Kumar Vishwas: Onus of what to read should be left to readers, not publishers

Published: Dec 06, 2018, 16:45 IST | IANS | New Delhi

Vishwas also emphasised that reading is not fading in contemporary times

Kumar Vishwas
Kumar Vishwas

Against the backdrop of an increasing tendency among the mainstream Indian publishers to give preference to what they feel will sell more in the market, poet-politician Kumar Vishwas said on Thursday that publishers should confine themselves to the management of the business instead of regulating what needs to be read.

He was speaking in the context of several good authors facing rejection as their work did not appeal to a few who stood in judgement at FICCI's annual conference "PubliCon 2018" on the theme "Publishing in Indian Languages".

Vishwas said that the readers were the link between publishers and writers and the onus of what is to be read should be left to the judgement of the readers. He said that it was the responsibility of publishers to seek out creative writers who deal with contemporary issues.

"Creativity is all pervasive and I firmly believe that there is still a great respect for the written word," he said.

He said that books and their authors bring about a semblance of balance in the society which was being deluged with news and interpretation that swings from creating hope to despair in the social order.

Vishwas also emphasised that reading is not fading in contemporary times.

FICCI President-Elect Sandip Somany said that with the literacy rate at 74 per cent, India has more than 900 million readers permeating the whole gamut of languages and regions with disparate reading needs and aspirations.

This, according to Somany, has opened up a wide opportunity for the publishing industry in India for content creation and dissemination. The print and digital publishing will both have to complement one another to meet the objectives of books and reading materials for all, he added.

FICCI Publishing Committee Co-Chair and Westland Publisher Karthika V.K. said publishers did not want to be gatekeepers but sought a role for themselves as facilitators. Language, she said, was not a barrier any more.

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