Chennai writer-cum-publisher speaks about eroding reading habits

Technology advancement and social media – two reasons behind the eroding reading habits among the people – and it should be revived starting from the school level, said author, translator and publisher M Natarajan.

Speaking to News Today, he said, ‘Reading habits should be developed among children. Nowadays, schools are running like factory and are focusing on marks. Earlier, there used to be moral science and library classes in schools. But now, the majority of schools have done away with it’.

Natarajan who is running a publishing house called Sandhaya Publications at Ashok Nagar along with his wife Sandhya said, ‘To revive the book reading habits among children, welfare associations should start organising storytelling programmes and letter writing competitions frequently in government libraries in the neighbourhood.’

Natarajan, popularly known as Sandhya Natarajan in the literary circle is a native of Mayiladuthurai (Mayavaram). He began his writing since his college days. His first writing was Kanavu Siraikal Kavithaigal published by Neelam Mutram, a literary joint run by students and well-wishers.

A retired Customs Officer, Natarajan has translated and compiled over six books and has released a Tamil translation of Tao Te Ching by Lao Tz recently.

Natarajan is presently writing a book about the culture of his hometown Mayavaram. ‘Many Dravidian leaders were born in my native district such as K Anbazhagan, M Karunanidhi, V R Nedunchezhiyan and many more. I want to explore the culture and how it produced many intellectuals,’ Natrajan said.

A treasure
Regional classics are slowly disappearing from society and are taken over by the English language. ‘Students are not even ready to read Tamil books. Language subjects are taught only for the sake of obtaining pass marks in public examinations and schools are focusing on core subjects. Even, if students want to read classics they are discouraged by their own parents. Tamil literature is a treasure and we should safeguard the works by reviving the classics,’ Natarajan said.

For details, contact Natarajan at 94447 15315.


M Chitharth