Industry Activity

The week-long Annual Festival of Letters held from March 09-14 at Sahitya Akademi witnessed an inspiring participation from more than 170 writers and viagra how much scholars from across India. They all converged at the annual festival of Sahitya Akademi to deliberate over the challenges Indian languages are facing and the role of literature in society. A report. Sahitya Akademi Festival of Letters kick started with Akademi Exhibition, which was inaugurated by eminent Hindi poet and fiction writer Dr Ramdaras Mishra. Later Sahitya Akademi Awards were conferred to 24 award winners at a glittering ceremony held at Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi. Dr Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, presidents, Sahitya Akademi presented the awards and distinguished Hindi poet and scholar, Dr Kedarnath Singh was the chief guest. Dr K Sreenivasarao, secretary, Sahitya Akademi, in his welcome address, observed that though the Sahitya Akademi Award is given to a particular book in each language, it is much more that it is also a recognition and celebration of rich and long cultural and linguistic traditions that each author and cheap viagra professional a book represents. He also enumerated how these Awards along with various other activities of the Akademi represent the core that is nothing but service to literary communities all over India. He highlighted the role of the writers in particular in the success story of Sahitya Akademi which completed 60 years of literary service in India and abroad.

Whereas Dr Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, president, Sahitya Akademi, in his presidential address, talked at length about the uniqueness of the writers and special place of creativity in human existence. With specific reference to Sahitya Akademi, he said that the works of these Awardees are Akademi’s voice. He observed that more often than not it is the writers and poets who plant the seeds of creativity, imagination and ideas into the common man and quoted “Yeh Sahitya Hi Hai Jo Maun Ko Mukher Karta Hai, Aur Sannate Ko Shabd Deta Hai.” He also appealed to young writers not to get distracted by power and such elements as they often kill the creativity. Dr Kedarnath Singh, distinguished Hindi poet and scholar, who was the chief guest, talked about the diversity and richness that the set of awardees present need to be protected. While acknowledging various initiatives of the Akademi in preserving and promoting numerous languages and viagra canada online community dialects of India and the literature contained in them, he also appealed Akademi to take initiatives to preserve and promote like-minded literature but written in other scripts like Tibetan. Dr Chandrasekhar Kambar, vice president, Sahitya Akademi, proposed a vote of thanks.

Day two started with the Writers’ Meet, wherein twenty Sahitya Akademi Award 2014 winners read out their papers on various aspects of creative writing. Dr Chandrasekhar Kambar, vice president, Sahitya Akademi, chaired the session. Dr Kambar spoke briefly about the awards, writing process and leading a creative life before inviting the Award winners to present their papers. The open house witnessed lively interactions between the writers and media and public. Variety of interesting subjects were discussed during the session such as ‘Censorship and the role of the writer in the society,’ ‘Political power and writing,’ ‘Role of literature and impact of writing on society,’ ‘Status of literature in south India,’ ‘Why do writers fear in writing openly?,’ ‘Should realistic depictions be adopted across the genres and styles of writing to avoid misinterpretations and misunderstandings?’ and ‘How to protect the readers from mischievous publishers and cunning writers?’ and much more.

Award winning writers’ responses ranged from personal experiences, well known case citations and possible theoretical and logical arguments. Dinesh Mishra coordinated the lively session. In the evening, renowned Critic, Social Theorist and Political Psychologist, Dr Ashis Nandy, delivered annual Samvatsar lecture on ‘Do we protect cultural diversity or cultural diversity protects us?’ Dr Nandy talked at length about various factors affecting cultural diversity and societies.

Day three started with the second edition of the Face to Face programme in which five Award winning writers, Arupa Kalita (Assamese), Ramesh Chandra Shah (Hindi), Jayant Vishnu Narlikar (Marathi), Jaswinder (Punjabi) and Rachaplem Chandrasekhara Reddy (Telugu) were in conversation with eminent scholars of their language. They spoke about their life, creative writing, society and challenges ahead in their conversations with scholars. The Yuva Sahiti: Young Writers’ Meet, was inaugurated by distinguished Hindi writer and scholar, Prof Giriraj Kishore. Smt. Chitra Mudgal was the chief guest.

In all, eighteen young poets recited their poems and three young fiction writers read out their recent stories in this day long programme. Inaugurating the meet, Prof Giriraj Kishore, who has more than 40 titles to his credit and has been decorated with many prestigious awards in his long and illustrious career, talked about the value of youth writings for a country. He appealed to the president of Sahitya Akademi to create and operate a TV channel given that almost all the electronic media in all the languages of India have neglected literature per se’ and it becomes the duty of Sahitya Akademi, to take it up. He lamented the decline in the standards of literature across the country and observed that Sahitya Akademi should put in more efforts to improve the situation.

