oppressed earlier. He also drew comparisons between journalist and writers and said the fine line between the two profession is growing day by day.