What are writers and artistes tweeting about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir? What is their attitude to the people in this region?
Rahul Pandita, author and conflict writer from Kashmir, tweeted that “In all, a majority of Kashmiris have no idea what abrogation of article 370 means. Argue with them for a minute and one realises they are totally ignorant. All they know is ‘India will now take away everything.’ From our sources we know NSA(National Security Agency) is aware of it. Big challenge.”
Mirza Waheed, Kashmiri writer and novelist who now lives in London, wrote, “August 11, 2019. Day 7 of Seige of Kashmir. We are not allowed to say Eid Mubarak to our families.” But is it a seige or an attempt to integrate the state into the country?
Vikram Chandra, a commonwealth prize winning American Indian novelist, wrote, “In his Aug 8 speech, PM Narendra Modi did say it was for every Indian to share the concerns of the citizens of J&K. Best way to do that today is to reach out to Kashmiris in other parts of India, spending Eid away from home. Make them feel that they ARE at home.”
Actress Shabana Azmi tweeted “Kashmiri Pandit Youth invite every Kashmiri who has been unable to travel home for Eid for a get together…”
Novelist and essayist Chetan Bhagat has taken a stand where he says, “August 5, 2019. Kashmir is finally free. Free to grow, free to make a future. #Article 370 goes. #OneCountryOneSystem.” And also, “Article 370 never gave Kashmiris freedom. It only created selfish leaders who created a terror filled society and robbed Kashmiri youth of opportunity. It is finally time for it to go. Anyone objects, tell them loudly: One Country, One System.” Read more
By Mitali Chakravarty
Three Idiots, The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Crazy Rich Asians have made history in cinema and they started out as mere books, Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat, The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Ahmad and Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan.
Bhagat was cited by The New York Times as “the biggest selling English language novelist in India’s history” and was also included in the Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. Ahmad’s book made it big not just in its own rights, climbing up to #4 on the The New York Times Bestseller list and winning multiple awards and accolades, the film catapulted his book as one that addressed humanitarian concerns and won the German film award for peace and at least five more international awards. Kwan also made it to the Times list of the hundred most influential people and was named as “five writers to watch” on the ‘Hollywood’s Most Powerful Authors’ in The Hollywood Reporter. Their cinematic launches helped them make it huge!
But did you ever wonder how their books made it to the big screen? How did they sell their film rights? And as an author, what all should you be looking out for when you sell your book’s film rights?
Today, we meet the man who can help authors evade controversies and make it from books to movies… He is the man who has made it a business to help writers sell their books to film-makers. Meet Siddharth Jain, the founder of The Story Ink (TSI), India’s first story company for premium content for screen. It is also “India’s No.1 Book to Screen Adaptation Company” and has sold the adaptation rights of almost 70 books to Producers/Studios in India. It is now expanding its footprint by solving the story problem for Indian regional language content producers and international producers, who are searching for local stories for global audiences.
TSI was founded in April 2018 by Jain who had earlier worked for India’s largest OTT (over the top) — Hotstar.com (now acquired by Disney from Fox), iRock Films, Adlabs Films (Reliance Entertainment), Hyperion Studio — Los Angeles and Baazee.com (Ebay India). In a recent interview with scroll.in , Jain said that five years from now he sees himself “reading a book a day” and curating great stories for films. In this exclusive interview, he explains how books are made into films… through options agreements.
Kitaab: What do you mean by an options agreement? Read more
Controversies and legal notices continue to dog best-selling author Chetan Bhagat. This time, Bhagat’s One Indian Girl, seems to be in legal trouble just six months after its release.
Anvita Bajpai, a Bengaluru-based author sued the writer, claiming that the ‘characters, places and emotional flow’ of his book had been lifted from one of her stories ‘Drawing Parallels’ from the book ‘Life, Odds & Ends’.
“I handed a copy of my book to Chetan Bhagat at the Bangalore Literature Festival in 2014 for feedback, she alleged.
Bajpai handed Bhagat a legal notice on February 22 this year, asking him to withdraw the book from stores and cough up Rs 5 lakh as damages. Bhagat responded a month later denying all allegations, which prompted Bajpai to approach a civil court in Bengaluru. Read more
By Neeti Nigam
The students of the University of Delhi will soon study author Chetan Bhagat’s first and bestselling novel Five Point Someone. The second-year undergraduate students will pursue this novel in the Popular Literature paper in the Generic Elective offered under the Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS).
