Interview: Acclaimed Writer-Journalist NIRENDRA DEV On His Books

By Bidisha Bagchi

Click on Play to listen to Nirendra Narayan Dev - WBRi On-Demand Audio Broadcast Service

[NIRENDRA NARAYAN DEV]Washington, DC, March 27, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Nirendra Narayan Dev is a well-known name in the world of political journalism in India. His books Ayodhya - Battle for Peace, The Talking Guns North East India, and Godhra - A Journey to Mayhem, have been critically acclaimed in observers and commentators on the political scenario of India. He is not only a writer, he is also associated with and a special correspondent of one of India’s and the World's most revered news dailies - The Statesman. Nirendra spared a few minutes to talk to Bidisha on WBRi about the political scene in India, about journalism, plagiarism and his current and future projects.

Books by Nirendra Dev are available online
In India:
Ayodhya : Battle For Peace »
The Talking Guns North East India »
Godhra A Journey To Mayhem »

The Talking Guns North East India »
Godhra A Journey To Mayhem »

Nirendra was born and brought up in the state of Nagaland in North East India and his career in journalism started from there, from 1991. He was always addicted to writing and considers it to be his passion. As we mentioned above, Nirendra has written three books, with his latest work Ayodhya: Battle for Peace partly drawing on his experience on the ground when he was physically present in Ayodhya during the court proceedings and announcement of the verdict.

Sharing his views on the current patterns in Indian journalism, Nirendra says Indian journalism has changed a lot. Earlier there was more emphasis on serious news items. Nowadays it’s more of concentrating on one particular popular item, mostly based around the metros and not reaching to the interiors of the country. Earlier, a journalist had the responsibility of covering one particular sector, now he is required to write different stories from unrelated fields, often resulting in absence of required diligence in gathering facts. Newspapers now are more wanting of advertisement and big money flowing in from different sources and that certainly affects the quality of the news.

About plagiarism, with respect to India, Nirendra indicates plagiarism is there and it is mainly because the media has opened up to everyone through the internet. Journalists are expected to cover a lot more stories nowadays in comparison to earlier years and it often happens that they are not fully aware of that topic. Quite naturally there is a tendency to take help from other sources and complete the  assignment in often limited and insufficient time.

Nirendra's book Godhra: A Journey to Mayhem (2004) is based on the post riot situation in Godhra. The Talking Guns -North East India (2008) covers all the seven North eastern states of India, and the subject of Ayodhya - Battle for Peace (2010) is, of course, the Ayodhya dispute, court verdict and impact on society.

In a recent article titled Expatriates from South Asia spread fanaticism in the region, Nirendra discusses how immigrants from South Asian nations settled in the west also play a major role with regard to curbing the growth of communalism in the region. The future of fundamentalism cannot be very good for the sectarian forces, either in India or even in Pakistan and Bangladesh.  It would bury its ugly head soon and the return of Sheikh Hasina and a liberal progressive government in the political scene of Bangladesh is an example towards that.

Nirendra's future work is likely to be a book on Indian women as portrayed by respected and renowned Bengali writer Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. Since the political scene in India is also brimming with news of corruption etc, there is likely to be a book on that as well.