Saturday, August 28, 2004

"'So much is being written in India now, every mail brings me manuscripts to look at by Indian authors. It has suddenly become a craze. It's not much to do with writing, it's to do with celebrity culture. Because a few like Rushdie and Arundhati Roy have become celebrities, it's encouraged others to try writing.'"

Now I find what Anita Desai has to say very objectionable!


Published authors, at least in India, never lend a helping had to struggling authors. A crab mentality prevails. Now that I made it why should I help someone else?

Agreed. You have made it against the odds, had to struggle, was rejected, etc. etc. But helping someone come up, saying a good word about something you really like. No way, we are Indian.

One billion people and no Olympic gold? Only one measly silver? Why?

Because our social system and structure is such. Along comes a talented person who wants to do something and vicious gossip is circulated, insults are hurled, character assasination is ready to be circulated, everything is done to make the person feel small.

"Who does he/she think he/she is?"

"Big writer eh?" Smirk! Smirk!

So now that Ms Desai has made it, Ms Desai can thumb her nose at those struggling to make it. Same with the writers who have had "god"fathers abroad to promote them.

Is there any doubt why most talented youngersters (writers, painters, sportsmen, actors) get disillusioned and give up? We are not a society based on merit, we are a society based on cronyism. If you don't like to be a crony then go jump into the well. Ask the sportsmen who has no talent to suck up to the officials. How can you ask if you won't even find them?

Now what makes Anita Desai crib in front of a foreign audience? Perhaps she thinks she has arrived and is now on level with the "goras" so the brownies who struggle in India can suck their thumbs and descend the depths of desperation.

Anita Desai says we Indian writers want to be celebrities... who doesn't? Doesn't she want to be a bigger celebrity than Arundhati Roy and Salman Rushdie? Doesn't she want the TV cameras, the interview, the book launches, the paid book tour, etc.

She does, but she wants it so seriously that she doesn't want the 10 million or so people in the sub-continent who can afford a computer to catch up with her. So she would rather subvert their prospects and criticise them in public than say a good word.

Is it any surprise that a nation of one billion cannot produce a gold medal at the Olympics. All we can do is a silver when unknown countries in Africa (imagine Africa with its malnourished millions!) can produce more than one medal. All our medal prospects gave up long ago!

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