Saturday, July 12, 2014

COPYRIGHT LAW IN INDIA

                 COPYRIGHT LAW IN INDIA

Indian English Writers started feeling the necessity of registration of the work when they constantly faced plagiarism, whether it was music industry, film production or literary work. It is a theft and rather a worse kind of theft. The pain and agony of original, creator are beyond words. The thieves are tactful, shameless and prepared for a long legal battle, being rich they can afford it. The poor creature has already lost half the battle when his work is stolen. He has to prove that he is the creator of his own masterpiece.
Every writer suffers from the trauma of apprehension that his work will be stolen. Which is also not unreasonable. Though theoretically the copyright is automatic as soon as the original work is created. But when you will fight a legal battle it would not be enough to say so. All over the world, there was concern over growing plagiarism so when Berne Convention, which started in 1886 was revised from time to time and is now applicable in 162 countries out of roughly 190 countries and protects literary and artistic rights of creators resident of any of these countries.
There are lots of legal complications when any controversy arises. Like in famous trial of "Three idiots" it was established that even if the economic rights are assigned away (and in this case, Bhagat assigned away his rights to any movie based on the book), the moral rights continue to vest in the author. Though it is different issue how much of the "Five point someone" was an original work, and what was the percentage of its resemblance with the work " Snapshots from Hell" by Peter Robinson. I personally think it was more than 3-5 %.
Government of India under Ministry of Human Resource Development has opened an office which registers all kinds of intellectual properties. So if you are a writer and have written a book, whether it is published or not you can get a certificate of registration of your book. Never send your manuscripts to a publisher without getting a copyright certificate. You can apply online for registration on the following website

It is users friendly website. Though I had to exercise some patience, but I was able to get the certificate for the manuscript of my novel based on Hindu Mythology "Apsara~Nina Bonita" 

eBooks are not considered as published work.
https://www.facebook.com/latatheapsara?ref_type=bookmark

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fooled by Translation



        
                      Fooled By Translation

 

Had India not remained slave to British for many centuries, our perception of English as a language would have been different. The words like Pre-Colonial  and Post-Colonial Literature would not have segmented our rich heritage of Sanskrit and Hindi Literature. One can dare say that amazing books have been written in Hindi and regional languages in India, which are at par, if not superior to books written in English. India has not come out of the spell cast by “Queen’s Language” which British thought was their monopoly.

However, USA also remained a colony but the English was already a native language of America, which is acknowledged as American English. While the Indian English is considered as crude copy of standard British English and has failed to develop an identity like American English.

The fact that despite critiques accused “Of man and mice” a masterpiece by John Steinbeck for vulgarity, racism and slang, the author was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature and American Literary Association classified the book as “Most challenged book of 21st Century”.

The Nobel Laureate of USA, Saul Bellow, Canadian born American author was brought up in Chicago and English was his native language. His books viz., The dangling man, Herzog, Seize the day, Revelstein are written in American English which has its own set of rules for  spelling, grammar, punctuation and style which are sometimes in contradiction to standard British English.

Most of the popular books that we read were not written in English originally. For example Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel García Márquez, Paulo Coelho wrote in Spanish, Fyodor Dostoyevsky , Anton Chekhov Leo Tolstoy, Nikolai Gogol, Maxim Gorky, Boris Pasternak, Vladimir Nabokov, in Russian,  Haruki Murakami Yasunari Kawabata in Japanese, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Victor Hugo  Gustave Flaubert, Simone de Beauvoir in French.

These are only a few examples of popular authors. Sometime you may come across a bad translation and then it would be difficult to complete that book. Jacques Derrida says

“What must be translated of that which is translatable can only be the untranslatable. ”

Original always lacks its translation. It depends upon the translator if it fills up the gap in the way a story was created and perception of the reader, or widens it. Samuel Beckett who was a bilingual author who wrote in English as well as French said that the translator’s failure is, thus, an ‘interesting failure’.

Most of Indian knows good English but they are afraid of speaking and writing something because they think that some would mock at them, who has nothing substantial to say but has little better knowledge of grammar or punctuation.

The proper outlet for the creativity of such persons is translation of rich Hindi and regional language literature into English, if they have nothing to say anything of their own.

English is the lingua Franca of the world. If what is said is understood as it should be, the purpose of the language is served.

It is high time we make our own Chicago manual (may be Mumbai Manual) . The Mumbai has more English speaking people than anywhere else in India, and that too without hesitation of getting a tag.

