Indian Authors Impose Self Censorship: Jeet Thayil

New Delhi
Indian Authors Impose Self Censorship: Jeet Thayil

Most Indian authors self-censor their writings as they are worried about "their papajis, mamajis and uncles" believes author Jeet Thayil whose name is on this year's Booker Prize shortlist.

"Indian writers are not encouraged to experiment or take risks. They prefer writing cliche stuff that has already been written" says the author of Narcopolis told PTI.

According to Thayil, his book, which was published in London, got better reviews among readers in India because it could connect to the way the youth today thinks, the language they use but he said "unfortunately only few or almost no such books are published here."

Thayil was in the national capital to participate in the Delhi leg of the two city Kovalam Literature Festival.

"In India you will hear certain words 15 times in a day but you will never read them in pages of a literary novel. What is the point who if you can't put words into your book that you hear daily?," says the author whose novel was rejected by multiple Indian publishers.

"Many authors do not write what they want to. Authors should not worry about what others think. They should worry about the book only, says the author who downplayed the hype and growing expectation about winning the Booker, which is scheduled to be announced on October 16.

"I have an outside chance to win it. All others have inside chance. That is how I want to look at it," says Thayil. who has begun work on a sequel to his first novel.

Meanwhile the KLF, whose second leg will be in Thiruvananthapuram for two days from October 6 will feature a lecture by human rights activist Binayak Sen and his wife Illena, besides writers such as Timeri N Murari, Sonia Faleiro, N S Madhavan, Benyamin, C P Surendran, Biman Nath, Naresh Fernandes and Aroon Raman, as well as film critic Anna M M Vetticad and photographer Amit Pasricha.

At the Delhi leg of KLF, British freelancer Roderick Matthews, whose book Jinnah vs Gandhi traces how Pakistan's founder and the Mahatma shaped the modern history of South Asia was in conversation political commentator Swapan Dasgupta.

UK-based writer Farrukh Dhondy made another notable presence by reading from his new novel, London Company.

Journalist Monisha Rajesh read from her debut book Around India in 80 trains based on an array of train journeys.

"The best thing about Indian train journeys is the desire of people to converse and mingle up with fellow passengers whom they haven't met before," says Monisha who describes her colourful experiences crisscrossing the country in 2010 in trains.

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