In the evening there was a Bharatanatyam classical dance performance by eminent dancer, Geeta Chandran.

On the fourth day the Symposium on ‘Unwritten Languages’ was held. Distinguished linguists and scholars such as Prof. Udaya Narayana Singh, Prof Anvita Abbi, Prof Awadhesh Kumar Singh, Prof Ayesha Kidwai, Prof Umarani Pappuswamy, Prof Kavita Rastogi, Prof BN Patnaik, Prof BRK Reddy, Prof Mahendra Mishra, Prof ImtiazHasnain, Prof Farooq Ahmad Mir and Prof Pradip Prabhu participated in the symposium. These eminent linguists discussed and debated across two sessions focusing on “Challenges of scripting the unwritten languages” and “A world of myths and tales.” The day also witnessed an event that has become an integral part of Festival of Letters, a three day National Seminar. The theme and concept for this year’s seminar was ‘The region and the nation in Indian fiction.

In the evening the Foundation Day Lecture was delivered by Prof SL Bhyrappa, renowned Kannada writer and scholar. Delivering his lecture, Prof Bhyrappa gave an overview of the climate that prevailed in India in the past sixty years, especially what creative writers in native languages of India underwent. He presented a neat and detailed analysis of the status of country’s intelligentsia from pre-independence to post independence to economic liberalization periods and how the vocal intelligentsia has not reconciled itself to the inevitable economic change.

Day five started with the second day of the three-day seminar on ‘The region and the nation in Indian fiction.’ Prof K Satchidanandan, in his introductory remarks talked about the evolution of the concepts of region and nation in Indian fiction. Eminent scholars like Dr Bhalachandra Nemade, Damodar Mauzo, Prof Sitanshu Yashaschandra, M Mukundan, M Asaduddin, Dr Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee and Dr Anil Kumar Boro participated in the day’s proceedings.

As part of its commitment to promote and encourage literature from all the North-Eastern languages and providing ample opportunities to litterateurs from North-East regions to interact with writers from rest of the country, Sahitya Akademi had organised a day long “Purvottari: North-East and Northern Writers’ Meet’ at Rabindra Bhawan Lawns. Twenty poets from various parts of North-East and Northern India along with four noted short story writers presented their latest creations. On the last day, there were many activities related to kids and their literature. The Akademi organised a day long Spin-a-Tale programme for the promotion of children literature, where eminent authors and writers participated.



-IRRO and FIP hold an interactive seminar

On the side lines of NDWBF an interactive seminar was organised which was attended by industry professionals and addressed by eminent speakers. Speaking on the occasion, Aparna Sharma, director copyright, Copyright Office, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India conveyed her apprehension that wide spread licensing on the basis of individualisation may not be feasible. Thus a collective way of effort is to be made. There are enormous misconceptions prevailing under copyrights laws, she said, which was even seconded by Pravin Anand, well known expert on the subject. For example, facts cannot be copyrighted but if compiled in a specific number, cannot be copied. Similarly it is also a myth that getting a reprographic rights license is very costly.

Paying as little as a price of a cup of tea or two, it can be feasible to do so. “However interest of both stakeholders i.e. publishers or authors and the user of content need to be kept intact,” cautioned Aparna Sharma.

IRRO need to adopt a path which is able to keep users happy and it remains a good gesture on their part, it is also a known fact that for authors, 6 0 percent revenues come from licensing on the international front and as such in India too this pattern can be seen if implemented rightly. Perhaps implementation can be done by enrolling third party more comfortably as has been successful for software segment.

As per Pravin Anand, “Implementation of this has never been that easy in India. The Act is silent on ‘Fair Use’ and how to share royalty? How to determine damages? Though, in the manifesto of BJP, the ruling national political party, this topic has categorically been included to take care of, but it still needs to be looked at with time. Pravin further added that perhaps setting up of a ‘Think Tank’ on this may be needed which takes care of multinational IP protection including planning towards digital learning and training. Within the courts of India, many cases pertaining to copyright remain pending because of above. For example, Samsung and Delhi University cases are yet to be sorted out.

On behalf of Authors Guild of India, Dr SS Awasthy while addressing the gathering did emphasize that awareness to the copyright laws needs to be created greatly. Delhi University is such a case which has created awareness. He called upon writers to become demanding and do ask for money and come out with good content. “These issues are loud and clear,” said A Sethumadhavan, then chairman, NBT, India, who is an author as well. He called upon IRRO officials to spread the message so as to benefit all stakeholders of the industry.