 

                                                           ~Vipin Behari Goyal

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Honesty is the best policy



                                    Honesty is the best policy

Like in all other walks of life, in literature also “Honesty is the best policy”. When it is written with honesty and read with equal or rather more honesty, it makes the book immortal. The more burden lies on the shoulder of the reader. If he reads the book that are based on false values, it means he appreciates and promotes Hippocratic literature. Ultimately he becomes responsible for dragging the society in the wrong direction. He does not want the people to understand the true meaning of life, and condemns any efforts made in that direction by the author as well as other readers. Why he would do so?

Upbringing of a person plays a very important role. What type of parents, school, friends and environment an individual is subjected to in early childhood, frames his personality. Society condemns a person with a negative approach, but it is society that has played an important role in making him so. “I am not OK, you are not OK” to “I am OK you are OK” an individual has to travel a long journey, identify his conditioning and work on it to make his mind pure and unconditional.

We may think that it is the best option for anybody and he would readily accept once it is pointed out to him. But unfortunately it is not so. Such people have another problem of inflated ego. They are not ready to accept that their projection to outward situations of life is imbalanced and they need to work on it, on the contrary they become furious and react aggressively to defend their self projected image in their subconscious mind, that they are perfectly normal.

If you come across such person by misfortune, who are commonly called pain, you know where, believe me you are at the end of a blind alley. This is the high time to rest on laurels on behavioral therapy and subjugate yourself and the subject in the hands of supernatural powers. Some miracle may happen and the strong bond of stimuli and response in the mind of the subject would break, and he would be able to see the spark of Holy light that dwells in the pure unconditioned mind.

Honesty is a tool to explore the different realm of your psyche and thus takes you to the core of your existence.
                                                              ~Vipin Behari Goyal ©
 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Fiction and Philosophy


Fiction and Philosophy

Fiction without Philosophy is not literature. It is only a story which may not even have any moral. You don’t learn anything but you feel entertained. It could be a good time pass or a way to kill the time. Lying on a beach, travelling in a train or bus, we see lots of people doing it. Though instead they should prefer to how the breeze is playing with the waves of the sea, people surfing, vendors selling and clouds are drifting. Instead they read a story which a thriller, suspense, romantic or 50 shades, which takes your mind to ugly imagination and you overlook the beautiful realities spread before your eyes. I would prefer to lie still, close my eyes and listen to the fine music of nature. It may happen that my inward journey takes me to some deeper realm of my existence and I may find a magical pearl that may unfold some mystery of life.

Love stories have always remained a part of literature as love has remained an integral part of life. There are no two love stories that are similar as there are no two human beings who are exactly same. Everyone has a different perception and conditioning of mind to reflect differently from others. That makes every love story unique, so if a writer can identify that uniqueness and narrate as to what makes it unique, he could write a meaningful love story.

Love is an emotion just like many other emotions that we culture. I find hate is a more powerful emotion than love. Though both of these emotions make a person irrational, and finally a philosopher.

 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pulp fiction Versus Kerosene literature


Pulp fiction Versus Kerosene literature

 The pulp fiction was a term used in America in the early years of the twentieth century for cheap magazines and books sold on book stands. The covers were glamorous but the cheap pulp paper was used for printing the story and articles. The stories were action packed and romance was at its zenith in such books. Such books were popular with young adults. Some writers of pulp fiction later became celebrities and wrote popular fiction in literary style. After world war two the paper became very costly and such books slowly disappeared from the market. Later with the advent of Television the market of such books became obsolete and it became a talk of a bygone era.

Almost the same type of books and magazines were popular in India also during the same time till in sixties Hind Pocket Books came out with one rupee books. The pulp fiction was called “Ghasleti Sahitya” in India, which meant Kerosene Literature. It was called so, because in the opinion of bourgeois it was stinky as kerosene , and it could even stink the mind of readers. Such books were sold wrapped up in yellow foil so that curious bystanders do not pick up and turn the pages. Anonymous became the synonym of Mastram. Many bestselling authors of Hindi emerged from a community of readers and writers of these books.

During all these years great literature was written all over the world, especially in Europe,  e.g. F. Scott Fitzgerald, E. M. Forster, Ernest Hemingway, Aldous Huxley, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, W. Somerset Maugham, Albert Camus, Joseph Conrad,  D .H. Lawrence, C.S. Lewis, George Orwell, Sinclair Lewis, Arthur Conan Doyle, James Joyce, Andre Gide, Rudyard Kipling,  Hermann Hesse, Ayn Rand, Jean Paul Sartre etc. wrote wonderful books which are categorized as “Classic Literature”.

