THE INFLUENCE OF BOOKS
Coming evening and a number of boys and girls of different ages are seen rushing to book kiosks- the make shift lending libraries. What to do they go for. They enjoy a feast of attractive titles- comics, collections of short stories, novels, big and small – weekly, fortnightly and monthly magazines. Boys and girls under ten go for the exciting comics- The spider man, Tarzan, The son of Tarzan, Mandrake the Magician, Arabian Nights and many others. The titles are available in almost all the languages of India. Have you any objection? Well one just cannot sit on judgment. But violence is the base of almost all these comics,’Dishum Dishum’ is a common phrase throughout the country. It started with Hindi films, but has become universal. It has been supported by a large number of serials on different T.V channels. The comics and vernacular magazines have given an extra glamour to the ‘dishum dishum’ culture. Such books train the young ones on the same lines. They try to acquire licensed and unlicensed weapons too. The young children too insist upon tanks, armored cars, pistols and guns in toys. That is how books have influenced the nature and character of young boys and girls.
Grown up boys and girls in their teens go for cheap novels on sex and violence. Love affairs and triangle love are common themes of these books. The influence of such books is rather evil. They are gradually eating up the Indian norms of morality. Permissiveness has already entered the society. It has led to the Institution of call girls in the urban elites. The boys and girls identify themselves with the heroes and heroines of this cheap fiction. Naturally they require more money for drinks and drugs. Boys become drug traffickers or mafias while girls – even highly educated girls become sophisticated prostitutes.
Good books, of course, have good influence on the younger and the older generations alike. The scriptures like Gita, the classics like Ramayana and Mahabharata, the biographies of great saints like Shankaracharya and Vallabhacharya, the collection of works by great thinkers and poets like Vivekananda, Ramanujam, Arvind and Tagore, the works of great thinkers of the golden ages- the Arthashastra of Chanakya, the Upanishads, Plato’s Republic and the works of the mystic poets ennoble the reader. He becomes a guide and sustains the society.
The life sketches and works of great humanitarians like Abraham Lincoln, Radha Krishnan, J.R.D. Tata, Dr. Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi, Subramania Bharati, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Nani Palkhiwala, C.Rajagopalachari, Bertrand Russell, Rousseau, the great revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh and Veer Savarker move the very soul of the young reader. His identification with these great writers stirs him to action. These books make the reader patriot or humanitarian. Let us wish the market flooded with such works and a change in the very taste of the younger generation.