Guwahati, Friday, December 18, 2015
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IT no threat to printed books: Kula Saikia
R Dutta Choudhury

 GUWAHATI, Dec 17 - The Information Technology is not a threat to printed books, observed senior Assam Police officer and litterateur Kula Saikia, who is one of the Sahitya Akademi awardees for this year. He will receive the award for his collection of short-stories – Akashar Chhabi Aru Anyanya Galpa.

 Talking to The Assam Tribune, Saikia said that the IT revolution and printed books should go hand in hand, instead of going into a collision course. He said that the taste of printed books would always remain a different one and the popularity of books would always remain. He cited one recent survey, which pointed out that majority of the people still like printed books. He also pointed out that due to IT revolution, the people living abroad can also read Assamese books.

To increase popularity of the Assamese literature, Saikia stressed the need for translating books into English and other Indian languages.

He also said that holding of literary festivals can also help. In this regard, he said that he had visited the Goa Literary festival in the last two years and found that such festivals can go a long way in popularizing literature.

Replying to a question, Saikia said that according to his personal assessment, the number of readers of Assamese books has not reduced. He pointed out that substantial number of books is being published regularly and most of those are sold. This indicates that the number of readers in the state has not been reduced, he added. However, he admitted that because of limited number of readership of regional language books, it might be difficult for the writers to take writing as a profession.

Saikia said that getting the Sahitya Akademi award was a “matter of happiness” for him. “I have realized that at least some persons analyzed my stories. This will encourage new writers to go for fiction writing. Any kind of recognition inspires a fiction writer,” he added.

Saikia wrote his first story when he was in Class VI and his story Bagh was published in the children’s section in the Dainik Asam and his journey as a writer started with that story. So far, he has authored more than 150 short stories and one novel. His novel has also been translated into Hindi and that version was published by Penguin India. The book, for which he got the Sahitya Akademi Award, consists of 13 short stories and it was published by Chandra Prakash.

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