On the other hand in Hindi, the famous authors who created parallel classical literature during the same period were Bhishma Sahni, Dushyant Kumar, Devkinandan Khatri, Dharamvir Bharti, Hajari Prasad Dwivedi, Jainendra Kumar, Kamleshwar, Kedarnath Agarwal, Krishna Sobati, Mannu Bhandari, Mohan Rakesh, Nagarjun, Suryakant Tripathi Nirala, Phanishwar Nath Renu, Padma Sachdeva, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Sachchidananda Vatsyayan, Vishnu Prabhakar, Yashpal etc. .

It looks like best literature in Hindi and English was written during the first half of the twentieth century when pulp fiction and kerosene literature was also equally or rather more popular if we decide the popularity by sale. Thousands of copies of cheap (in price) detective novels by Ved Prakash Sharma, Surendra Mohan Pathak and Keshav Pandit were sold on the date of release. They were James Hadley Chase, Frederick Forsyth and Earl Stanley Gardner of India.

What attracted people to these books? There was no TV, Video games, Internet and other numerous means of entertainment.  Middle class, half educated youth was attracted by pulp fiction as bees are attracted by nectar. These books were sold in 25 Paisa which was called Chawanni or a quarter of a rupee. Later everything that was cheap or vulgar was called “chawanna”. That was the only source of entertainment where you can extract the full value of your money provided you can read. In those days the rate of literacy (which meant people who could read and write their name) was  hardly ten percent, so reading a book was a status symbol and folks were impressed by it. Especially because this type of fiction provided enough scope for imagination.

If for a moment we get rid off of our English mania, the Hindi literature created during the first half of the past century was much superior to or at least at par with literature created in Europe, and the USSR. USA at that time was more busy in the economic growth of the country.

This is high time we accept the work of all authors and honor the talent of creative writing ignoring what is being written, if it  is popular amongst the masses.


 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The future of English fiction writers in India (2)


The future of English fiction writers in India (2)

The interesting generalization about Indian English Authors who have become famous recently is their background. They have a higher technical degree and work in Banks/Financial Institutions. What makes them author? Except that they were born to be authors. They had a natural talent for the art of telling a story. Whatever novels have been written and published in the last one decade which one of them fall in the category of English Literature?

Encyclopedia Britannica defines “English literature, the body of written works produced in the English language by inhabitants of the British Isles”. Many famous authors of English Literature settled outside the British Isle like James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, Aldus Huxley, Christopher Isherwood, Robert Graves, and Graham Greene etc. The books written by Indian authors are classified as Indian English Literature or IEL. In India English has a status of second language. English as a second language (ESL) is the use or study of English by speakers with different native languages.

The countries like Great Britain, USA, Canada and Australia form an inner circle where English is the primary language. India and Singapore, are extended circle of English where it is the second language in a multilingual society. The third category is of countries like China and Japan, which form expanding circles where English is getting popular as a foreign language.

Unfortunately it is not the Hindi our mother tongue and national language, but English is the lingua Franca that connects the whole country. Much powerful literature has been written in regional languages which need to be translated in English. The business of publishing books seems to have more moral and ethical responsibilities, which again is a debatable issue. But one thing is sure that the future of Indian English fiction publishers is co-related to the future of Indian English writers.

The future would not be decided by The Great Authors like Vikram Seth or Arundhati Roy as they do not have mass appeal. Their novels were read by book lovers, who was already reading foreign authors. The English novels of Chetan Bhagat and Amish Tripathi etc. found a niche market.

A niche market is defined as “the subset of the market on which a specific product is focusing. So the market niche defines the specific product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that is intended to impact.”

Kudos to the authors and publishers!!!

Salute to the whistleblowers and torch bearers!!!

The niche market is hungry and few books that have come so far are only appetizers.

Give them healthy food, lest they fall for junk food.

                                                                               ~Vipin Behari Goyal
                                                       … To be continued F578YXJTTSNV

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Why Murakami did not get a Nobel?


Why Murakami did not get a Nobel?

When everyone waited expectantly that the Nobel prize for literature for 1912 would go to Murakami , the name of Mo Yan was announced. Not many had read him before. Some booklovers even never heard about him. People sought consolation in the fact, that at least some Asian has won the prize.

Despite the hype and nomination why Murakami missed it? The literary world debates like academician. Most of the books of Murakami are best sellers and after his epic IQ84 he was considered as a potential contender of The Prize. At least the name would remind people of a great work of George Orwell, since in Japanese language 9 is written as Q. The novel is interesting and two moons could be symbolic of many things. What it lacks is a nucleus. The Author is not an entertainer, he has a social responsibility. Where is the voice against social injustice and satires against totalitarian political system which 1984 had?

