As a Sunday Story in today’s ENVIUS THOUGHTS, I am sharing with my esteemed viewers, the paper I submitted in the AUTHORS’ GUILD OF INDIA 2012 Conference at GOA under the title shown above. in the Goa University campus. .
Who is an Author? – His duties and responsibilities-pen mightier than the sword- Authors need support-
Readers- different types- knowledge readers – needs of readers.
Contemporary Society- Changing Society- What do they think?
Who is an Author?
A priceless author is a
Maker of peace
Life of emotions
Promoter of noble thoughts
Thinker ahead of times!
Harbinger of love
Seeker of knowledge!
One in all, all in one, jointly, severally
Helping mankind live in peace and amity!
All his creations
Simple and sweet
Bring in knowledge
Full of meaning!
Emit love and peace
This is what all I think of authors, their creations
And all I need to know with great admiration!
What are his duties and responsibilities?
According to great Mahakavi Subramanaiya Bharathiyar-a versatile writer of prose will say:
Whatever a writer writes, it must be clear, style of writing must be akin to speaking, the words must directly convey the meaning sought to be communicated. Clarity of mind for the writer is the basis for what he writes and hence absolutely essential.
Clarity of thoughts gives strength to the writing; when honesty and courage prevail, writing will be straight and clean.
Clarity, brightness of mind, coolness and discipline will make the writing great and unassailable.
“NANNOOL” meaning “GOOD BOOK” authored by a Jain Monk “Pavananthi Adigal” refers to the attributes of a good author:
“Noble in birth, belief in the Omniscient, high principles, clarity in thought, strength of writing skill, constancy in purpose, perfection, judicial approach, flower like softness, worldly knowledge and wisdom, good character.”
Only the persons with such attributes can be of immense value to the literary world and through their creative writing will have a positive influence on the readers.
Pavanandhu Adigal also describes the negatives that can not make a good author.
“Lack of language skills, bad and undesirable characters, jealousy, uncommon desires, hypocrisy, fear, fickle mindedness, inconsistent and conflicting thoughts.”
As an author and teacher/trainer, I am having a constant self analysis on the positives an author must develop and negatives he must get rid of and if properly adjusted can be effective in the art of writing.
PEN MIGHTIER THAN SWORD
It has been wisely said that “The pen is mightier than the sword”! That indeed casts greater responsibility on the author. His pen can make or mar the society; his pen is capable of creating peace or war in the society; his pen can bring in joy or sorrow to the society! Sword can only bring in miseries and pain whereas pen can bring in the opposite!
While enjoying freedom of thought and expression, an author has to exercise restraint and responsibility.
Authors owe it to themselves and to the society to give the best of content to their readers that will enhance the knowledge and wisdom, nobility and human values, induce humanism and compassion, free them from ignoble thoughts and views, negativisms and violence. Blessed with necessary knowledge and skills, the authors must avoid sensationalism and commercialism in their creations. Not making money but creating a better and nobler society should be the aim and endeavor of the authors.
AUTHORS NEED SUPPORT
Most of the authors today, I believe, are in financial straights and having a number of scripts on hand is at a loss not knowing as to what to do with them. Most of the publishers are reluctant to take publication without heavy consideration from the author! If the authors somehow find wherewithal to publish, find it very difficult to market the same. Poets’ agony is greater. In a state like Tamilnadu wherefrom I come, publishers heavily depend on Government orders for their Libraries and most of the delegates will be surprised to learn that orders for the books published in 2009 are still awaited!
The so called new initiatives or innovative “SELF-PUBLICATION” do not offer much of a relief to the authors. Its efficacy is yet to be tested and established.
I strongly wish the organizations like AGI and NBT have to go fast and far to support the authors in a greater measure.
It is suggested that these organizations may invite the authors of different languages to send their creations in a methodical and a scheduled manner, select the books for publication through member Publishers and organize marketing.
An author like me will be happy and grateful if the creations see the light of the day in black and white, though they do not fetch a fortune –though a very, very moderate- in the form of royalty. It gives at-least a satisfaction that his creative writing could reach out to the reading public!