World’s largest free literary festival Electric sessions with Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Sir VS Naipaul rocked the festival on the fourth day. Besides, there was a 40 percent increase in students visiting the Festival, with average age of visitors being 21 years old. The eighth edition of the (ZEE) Jaipur Literature Festival, the world’s largest free literary festival, attracted 2,45,000 recorded footfalls over the five days - a record number for the Festival, which is completely free and open to all. The Festival has seen a doubling of international visitors from 50 difference countries, and a 40 percent increase in students attending the festival held at Diggi Palace. This year the Festival welcomed just over 300 authors (up from 240 in 2014), and 140 musicians. They participated in 209 sessions across 10 venues, including two new locations Amer Fort and Hawa Mahal. The Festival furthered its mission of making literature accessible to all by taking authors to schools in Jaipur, with 50 sessions taking place over two weeks in partnership with Pratham Books.

Notable session of the Festival included two packed sessions each for Nobel laureate Sir VS Naipaul and former president of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. The two speakers drew the biggest audience at the Rajnigandha Front Lawn with 5,000 excited book-lovers per event.

Other highlights over the five days included Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton, renowned travel writer Paul Theroux, legends of the silver screen Waheeda Rehman, Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi as well as leading novelists Sarah Waters, Kamila Shamsie, Amit Chaudhuri and Eimear McBride. This year the Festival awarded three prizes, including the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, which was won by Jhumpa Lahiri, the Ojas Art Award which was presented to Bhajju Shyam and Venkat Raman Singh Shyam, as well as the Khushwant Singh Memorial Prize for Poetry which was awarded to poet Arundhathi Subramaniam for her work When God is a Traveller. The festival once again brought together a plurality of speakers from across the political, social, religious, artistic, and national divide, to create a cultural forum for discussion; unrivalled in South Asia today. The festival also championed freedom of creative expression with daily drawings from DNA newspaper’s chief cartoonist, Manjul – prompting discussion and debate over the rights and responsibility of writers and artists in the current climate.

Sanjoy Roy, managing director of Teamwork Arts, producer of the festival, said, “This year’s festival has been a celebration of the freedom of creative expression. We have seen a record footfall across the five days and are thankful to all our partners who have made the 2015 ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival such a success.”

Offshore Festivals…

Far from being the end of the Festival in 2015 – there is set to be two further editions of JLF across the world at the Southbank Centre in London this May, and then a third JLF festival in Boulder, Colorado, US in the autumn. The international outposts of the JLF festivals will be produced by Teamwork Arts, in addition to the 21 other festivals they produce in 11 different countries each year.

Next edition…

Next year, the JLF would be scheduled from January 21-25, 2016. Namita Gokhale, author and co-director of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival said, “Another year is over and the next one just begun. My head is already teaming with ideas, themes, and concepts for next year. The year 2016 will be our best yet!”

While, William Dalrymple, author and co-director of the (ZEE) Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “This year has been a phenomenal year. We already have Margaret Atwood, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan, Noam Chomsky, AL Kennedy and Thomas Piketty confirmed for next year – so book your travel and make your plans now for 2016!”
Triumphant 2nd year for the Jaipur BookMark

Distinct challenges constrain the publishing industry in India and South Asia. These were actively deliberated this week at the Jaipur BookMark on January 21-22 at Hotel Narain Niwas, Jaipur.

The event is a B2B platform for the publishing industry, which runs in parallel to the (ZEE) Jaipur Literature Festival. The event was inaugurated by author and co-director of the (ZEE) Jaipur Literature Festival Namita Gokhale; NORLA, senior advisor, Oliver Møystad and Naresh Khanna. The forum had increased participation from publishers, retailers, distributors, authors and editors, following its debut last year.

India’s publishing industry is sizeable - with an estimated current value of $20 billion, and a legacy of over two hundred years. This fact coexists with the irony that publishing is still perceived as a cottage enterprise and classified outside of the industry status in India. At the BookMark, many publishers discussed why they continue to remain outside of the credit support of the banking industry, despite India’s renewed sense of optimism and urgency in supporting business.

Other sessions over the two days underscored the dynamics of technological changes, debated the need for a national reading policy, explored the meaning and context of translation and celebrate South-South between publishers and writers in the global south.

Many insights emerged from BookMark including that eBook sales have come down by as much as one-fifth in India and the US, and the reaffirmation that ‘content is king’ when it comes to finding new ways of monetising traditional forms of storytelling across digital boundaries. There was widespread consensus that there are enough readers and consequently markets for a variety of readerships across India, allowing for experimentation with delivery platform, genre, multi-media and language.