So far people know that Mo Yan wrote stories about his village, what he had seen and faced all his life. So it touches the core of the heart and makes you realize that human emotion all over the world are identical. Many would not like to argue whether Mo Yan’s work is hallucinatory realism or magical realism, for a common man all magic is hallucinatory.

Everyone believes that the decisions of committee have remained controversial since its inception in 1901. Chekhov and Tolstoy were deliberately overlooked just because they were Russian and “ideal direction” was misinterpreted to favor certain authors. But same is not true for Japan. Japan has already won the Nobel Prize in literature twice,   Yasunari Kawabata in 1968 and Kenzaburō Ōe in 1994.

If committee could ignore Kafka (“The Metamorphosis”, “The trial” and “The Castle”) himself, they could easily ignore the author of “Kafka at the shore”. Though his most popular work of Murakami is “Norwegian Wood”.

Let us listen to this famous Beatles song "Norwegian Wood":


The book reflects western influence on the author. He behaves differently in Japan and USA. He is not brand of Japan. An author carries the weight of cultural values and ethos of the community where he is rooted. If he is to go up, he has to go down.

The fusion of realistic and fantastic in the novels of Haruki Murakami is unparalleled but “The Wave” is not for that. The wave is of “Magical Realism” and “Red Sorghum” is about that.

                                                                                               ~Vipin Behari Goyal

Monday, July 1, 2013

Modern Masters of English Literature


          Modern masters of English Literature

“He dug so deeply into her sentiments that in search of interest he found love, ... once more in the youthful superstition that poverty was the servitude of love.”-- One Hundred Years of Solitude By Gabriel Garcia Marquez .

The secret of happiness is not doing what we like but in liking what we do.” ― J.M. Coetzee

There are many more. These are first two names that come to my mind.  They have written books that influence our life. The thoughts and desires stacked in sub-conscious mind pop up and some conclusions are drawn when prejudices are shredded.

The Magic Realism of Márquez is captivating. We live in the town of Mocondo when reading his book “One hundred years of solitude”, and become a friend of Florentino Ariza while reading “Love in the Time of Cholera”. The academic debate to categorize his work as Realism, Magical realism, surrealism or Magical surrealism could be endless. For a non-literature reader it is fantasy and he would call it as  Simply Fantabulous. It was his childhood dream to write about his town but to weave a story like that surpasses many realms of human existential consciousness.

In the end when Aureliano deciphers parchments Marquez writes

“It was the history of the family, written by Melquiades, down to the most trivial details, one hundred years ahead of time. He had written it in Sanskrit, which was his mother tongue.”

It shows the eastern inclination of author where it is believed that Valmiki wrote the great epic of Ramayana in Sanskrit before birth of Rama.

His books are criticized for promiscuity and incestuous relations of his characters. Death, violence and revolutions have always promoted promiscuity and incestuous relations in the society. Author simply narrates multi-faceted human behavior in an interesting way.

Similarly “Disgrace” by Coetzee tells how a  human emotion of attraction and its exhibition scares the society to condemn and thrust disgrace on a noble man.

In “Life and times of Michael K “ Coetzee enters into the mind of a simpleton who is deformed and acts dumb.

It is not strange to find such characters in every society, but it needs exceptional talent to identify them and find a philosophy in their behavior. That is how immortal books are written by Grand Masters.

When authors become a celebrity the society is cruel to them. They are also required to pay a price like any other celebrity in the field of Politics, Cinema and sports which are more or less skills. I think the public should be kind to painters, authors, scientist and sculptors who are differently molded and are creative . Both the modern masters have inspired authors to write in their own unique style  and explore one of your own from  infinite  dimensions of literary styles.

Are some Indian authors in the queue?

Friday, June 28, 2013

The future of English fiction writers in India


The English fiction writing has undergone many ups and downs in last few decades.

 Since, Nirad C. Chaudhuri (The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian), Mulk Raj Anand (The untouchable) and R.K.Narayan (The Guide), who wrote simple heart touching stories about the people around them, the flavor has been maintained by Jhumpa Lahiri (The Namesake)  and Sudha Murthy(wise and otherwise) till the current decade.

Some authors became famous for controversial writing as Khushwant Singh(A history of Sikhs) and Salman Rushdie(Satanic Verses) who wrote against religion or Shobha De to Arundhti Roy who said, did or wrote things to hurt the sentiments of people.

Vikram Seth(A Suitable Boy), Amitav Ghosh (The Glass Palace )wrote  literary English books that were highly acclaimed by Indian as well as foreign critiques.

