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July 01, 2005



There are two essays that read recently which I liked.

1. In Defense of Curiosity by Eleanor Roosevelt


2. And the other one is an essay titled 'Production' by Henry Ford. I read both these essays in an old edition of Saturday evening post. If somebody could traslate these into Tamizh it would be great.


while on a trip to netherlands, I noticed that almost every latest book (fiction/non-fiction) is translated into Dutch.

I noticed mainly the fiction books, but, I am sure it should definitely be the same case for non-fiction too..

I believe it definitely should be case than can be reproducible in Tamil or any other vernacular language in India..


Loved this post. Yes, today, readers in vernacular are demanding more information on the latest developments and ideas in the world in a language and a form that's accessible to them. Vernacular Language blogs will eventually turn up -- but for the moment -- the internet has its own restrictions of availability and accessibility. Blogs might eventually provide excellent reading material but I think it is also the duty of vernacular Newspapers to fill this need. They already have the writers with them -- what they need to do is to get these writers to focus on the trends in society -- and on the kind of information that people would like to read. (It might also help if the vernacular newspapers start blogs on their site). But till internet penetrates into the interiors, newspapers have to take up the role of providing information. It is a queation of the newspapers realizing that they need to shake of their lethargy and writing the kind of stuff that their readers will be more interested in reading. Maybe it'll help if the newspapers model some of their sections on "The Spectator."


Satya, great post, I must confess that even when I spoke with Badri in detail about this, asking him many questions, I wasn't entiely convinced. but you are right, there are whole generations out there wanting to read more about the world - the only thing in their way being lack of resources in their own language...
(by the way, I mentioned your publishing venture in Annie's post!)


Lakshmi, thanks for the pointers to the articles.

Mandar, while vernacular newspapers can focus on reporting news from around the world, they can't provide the depth due to constraints of space and shelf life. That's where the Internet and books score over newspapers. But yes, newspapers ought to be doing far more in terms of covering news from around the world to cater to their readers' hunger for knowledge. Vernacular TV Channels are doing it to a small extent and since a picture is worth a thousand words, they have far greater impact than newspapers. They also reach those who can't or don't read, but TV suffers from the constraints of time (slots) and shelf life too.
Another problem for vernacular newspapers may be the fact that not many of their reporters/editors are comfortable enough in English to be able to read and keep up with what's happening in the rest of the world, for them to be in a position to write about it. Newspapers need more bilingual reporters to be able to bring a global perspective to their readers.

Charu, I think often we (myself included) tend to think in terms of demand-led supply (if people wanted something, someone would already have provided it. the fact that its not being provided yet indicates that there's no demand for it - so no point in supplying it). But unearthing (or even creating) supply-led demand is just as important. There are enough instances of supply-led demand making a difference and plenty of opportunities out there to unearth and meet supply-led demand. The onus is on us to spot these opportunities.
Yes, I saw your comment on Annie's post!

Sunil Laxman

Superb post...as always.



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i like this part of the blog:"Literature is not a stable thing. It changes. Public tastes change. They are 'constructed' in fact, and have to be 're-constructed', every so often. We need to form public tastes, as well as cater to them. Newspapers no longer do that - we need to, but we can't, without the right media... that is the other crisis." is very good

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