Srinagar 13 February (KNB): Youngsters of Kashmir are coming out with books which is an unusual trend seen in recent times but the question arises whether these teenage writers are following the basics like reading and other parameters which sets the stage for them.
In past few years, several books have been published by local companies of Kashmir, which were written by youngsters falling in the age group of 10-18. Their efforts were appreciated, be it on social media or book launch events. The trend does induce the notion of reading and writing but at the same time, several experts do not see launching books at a very young age in line with the standards of literature.
Talking to Kashmir News Bureau, General Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir Fiction Writers Guild, Saleem Saliq said children opting to write books have its pros and cons.
“To some extent, the benefit of writing a book at a very young age is that one’s name gets in the limelight. Social media platforms play an important role in promoting their image as a writer as well. But most of the times when an expert goes through the content of these writings, the thought comes to the mind that the book wasn’t ready to get published yet,” Saliq said.
Putting forth his personal opinion, Saleem Saliq said that there was a time when experts of the field would gather around and share their experience with the youngsters who would be keenly listening, hence learning and afterwards speak about their write ups as well.
“Such gathering would provide an insight about the perceptual depth of young writers and further would be guided onto the right path which led them towards the literary world.” he said.
While recalling a conversation with a prominent writer Farooq Masoodi, Saleem said, “(between 15-17 years of age) Masoodi Sb during the 1970’s, had written a short story and went to the Editor of Cultural Academy (Kashmiri) Amin Kamil, who was a hard taskmaster.”
“Kamil went through the short story once, threw it away and told Masoodi to complete his studies, “You wouldn’t get any benefit through writing,” Saliq said.
“But that moment stuck Masoodi sb hard and eventually he came up with a short story that astonished Kamil,” he said, adding, comparing it with present scenario, books are coming out in ample quantity but the quality is rarely found.
Similarly, if you look at the young children who write books and poetry, there is a criterion that needs to be fulfilled, “Particular Rules” which need to be kept in mind, Saliq said.
He further said that the advantages as well as disadvantages, when it comes to the youngsters taking up the task of writing books would always remain there.
“Of course, there is an immense potential in the field of writing and poetry within the youth of Kashmir, but one thing which is quite apparent in their work is that they seem to be in a hurry,” he said, adding that these young writers fail to explore their full potential and most of the times don’t even meet their own expectations.
While speaking to a renowned Poet and Critic, Shafi Shauq said that writing is a healthy trend, but teachers/parents must encourage their students and children to first read various kinds of literature and then start writing or do both things simultaneously.
“However, from some time here, young writers—who without having reading skills & range— are being encouraged by their overambitious parents to jump into the publishing industries and their work ends up with a fantasy in it,” said Shauq.
He further said that self-publishing is not a good trend. “A person well-versed in reading classics and then becomes a writer is very rare in today’s times. Without reading classics, to write fiction, short stories, poetry is impossible,” Shauq added.
He suggested aspiring writers to read as much as possible and said that he too had started writing at a very young age.
Regarding the same, a prominent writer of the valley, Shahnaz Bashir said, “Most of them (young writers), I have observed don’t read well and their whole motive is fame.”
“But simultaneously we must encourage the trend (reading & writing) to instill an intellectual culture where reading and writing becomes a norm, a routine and a habit,” he emphasized.
It is important to mention that the youth of the valley is also lacking interest in writing and reading in regional languages such as Urdu and Kashmiri.
Generally, the reason stated is that people have chosen English because of its global reach, hence undermining the languages, which are closely related to our identity.
Similarly, There are literary societies across Jammu and Kashmir, which can provide youth a platform to enhance their write-ups/raw book materials. Perceptual depth can be attained through guidance from experienced writers and those with versatility in reading at these get-together occasions.
Pertinently, there is an important need to organize workshops, wherein the young writers can learn the technicalities and skills of writing. (KNB)