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!

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All a person needs is the first good book

by Tanuj Solanki

Tanuj Solanki
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.

Dr. Nazia Hasan reviews Reading New India: Post-millennial Indian Fiction in English by E. Dawson Varughese (Bloomsbury: London, 2013)

ReadingNewIndiaAll blood and gore apart, Reading New India: Post-Millennial Indian Fiction in English by E. Dawson Varughese is a very patriotic book, written in a post-colonial temperament. The Hindustaani expression “dil se” hooks you effortlessly. It is obvious in many ways, the first being the red line that accompanies as I type each word…the baffling response of the computer to each part of the author’s name. But as the sea goes calm after a tempest, now the red mark of doubt/incomprehension sticks to the surname only, it is accepting most of the things coming in its range. The new millennium announced its arrival with various new ideas and concepts, strewing them around; we collected some in a rush, some in a thoughtful mode. So does the world to any evolving culture and ideology.