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Remembering the conscience keeper

It is time to recite poems of Raghuvir Sahay as they not only relate to woes of the common man but are also in sync with the socio-political reality of today.

Why are poets like Kabir, Tulsidas, Rahim, Ghalib or Faiz considered to be great? The answer to this question lies in our urge to repeatedly visit and revisit them on account of their relevance to our lives. In different everyday situations, lines from their poetry come to our mind without any effort on our part as they fit those situations so well, shed light on them and illuminate them to make us comprehend them better. At a time when the country is witnessing fundamental changes in its political, economic, social and cultural life and anti-democratic tendencies are bent upon creating a fear psychosis, Raghuvir Sahay (December 9, 1929-December 30, 1990) is one of the few modern Hindi poets whose poetry continues to resonate in one’s mind because of its ability to bring the irony of the situation and the helplessness of the ordinary citizen into sharp relief.

Besides being a front-ranking poet, Raghuvir Sahay was also the editor of news weekly Dinman which, for nearly two decades, remained the most prestigious and respected magazine in Hindi. Sachchidanand Hiranand Vatsyayan, known to the literary world as “Agyeya”, had conceptualised and launched the magazine in 1965, bringing together talents like Raghuvir Sahay, Manohar Shyam Joshi, Shrikant Verma and Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena on its staff.

Starting young

In 1969, he handed over the baton to Raghuvir Sahay who had already worked as a journalist in Hindi dailies Navjeevan and Navbharat Times, and the news division of the All India Radio. Sahay edited Dinman from 1969 to 1982 with such great distinction that it was compared with Time and Newsweek.

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Kitaab welcomes its new editor Sucharita Dutta-Asane

Team Kitaab welcomes Sucharita Dutta-Asane as its new editor. She is the second independent editor to be helming Kitaab, a Singapore-based online publication.

Sucharita, who is an independent editor and award-winning writer based in Pune, joined Team Kitaab on Friday (15 Sep). She took over the mantle of Kitaab’s editorship after the previous editor Amina Sheikh moved on.

“Kitaab has a specific vision – to be a singular site for Asian writing,” said Sucharita, on joining Kitaab. “Given the easily accepted westward tilt of our literary sensitivities, it is heartening to have a site like Kitaab that facilitates the move closer home. This is immensely exciting and I’m grateful to Zafar Anjum for giving me this opportunity to explore and celebrate Asian writing through its various facets, iterations and manifestations.” Continue reading

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Mantra Roy joins Kitaab as Nonfiction Editor

US-based Mantra Roy has joined Kitaab as our first Non-fiction Editor. Mantra studied English at St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and obtained a doctorate in English from University of South Florida.
Mantra’s earliest memories of enjoying literature go back to skipping Math lessons and digging deep into ‘story books’ in grade two. She followed her love for literature and got her PhD in English. After teaching for a while, Mantra moved onto other platforms of writing to reach winder audiences. In her Nonfiction Writing Certificate course (University of Washington, Seattle), she recognized the nuances of researched writing that is way different from academic publication. Today, between her focus on education, information literacy, and international development, Mantra reads, writes, and then reads some more. She loves to travel, paint, and enjoy good food with family and friends. She lives in Seattle with her husband.

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Monica Arora joins Kitaab as Reviews Editor

Monica Arora

Monica Arora, who is based in New Delhi, has joined Kitaab as Book Review Editor. A graduate of Lady Shri Ram College (University of Delhi), Arora has worked with Roli Books in the past and presently edits two bi-monthly magazines. She also edits both fiction and coffee-table books for Fingerprint Publishing, Prakash Books, besides editing fiction and non-fiction titles for Purple Folio, a literary agency as well as coffee table books for IIME, Jaipur.

“Nitpicky with a borderline OCD for tidiness, editing is but an extension of my personality,” she said when asked to describe herself. “Having dabbled in myriad genres of the written word for more than a decade, spanning fiction, non-fiction, coffee table illustrated books, brochures, newsletters, et al there is still much to be read, imbibed, researched, written, reviewed and edited. Fetishes: running at dawn, yoga and the desire to watch almost every movie within the first day of release. Pet peeves: pretentiousness in all its 50 shades…”

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Indian novelist & editor of Tehelka accused of sexual misconduct, steps down for 6 months

Tarun Tejpal steps down as Tehelka’s Editor for six months over alleged sexual assault: NDTV

tarunTarun Tejpal, the Editor-in-Chief of Tehelka, has stepped down for six months after being accused of sexual assault by a woman journalist who works with the weekly magazine.

A person close to the journalist rejected Tehelka’s claim that she is “satisfied with the action taken.” She alleged that the woman was subjected to “an act of grave sexual misconduct” and said she was “completely shattered and emotionally scarred.”

“The act happened continuously over a period of time…and despite the girl pleading that she is almost the age of his daughter…she pleaded ‘please don’t do this’…Her ‘no’ was not accepted…it happened once and it happened the next day,” the journalist’s confidante alleged.

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Kitaab Audio: Rachel Kahan on the role of an editor

IMG_5341What is the role of an editor in a publishing house? How much time does an editor spend on acquisition and how much on the actual editing? What’s selling right now in the market? Is Romance bigger than Crime? Are publishers still buying Vampire novels? Should you send your novel straight to an editor? How does an editor decide which book to buy and which one to reject? How does an editor acquire a book? What is the relationship between editors and agents?

Rachel Kahan, Executive Editor of William Morrow (HarperCollins), USA, answers these and many more questions in this talk (excepted from Rachel’s Masterclass on Editing). Here, she discusses the role of an editor in a contemporary commercial publishing house, especially in the context of the US and UK markets.

This talk was recorded at the Publishing Symposium@Singapore Writers Festival 2013.