Monday, January 28, 2013

Little Magazines Cut A Sorry Figure In Kolkata Book Fair

“No, you’re making a mistake. Our magazine is not a business, it’s a commitment.”

50 plus Dipak Piplai is not alone who believes in this ideology. Most of the Little Magazines’ organizers who sit in the lonely gallery at Kolkata Book Fair believe passion is more important than mere business. Little magazines are principally meant for their commitment, sort of fresh air in the middle of daily clamor. 

Little Magazines gallery at Kolkata Book Fair 2013
Little Magazines are integral part of Bengali’s literature culture, at least back in 70s and 80s; these were poor men pedestals that brought opportunities for many talented writers. In the later period some of the little magazines’ writers earned name and fame in the literature circle. Till now, in their own discreet and humble ways, little magazines try to pave way to nameless and fameless writers to exchange their views, spread their wings of imagination and give a platform to raise their voices. 

A Little Magazine stall
Little magazines like its name are literally little in many aspects. However, the efforts behind writing, publication and publicizing have never been petite. In fact, some of the writers present such beautiful presentation of their imaginations that it’s evident that literature for them is part matter, part spirit. The significance of little magazines can’t be measured by the size of their readership, but from the fact that those “little literature” epitomizes a voice that protest against commercialization of literature between two cover pages.

History of Little Magazines in India

Empty Little Magazines stall at Kolkata Book Fair
The history of little magazine also called “small magazines” started in transcendentalist publication of the ‘The Dial’ (1840-44) edited by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller. In India the movement started full-heartedly in Marathi literature in the period 1955-1975. The era was dominated by the little magazine movement where writers Dilip Chitre, Arun Kolatkar published cyclostyled Shabda. In the early 1960s the movement took the revolutionary writers by storm, ushering in modernish and the Dalit movement. Some of the famous Marathi magazines of that era were Aso, Vacha, Lru, Bharud and Rucha.

Mumbai being the financial capital of India witnessed an overwhelming force against liberalization, privatization and globalization in 1990s. The technology had affected deeply the embryonic Indian digital age group. The dramatic changes had forced idealistic writers to raise their voice against blind technological boom that affected greatly Indian society and culture. Abhidhantar, Shabdavedk, Suashtav, Aivaji, Khel, Anaghrat and Navakshar Darshan surfaced in this period. Poets like Manya Joshi, Mangesh Naryanrao Kale, Hemant Divate, Sanjeev Khandekar, Saleel Wagh and Sachin Ketkar burst upon the scene with sensible writings unlike the revolutionary 60s writers.  

Kolkata Little Magazines Movement

Kolkata Book Fair 2013
Kolkata has played a pivotal role in uplifting little magazines movement. It started with Sabuj Patra and Kallol established in 1914 and 1923 respectively. The tradition of modernist movement writings continued in Bengali literature. With the arrival of Krittibash, Hungry Generation and periodicals like Kourab, Kolkata had witnessed a boom in little magazines realm. 

Some Contemporary Little Magazines in India

•    Aahir – The magazine based on contemporary poetry and socioeconomic , Kolkata
•    Abhidhanantar-Marathi little Magazine
•    Abhiyakti - Hindi literary magazine Online.
•    Aanubhuti - Monthly Hindi poetry and literary magazine
•    Aikya-Quarterly Bengali Literary and Cultural Magazine
•    Crimson Feet Magazine - Bimonthly journal for writers and poets from the Indian sub-continent
•    Graffiti - A Bengali little magazine that repeatedly promoted hungrialist movement.
•    Guruchandali - Bengali e-zine
•    Kahani - A South Asian literary magazine for children.
•    Yugantar Punjab - online Punjabi literary magazine.
•    Punjabielm - Quarterly Punjabi literary magazine
•    Kledaja Kusum - an exceptional poetry magazine of West Bengal

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