By Hareesh K G
Recently we had book festivals in Bengaluru and Mangaluru. We all know that a book is the good friend of mankind. Is the youth generation in Kodagu reading enough books? The answer is a big no.
After electronic gadgets made inroads into our lives, we are all turning our back to books and libraries. In this competitive world, modern day parents are treating modern day children and students as machines of scoring marks. We have confined them only to text books. It is very surprising to observe that many teenagers don’t even know about literary giants. To me it’s very astonishing that majority of youngsters in Kodagu don’t know about the history of our district.
Few years ago, book exhibitions were conducted in our district. Today even when district and taluk literary festivals are held books sellers are not keen to set up stalls. They don’t get buyers in those events. In our district, we don’t have good book shops. For buying books we have to go to Bangalore or Mysuru. Book sellers’ rue that if they arrange book exhibitions in Kodagu people aren’t interested in visiting the stalls to make a purchase.
As mentioned earlier the entry of gadgets is the main reason, and moreover whatever information is needed we will get it in a click via Google. As a lecturer my experience is that if you give any assignment topics to students, they refer only the text books. They don’t bother to touch reference books for additional information. There is a drastic dip in those who visit the public libraries today (as per my knowledge there is only one library in Kodagu inside Madikeri Fort). Even those who visit library just go through newspapers and they won’t bother to visit books section.
It is our responsibility to inculcate reading habit in our future generation. We as kids used to read publications like Balamangala, Champaka, Amar Chitra Katha and so on. Today we the elders have to switch off television and reduce the use of cell phones in front of our kids. If we can’t show interest in reading, how can we expect our children to inculcate the habit of reading? How many of us have subscribed to different magazines? Do we purchase weekly or monthly magazines? These are the simple questions we have to ask ourselves. I think that even in schools’ teachers should force the students to read books other than textbooks.
Whichever the language it maybe, we have to make our kids read, or try to read stories for them. In college level, monthly or fortnightly discussions or debates should be organised about a book. The problem is that modern day kids (even younger generation) doesn’t have patience. Whatever information is needed, they will get it on internet. Therefore, they feel that it is waste of time to go through the books. That attitude has to be changed. Basically, reading books is not merely for information, it’s more about pleasure of reading. In the long run it helps to control our anxiety and other shortcomings.
I request the younger generation to inculcate the habit of reading, and to elders to somehow make our future generation to read books. Otherwise in this competitive and ‘pressure cooker’ world, our younger generation will suffer from anxiety, psychological short comings, depression and other problems. All these are indirectly a threat to our social life.
(Hareesh K G is an Assistant Professor at First Grade College, Murnad, Kodagu.)