Kolkata, Jan 25 (IANS) Wary of controversies, celebrated author Ruskin Bond who recently joined micro-blogging platform Twitter says he will be “very careful” while tweeting.
“Yes, definitely. I shall be very careful,” Bond told IANS here. “I will tweet maybe only once a year,” he added in humour.
The 81-year-old author, who has written over 500 short stories, essays and novellas and more than 40 books for children, says he was busy writing and had not given much thought to social media all these years.
“I was busy (penning autobiography). Twitter takes up time. I have always given priority to writing books and stories. I have never really given much thought to Twitter but my publishers have been asking me to tweet,” Bond said on the sidelines of the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet.
With his tweet, “Hello, world. Delighted to be on Twitter”, Bond forayed into the world of social media on January 22. He has so far garnered 5,301 followers.
Conceding that he avoids controversies, the Mussoorie-based writer recalled he courted controversy once during the 1970s when he wrote an erotic story “The Sensualist” for a Mumbai-based magazine.
And a charge of obscenity was brought against him, said Bond.
“We didn’t have TV. The media was restricted in certain ways. Today, it would have got far more attention. Today, controversies do get far more attention. This is the age of controversies,” said “The Room on The Roof” author.
“The competition between media channels etc. is so great that we are looking for controversies. Otherwise I avoid controversies.”
The Sahitya Akademi winner has refused to join the ‘award wapsi’ campaign and return his award in protest against what other authors like Nayantara Sahgal have called “growing intolerance” in the country.
“Someone of them are taking their awards back again. They shouldn’t be given to them back again. When you have given it… it’s gone. You can’t have your cake and eat it too,” observed Bond.
However, he conceded that “real issues” on intolerance have always been there but three decades ago, there was no media coverage.
“Real issues are there… always have been. A lot of unpleasant things would have happened, did happen, but we didn’t hear about it. Because in pre-television days or even in the days of early television, you didn’t get this coverage. It wasn’t presented before the public.
“You wouldn’t know, the atrocities that had happened… took place in some town in UP or MP. It was a local issue and didn’t get into the headlines. So now, when a student commits suicide, its presented in all its horror before the public. People do get upset about it and very naturally so and it will continue to happen,” added the Padma Bhushan recipient.
(Sahana Ghosh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)