The second day of the BookMark also saw the announcement on a new award for the publishing industry, the Oxford Book Store Prize for Best Book Cover, which will recognise and celebrate the extraordinary work of illustrators, designers and publishers throughout India. The first winner will be announced at the next Jaipur BookMark to take place next January 2016.



–Interesting sessions and display of books were well received by all

After the resounding success of the debut Friends Club Book Event in April 2014, the 2nd Friends Club Book Fest was organised from December 6-7, 2014 in the lawns of the club at Friends Colony (West), New Delhi. Besides, a display of books from well-known publishers like Vishv Books, A2Z Teaching & Learning Solutions, Sahitya Akademi, Little Pearl Books, Lonely Planet, Overleaf, Teksons, BPI, Delhi Book Store and Nita Mehta Wiskidz, there were interesting and informative sessions.

There was a session on The New way to read by Akul Sujlana, Clavis Technologies. He focused on Digital device trends, How the young are getting more tech savvy, What e-books are all about, How are readers across the globe accessing e-books, etc.

Another well-received session was on Mantra for a Happy Marriage by Geeta Maheshwari, a psychiatrist working closely with people having issues in their marriage and author of Mantra for a Happy Marriage.

A session on 'Mantras for Success' by Shiv Malik was appreciated by one and all. Shiv Malik has also authored another book Turnaround: A Public Sector Story, which tells the story of the transformation of these companies and suggests ways to turnaround the public sector.

Children were in awe at the storytelling session by Simi Srivastava – master story teller & founder Kathashala. Simi is a soft skills, life skills trainer and a performing artist. She is professionally trained in theatre, Creative Music and Movement, Miming, Puppetry and uses all these to narrate stories.

There was also a session on Managing Sports Injuries by Dr Shiv Bajaj, chiropractioner, who gave practical tips on managing injuries.

While, the session on how to sweep your addiction by Dr Sajeela Maini, focused on how to make lifestyle changes for a healthy living. Dr Sajeela Maini is one of the leading names in Tobacco Cessation in the world. With her magical prowess, and extraordinary charm, she has made a radical change in thousands of tobacco addicts. She is better known as a “lady who would sweep all your addictions with her magic wand.”

The concluding session on Creative Yoga for kids & teens by Dr Nalini Sahay was also very informative.



Despite being named as the ‘Oxford of the East’ and an educational hub, Pune entered the literary festival scene this year behind the famous Jaipur and Goa fests. The Pune International Literary Festival is the brainchild of Dr Manjiri Prabhu, a writer and an independent filmmaker for television. She holds a doctorate in communication science and has directed more than 200 children TV programmes and more than 50 short fiction and travel films.

This LitFest was held from Sptember 18-20, 2014 and was inaugurated by hon’ble union minister of women and child development, Maneka Gandhi, who also gave a lovely talk on how animal rights is equal to human rights.

It was the effort of the organisers to make the LitFest more meaningful and they took up the cause of environment protection through animal welfare (adopt a street dog and save the tiger). “This vast, national platform will be used to create awareness of the short and long-term benefits of co-existence and to encourage harmony and symbiosis of animals with human beings” stated the PILF organisers.

The LitFest was a melting pot of genres in the literary fields, and saw many first time authors release their books. Sutak by Nadi Palshikar, a lecturer in Pune University witnessed a huge turnout. Medha Deshmukh Bhaskaran’s Frontiers of Karma was released by the police commissioner of Pune Satish Mathur. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Rang de Basanti book was also launched.

Workshops ranging from ‘using animals as characters’, ‘screenwriting tips’, ‘write your first YA story’, ‘micropoetry’, ‘dos and don’ts of translations’, etc. were spaces of learning, where participants gained much. Discussions such as Fiction is Fiction: Literary versus Popular, Fantasy versus Mythology, The new mantra?, Different Fiction: The Identity Crisis etc. were enriching and informative.

Authors Sudha Menon, Kavita Kane, Rashmi Bansal, Radhika Meghnathan, Ashok Banker added value to the workshops as panelists.

The LitFest also conducted fruitful and in-depth discussions on such as ‘Corporatisation of Journalism’, ‘The Towering Indians’ witnessed the participation of eminent journalists Vinita Deshmukh, Ramesh Menon and Francois Gautier.

Marathi literature was a major talking point at the LitFest. ‘Kavita Manataali ani Janaatali’ was conducted by Sandeep Khare and Mangesh Waghmare, ‘Kaviteche Geethotana’ by Saleel Kulkarni and Prabha Joshi, ‘Maai Boli’ by Urmila Karad, Deepak Apte and Sanjay Upadhye. Besides, discussions of ‘Marathi Screen Tomorrow’ and ‘Marathi Literature and Publishing Today’ were also conducted.

–Ritu Goyal Harish



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