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Editorial

PenThrill is thrilling news

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By EMN Updated: Nov 28, 2013 11:48 pm
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It is with a pleasant surprise that PenThrill Publication House has inked its entry into the print media. What makes it more relevant to us is that it is Nagaland-based, owned by a qualified Journalist and writer and poet. It has also stated its commitment to encourage unknown writers, poets, essayists et al with especial focus on local talents.
It must have all the best wishes of a growing tribe of young readers. Their experiences as the cross over generation from the Naga historical and political experience juxtaposed with exposure to modern education, media, technology, fashion, cuisine, opportunities of travel, faith and religion, music, cinema, politics, human rights, environmental challenges, unemployment, and on will make fascinating areas to explore for writers … some of whom we feel certain will find expression in the PenThrill Publication House.
It has been more than imminent that such an entity should strike roots with local resources in the state. Many authors notably British officials posted in the Naga Hills have written on some aspects or the other of the various Naga tribes and they are to be lauded for their efforts. Their efforts laid the foundation of the value of the principles of research of history with insight, observations of people, their culture, relationships, idiosyncrasies and characteristic traits of groups. Because of the quality
Of particular note is S.E. Peal who in his “Fading Histories” lamented the delay in the study of the Naga tribes, and the consequent loss of a way of life. He observed the remarkable rapidity with which Nagas were changing and indeed have already changed. He urged the “unearthing of some local history from these people before they fade away forever,” and the careful study of the Naga tribes before they are “reformed and hopelessly sophisticated.”
Such a concern was expressed over a hundred years ago. Can you beat that? And it is still relevant today. In brief, old beliefs and customs are dying, the old traditions are being forgotten, the number of Christians or quasi-Christians is steadily increasing, and the spirit of change is invading and pervading every aspect of village life.
There have been several books about the Naga way of life which had been overshadowed by the awakening of the desire and determination to assert their nationhood. Indian authors had written books on some aspect or the other, made a name on the basis of supposed experience but with no valid solid knowledge and have been regarded as authorities on the Nagas in general and their problem(s) and political goals.
The Western countries notably USA had much feedback on the potential terrorist activities but thought themselves immune or invulnerable because of geographical isolation and military power kicked by the power of the Dollar. It took the tragedy of 9/11 to wake it from its lethargy and concentrate fully on anti-terrorism. And many books then became bestsellers accordingly.
In India, when Penguin Books first opened shop, it concentrated mainly on books dealing with India during the days of the colonial British Raj. Such books sold well. A few years later, however, the Indian readership had enough of such literature. And then, Indian authors dealing with specific themes in contemporary India began to hit the bestseller list.
Another point to note is that there were hardly any books on the armed forces. Even Hindi films dealt with those in uniform on a convenient basis with no substance. It was only after the Kargil War of 1999 that suddenly the defence forces became popular. Thus from 2000 onwards every fourth or fifth film had something or the other to do with the forces and in a patriotic theme.
In Nagaland several acclaimed books have already been published.
The literary vista vis-à-vis Nagaland is nascent and therefore the canvas wide. PenThrill in that light is a pioneering effort which joins the band of publishing houses in the state.

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By EMN Updated: Nov 28, 2013 11:48:06 pm