“McDonaldification of the world is happening,” says Anant Neelakandan
In a session held at the Kerala Literature Festival 2023, Preeti Vyas, CEO of Amar Chitra Katha Pvt. Ltd., started with the question of why children should be reading mythology. The interest mainly comes from the grandparents. “They used to narrate stories to the kids; it all started from the joint family system,” said Anant Neelakandan. He shared the importance of knowing and remembering the culture. “Great stories have routes in their country’s mythology,” he added.The talk was on history and mythology in Indian Children’s Literature.
The speakers shared their worries about the decreasing popularity of children’s books. They both criticise the low value placed on children’s books.Their concern was that parents were ready to spend more money on McDonald’s than a book. Also, the industry is not ready to invest more in children’s books. Neelakandan pointed out that children’s books are the least paid in the industry. He has to say that children need a Bahubali moment in the world of books. The west creates more stories inspired by our country, but we Indians are not doing anything to improve the field.
Currently, the market is scattered, and that has to change. He suggested that the corporatization of the book industry has to happen to tackle the current problems. An integrated company will be a solution. Preeti Vyas shared her concern about pirated content spreading in the market.