The paper is meant for non-English (Hons) students. Under CBCS, students from any stream who wish to take English as their elective subject can opt for Popular Fiction paper. However, the teaching community doesn’t seems happy with the novel’s inclusion. Read more
Source: The Indian Express
By Kanishka Gupta
The last few years have witnessed a deluge of mass market writers in India: Ravinder Singh, Durjoy Datta, Sudeep Nagarkar and more recently, Savi Sharma and Ajay K Pandey. While many people attribute this trend to the unprecedented success of Chetan Bhagat’s debut novel Five Point Someone, others say that it is because of the country’s ever expanding young, aspiring reader base, which has an insatiable appetite for these light, undemanding reads.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that this brand of writing has completely changed the different aspects of publishing, be it commissioning, retail or marketing. Editors no longer acquire books in isolation or on the basis of their individual tastes, but in close consultation with a sales team.
“Until Neilsen arrived in India, very few people were aware of the mass market phenomenon that was going on. The communication channels between sales and editorial were also not that great,” Sachin Garg, a bestselling writer and publisher of Grapevine books told me. In fact, distributors only started taking Grapevine seriously once their author Durjoy Datta’s book debuted at number 3 on the Neilsen Charts. ‘The sales figure of a book started being used as a metric for acquisitions and books were acquired for reasons other than the traditional reason of it being a well told story from the editor’s POV,’ says Anish Chandy of Juggernaut Books. Read more
Source: First Post
By Ankita Ghosh
While we were busy reading mostly American and European authors to satiate our hunger for novels written in the English language, a quiet and cautious breed of writers were steadily reinventing the idea of English language novels for us, here in the heartland of the subcontinent.
These writers came to be loosely known as ‘Indian authors writing in English language’. As the 21st century progressed and our desperate need to be readily anglicized was reversed by the chronic desire to be homebound, more and more people began reading them and soon they became a phenomenon.
These authors usually fall into two distinct categories. The first category of authors is headed by Chetan Bhagat, Ravinder Singh, Manju Kapur, Anuja Chauhan and the likes. They have equally been loved and loathed. The middle class that was reluctantly welcoming English into their households, loved them as they spoke of a transitioning India and wrote about its average citizens. Read more
The national capital has emerged as the most well-read city in India for the fourth consecutive year with Bengaluru and Mumbai taking the second and third spot, respectively, says a survey conducted by Amazon India.
According to the ‘Annual Reading Trends Report for 2016’ conducted by Amazon.in, Karnal, Vadodara and Patna are first-time entrants in the Top 20 list having bought more books than cities like Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam and Lucknow this year.
Chetan Bhagat’s book ‘One Indian Girl’ emerged as the highest selling book of this year followed by JK Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I and II’.
The third spot is taken by exam preparation book ‘Word Power Made Easy’ written by Norman Lewis, Robin Sharma’s non-fiction ‘Who Will Cry When You Die?’ was at fourth position. Read more
Source: Huffington Post
The 35th edition of Sharjah International Book Fair will witness participation by an impressive line-up of Indian writers, actors, chefs and entrepreneurs. The region’s most anticipated book fair and cultural event will take place from November 2 to 12 at Expo Centre Sharjah.
Among the celebrated names are Javed Akthar, a leading film script writer and lyricist, Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi, authors Chetan Bhagat, Shashi Tharoor, Kanishk Tharoor, M.T. Vasudevan Nair and cinema personalities such as Mammootty, Shatrughan Sinha, Shilpa Shetty, and many others. Read more
Rupa’s chairman R.K. Mehra on the big changes and challenges in the publishing industry: The Outlook
‘Originality of idea, continuity of thought and a clear target market. Yes, Chetan Bhagat is one of the bestselling authors, but there are many such under Rupa’s banner. And what is important for us is not just big names; we ensure we take on everyone we think must be read. We don’t sell authors, authors sell us! Of course, we facilitate media interviews and book signing and other interactions, but that’s not much. Also, social media has a big role in book promotion.’
Editor’s note: This is the first of Asia Uncensored blog debates that we are kicking off our Blogs section with, curated by our blogs editor Rheea Mukherjee.
The influx of commercial fiction in India is an undeniable fact. Is it good? Is it bad? Two writers–Soumyadipta ‘Shom’ Biswas and Tanuj Solanki– share their perspectives on this volatile topic. We would love to hear your thoughts on this subject too!
All a person needs is the first good book
by Tanuj Solanki
I live and work in Bombay, and so, for me, traveling to my hometown Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh entails reaching Delhi first and then taking a bus or a train. For the Bombay to Delhi journey, I find the Rajdhani trains to be the best option, because of the overnight comfort and the promise of being able to squeeze in four hours of solid reading into the seventeen hour journey. In November 2014, I had, for personal reasons, to take three trips to visit my family there.