The contribution of R.N.Tagore and V.S. Naipaul (both are Nobel laureate) is beyond my words.

These authors caused ripples in the literary world which was enjoyed by all those who love reading Indian English Authors.

Then the new wave emerged called Chetan Bhagat with his debut English novel “Five point someone”. It was a retold Indian version of Peter Robinson’s novel “Snapshots from hell”. Many surfers took the ride and a new wave was set in.

Love story is an eternal theme of literature since eleventh century when first novel was written. The youth of India had so far read few Mills and Boon was eager to explore the Indian counterparts of that series. The authors of this wave did not disappoint their readers and Indian book stalls were flooded with Boy-meets-Girl kind of romantic novels. It developed reading habits in youth that was lost in maze of cricket, cinema and career. The identity crisis of Indian youth and their dilemma to follow traditions and anxiety to be identical to their Western counterparts led them to read books in search of solutions. How far the Indian authors have been successful in suggesting remedies or at least, a better comprehension of the situation is anybody’s guess.

Literature is said to be the mirror of society. Indian youth is torn between old and new values but is not ready to revolt against age-old traditions. The medieval values of caste system, arranged marriage, dowry, child marriages, veil system, female feticide, divorce, inequality of men and women have become issues of yesterday, and youth is open to new wave of gender equality, choosing life partner and ready to share equal responsibility in raising children.

The basic values are deeply rooted in the psyche of Indian youth. Most of them respect and take care of elders and parents and are religious from the core of their heart. The medieval values emerged with Muslim invaders and strengthened with British Empire in India. Now after 65 years of Indian independence, when most of the population of India is born in free India a radical change is bound to come.

The Indian English authors should divert to serious writing suggesting pragmatic solutions of contemporary social issues, to sustain the hobby of reading in youth.

                                                                                                                                to be continued....

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Break Your Glass-Ceiling


                          BREAK YOUR GLASS CEILING

Reading books is like climbing the stairs of multi story building when lift is out of order and you live on the top floor. You have to break a glass ceiling at every floor to enhance your vision and joy of being closer to your destination.

I reviewed my reading habits. I found that after every certain spell of time I lost interest in one genre and shifted to another. When saturation of one genre came something happened which broke the glass ceiling and I could rise to another level of understanding.

Here are books or authors at each level:

1.Comics—

2.Enid Blyton- Famous five series

3.Alice in wonderland, Alibaba, Arabian Tales, Sindbad, Marco Polo, Panchtantra, Little Prince, Gulliver’s Travels etc.

                                       1.  GLASS-CEILING

4.Romance books and love story--Mills and Boon (Mostly Girls)

5.Sci-fi fiction, Horror for boys, though it could be vice versa or both.

                                         2. GLASS-CEILING

6. Matured romantic books—Gone with the wind, Thorn bird, Sidney Sheldon,

7. Suspense and crime thrillers—James Hadley Chase, Robert Ludlum, John Grisham, Mario Puzo

                                          3. GLASS-CEILING

8. Books based on facts- Ken Follett, Irving Wallace, Wilbur Smith, Arthur Halley, James Clavell

9. Banned books —Lady Chatterley’s lover, Lolita, Nancy Friday, Anonymous

                                     4. GLASS-CEILING

10.Fiction with philosophy—Ayn Rand, Paulo Coelho, David Brown, Khaled Hosseini, Murakami, Aldus Huxley, George, Orwell. Saul Bellow  

11. Autobiographies—Benjamin Franklin,  Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi,

                                        5. GLASS-CEILING

           
12.  Classical Books—Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare,   Jane Austin, Pearl Buck, Earnest Hemmingway, Somersaught Maugham, Bertrand Russel

13. Text books of Philosophy, Psychology, and History to understand literature.   

                                       6. GLASS-CEILING

14. Philosophical or Psychological Fiction—Robert M. Pirsig, Jostein Gaarder, Mark Haddon, J.M.Coetzee, Gabriel Garcia Marquezss,

15. Self-improvement Books-- Malcolm Gladwell, Robin Sharma, Rhonda Byrne

                                     7. GLASS-CEILING

16. Philosophical Fiction- Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Friedrich Nietzsche, Kafka, Hermann Hess,  

 17. Supernatural and spiritual literature- Harold Kushner, Dalai Lama, Swami Rama, Swami Yogananda, Richard Bach, Elizabeth Gilbert, Mitch Albom.

 
This list cannot be exhaustive. It is just to give you an idea how things change with the passage of time. If they have not changed for you since long then you are stuck at a glass ceiling and this is high time for you to pick up your next genre.