Today’s Readers are of different types! There are casual readers who read just for pleasure and as a pastime! There are serious readers who read for enhancing knowledge in the subjects of their choice. Students –readers under compulsion! There are voracious readers who have a love and passion for reading, all subjects under the sun, volume big or small, language, author new or established and accredited make nothing for them and their appetite is so strong that no amount of reading satisfies!
Naturally authors have to satisfy readers of different types. Today’s young readers are intelligent, enquiring and knowledgeable. In such a background, their expectations are very high from the creative writers and hence there is an urgent need for the level of writing is raised to meet the needs and aspirations of these readers.
There is a wrong feeling and notion in the society that the reading habit in the present generation is dwindling. Notwithstanding the escalating cost of the books, readers do go in for purchasing more and more through the book shops, book fairs and exhibitions, online and so on. Thousands of e-books are downloaded all over the globe.
Needs of readers
It would be nice if the books are published at affordable price in the interest of the readers. They expect the libraries in the educational institutions, private institutions and those maintained by the government are strengthened with the latest publications.
Change is the essence of life. Change leads to evolution in the society and brings in revolution! Human nature is to resist change at any level; but change has always prevailed over! Indian society as International society has seen overwhelming changes, witnessed a gradual evolution over centuries and experienced revolutions on many fronts. Literary domain is not an exception..
Contemporary society today is undergoing evolutionary changes and revolutionary thoughts. In the process great organizations like Authors Guild of India and National Book Trust are playing crucial roles.
What do they think?
Hon’ble President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee says: “The need for nurturing reading skills and making books readily available to the public can not be overemphasized. Reading widens our views, encourages imagination and expands our mental horizon.”
Former Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh said:” There is a great hunger for knowledge in our country. We need to provide our people, particularly our youth, access to quality books.”
Striking a personal note which is bound to inspire and enthuse Indian readers, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, the then Minister of State for Human Resources Development, Government of India writes:
“Nothing delights me more than encouraging our citizens to read widely and across several genres.
Growing up as the child of middle class parents in the late 1950s and 1960s meant growing up with books. I read copiously, rapidly and indiscriminately. Soon reading became a central focus of my existence; there was not a day in my childhood that did not feature a book, or several. One year I kept a list of volumes I’d finished (comics didn’t count), hoping to reach 365 before the calendar did. I made it before Christmas.
Mine was an eclectic literary childhood. It is a uniquely Indian experience to embrace Biggles and Birbal, Jeeves and the Jatakas, Tintin and Tenaliramen in one’s reading. To me books are like the toddy taper’s hatchet, striking through the rough husk that enshrouds our minds to tap into the exhilaration that ferments within.
More than a century ago, Walter Pater wrote of art as ‘professing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass’. Although that may be all that books provide, this is no modest aspiration. I hope more and more readers will discover how books enhance the quality of their own moments. And the society will encourage them to make this discovery.”
Yes; ‘in a diverse society as ours, only reading can take to a meaningful and sustained development cutting across all daunting barriers’ as rightly observed by a thinker.
Contemporary society by and large responds to the authors and readers favorably and cordially. After all today’s Authors and Readers are also a part and parcel of this society giving their best and taking whatever available with a sense of devotion and dedication. Society’s likes and dislikes, pride and prejudices, love and hatred have their own impact on the authors and readers; but then it is the duty and responsibility of the authors to guide the destiny of the society through their pens that are mightier than the sword.
AGI AND NBT
In this scenario, the role and responsibilities of the organizations like Authors Guild of India and the National Book Trust assumes greater importance and significance.
- They have to balance the needs, demands and aspirations of the readers on the one hand and the authors on the other.
- They have to help the book culture continue to develop in a positive manner. .
- They have to reach the youth and students to take up to reading and writing
- Competitions may be conducted among the young writers to assess and improve their skills of creative writing of all genres.
- In a greater measure they can help in publishing and marketing of the quality writings of the writers in different age groups and languages.
Long live Authors’ Guild of India!
Long live the National Book Trust!
All glory to the Authors in India!
References: Nannool of Bhavananthi Munivar
Works of Mahakavi Bharathiyar