Certain Indian values are better than Western
Shri Naresh Bharatiya, who has come to participate in the World Book Fair, talked at length to Organiser on the issues concerning the Indian literature and media. He has been associated with the media for over 40 years in the UK but refrains from calling himself an NRI. Excerpts of the discussion Organiser had with Shri Bharatiya:
Q: How do you view the development of Indian English literature?
A: There is still craze for English literature. The new generation is in sync with the latest and the older generation still nostalgic about the classical English literature. The new technology has taken over in a manner that literature is disappearing. The electronic media is also being used to produce books.
Q: Do you think literature is meeting a quiet death?
A: Literature is not going to die as such. It remains a challenge to produce good literature in a fast changing world. I compliment the National Book Trust for experimenting with some new ventures and the new style of organizing the book fair. There are people, who are still interested in books.
Q: Do people like Indian books?
A: They do. Some India-born writers are making their mark. There is a liking for Indian books. Universities and other research institutions are taking fancy for books for research purposes. The rest of the world is taking considerable interest in Indian culture. Indian values are considered better than Western values.
Q: Do you see any paradox?
A: Yes. When the West is taking interest in India, India is learning more about the West, its language, literature and even copying the electronic media. Both sides may learn from each other, provided the Indian side uses the matrix in a better way.
Q: Do you find any western influence on Indian newspapers?
A: Media is mostly guided by western influences. They are propagating their language, ethos and even expressions. Just look at the treatment of Gen Musharraf. The Indian English media kowtows the US way of projecting him as the messiah of peace. On Kashmir too the viewpoints of the US and UK prevail.
Q: Is there a remedy?
A: India has to watch the trade and market, which are guided by the US interests. Accepting such challenges would mean that India cannot enter the market. India has to rise above such feelings and put its own stamp. Media has no reason to serve the cause of western MNCs.