At a time when the English publishing industry is booming heavily in the country, writers in Indian languages claim that it is difficult for them to make a living through writing alone. But this has neither subdued their interest nor do they ever plan to quit writing, even if that means writing for a single reader.
The past two decades have seen a sustained growth in the consumption of literature, but most of it has been confined to English and Hindi. Poets and authors writing in other languages Marathi, Punjabi and Odia, for instance — find the reading circles within these languages rapidly shrinking. The result? The commercial value of their books has declined and opportunities to publish works in these languages have simultaneously reduced. Consider Maithili writer Chandan Kumar Jha, for instance.
Despite having been awarded the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar 2017 for his collection “Dharti Sau Akash Dhair”, there is little hope that he will ever consider poetry as a serious profession. Based in Kolkata, he works at a private life insurance company, and poetry the art that he has mastered is only a soothing balm in his leisure hours.