Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Indian all the way

(Tharini Viswanath has joined us as an intern for the next two months. Tharini is currently doing her MA in English. She enjoys writing and illustrating stories for children and is into theatre as well. This is her first post.)

"A Man Called Bapu"
A few days ago, we read an interesting article in the Deccan Herald which paradoxically asked a lot of unasked questions. Is it enough to be of Indian origin to be an Indian Writer in English? Does your English have to be flawless for your work to be recognized? Started a fortnight ago in Thiruvananthapuram, Indian Ruminations is an e-journal that publishes material from around the country by authors who do not get the recognition they deserve despite the fact that they are talented. There are already around 45 members who have registered from various states including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Orissa, Chattisgarh and Delhi. Members, from school going children to academicians, can contribute their work and have them published. Though a large number of these writers publish their works in many popular websites, they do not get much preference or display as established authors. This, claims Sandhya S N, one of the Chief Editors, is what inspired them to come up with an independent platform where any one – both amateurs and established authors – can publish their works. Like a blog, the website gives the reader space to interact with the author by leaving comments at the end of their work. Indian Ruminations also functions as a social networking site, allowing readers to participate in debates and discussions by registering their opinions.

But, you may say, there are already thousands of Indian writers who want to get their works published in English. At Indian Ruminations, they neatly divide these thousands of writers into three categories. The first are the Indian expatriate writers who study or studied, live or lived in foreign countries. These include the likes of Shashi Tharoor who write in British or American English. The second category comprises of IIT and IIM writers, who represent upper-class India. The third category – the stories of people who live in the heart of India, do not have equal opportunities to get their work published. These people, who reflect the essence of the country in their work, write Indian English, bringing out the trueness that is India. We are all instinctively bilingual, as Raja Rao said, and we cannot write like the English. “Our method of expression therefore has to be a dialect which will someday prove to be as distinctive and as colourful as the Irish or the American.” True to the quote, Indian Ruminations primarily brings out what is most Indian about us Indians – the ethnicity, the pure uniqueness of the way we use English.

Like any journal, Indian Ruminations publishes poetry, fiction, interviews, articles and book reviews. If you want to get your works published, visit the magazine at www.indianruminations.com, and after filling in their personal details, can submit their work. You can also post your entries to editor@indianruminations.com. Editors Sandhya SN and Pro VT Jayasingh edit and upload all contents posted which are updated monthly. Indian Ruminations also has plans of opening an art gallery for Indian-born painters. This way, artists will have the opportunity of exhibiting their works in front of global viewers and art critics. That is the point of art anyway, don’t you think? To proudly display it or read it out loud. So what if it is not “accepted” by publishing houses? It’s good to be Indian all the way!

You can check out the Deccan Herald Article at http://www.deccanherald.com/content/72557/now-e-magazine-indian-writing.html

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