My Thoughts On The Sycophancy Exhibited By Writers In India
I am a writer and I also read voraciously. I review many of the books I read on my blog. On an average, I read around 5 to 6 books every month. In my reviews, I always make an effort to be honest. I am not saying that my reviews are pure as driven snow. This is mainly because it is impossible for the human mind to be objective all the time. In other words, no matter how hard one tries, it is not possible to provide a completely unbiased opinion of a book. In any field of endeavour, subjectivity does creep in and this is also the case when one tries to review a book. You can only give an opinion on a book. There is always a chance that this opinion is flawed because the subconscious mind injects a certain amount of prejudice into our thought processes which reflects on our judgement.
Recently I joined a book review program as a regular reviewer. As part of this program, I was requested to review a book which belonged to the science fiction genre. I took it up because I have loved Science fiction since the time I was in my 7th grade. I read around 15 to 20 pages of the book after which I recused myself from reviewing the book. I informed the parties concerned that I found certain parts of the book too sycophantic to digest and I could not get on with the book. I am not going to name the book or the author because I did not read the book fully.
One thing I have to admit is that I really loved the 15 or 20 pages of the book that I read. In fact, I was simply fascinated by the author’s elegant style of writing and the racy plot that was unfolding. But though the book was supposed to be fiction, I found that the author has clearly pointed to some people very subtly. In a few pages he refers to the ‘Fourteenth Prime Minister of India who was elected in 2014’ and tells us what a fantastic person he is. That is enough indication to realize who the author is referring to. I am not going to discuss the greatness of the fourteenth prime minister because that is not the subject of this post.
The author claims that his book is fictional but he is very cleverly pointing to someone. I find it objectionable that in a fictional book, the author points to people by using a clever play of words. I can understand that if author classifies a book as fiction then he does not have the liberty to name real people. But this author has not been true to the spirit of the rule that makes a book fictional. It is a pity that our country has been reduced to such a level of obsequiousness that authors of fiction, inject this sort of stuff into their books.
I would have liked to continue reading the book. As I said before, I found that the author was an extremely talented writer and I really enjoyed the 15 or 20 pages of the book that I read. But I got disgusted by the exhibition of sycophancy and returned the book and politely recused myself from reviewing it. There was yet another book I reviewed recently and in this case, the book belonged to the non-fiction genre. In this book, the author tells us how he lost his job because of demonetisation. But he still asserts that demonetisation was a correct step taken by the government.
I differ with his opinion but I also respect it. Everyone has a right to his/her opinion and if someone honestly believes demonetisation was a step in the right direction despite losing a lot of money, so be it. I agree to disagree. But it is irritating when authors categorise their books as fiction and at the same time subtly point to real people. The worst part is that in the 15 or 20 pages I read, every word was embellished with a honey drop of sycophancy.
And in every fictional work, there will be a disclaimer telling us that the characters are a figment of the author’s imagination and that any resemblance to real people is entirely coincidental. I do not remember if this book had that disclaimer, but since it is all about science fiction I am sure it was printed somewhere. This is new India, folks! Celebrate! Even authors have started exhibiting their sycophancy in works of fiction. I am speechless and wonder where we are headed.