On a nippy January afternoon, a group of 60 Marathi bloggers had gathered at Pune’s PL Deshpande garden, which was designed to resemble Japan’s Korakuen Park — to discuss Marathi literature on blogs.
That day, amidst applause, they passed a resolution requesting the All India Marathi Literary meet, to be held in Pune between March 26 and 28, to recognise blogs as a medium of literature.
A month later, young Marathi bloggers scattered across the world can barely hide their enthusiasm as they look forward to a meet titled Bhujpatra te Webpage: Pravas Shabdancha (A journey of words from leaves to web pages), to be held on March 1.
“The idea behind the programme was to explore the journey of Marathi literature over the centuries through various forms,” said Dr Kiran Thakur, the coordinator for the event.
“To organise such an event on the platform of the Marathi literary meet was an attempt to achieve recognition for literature being generated on blogs.”
The 10-year-old Marathi blogosphere has thrown up blogs that have emerged as strong expressions of Marathi literature.
“A young generation writing on blogs is producing a kind of literature my generation cannot possibly produce,” said prominent Marathi author, Mukund Taksale.
There is a Marathi blog on almost every subject—from poetry to political discussions around the state of the Marathi language.
“It’s not that all blogs are of high quality. There is mediocrity everywhere,” said Taksale.
“But the overall picture is certainly very encouraging.”
Most bloggers are either from cities in Maharashtra or are living in other parts of the world.
For some authors, who now have become bloggers, writing on the web is the first preference because it gets them an instant response from readers.
“After penning down two novels, I now prefer to write only on my blog,” said blogger-author Sunil Doifode, a scientist with the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
“It draws almost 4,000 hits daily and reactions, which [to get] in print is not easy.”
Author Anil Awachat, who also writes a blog, said it was a “welcome sign” that youngsters from different fields were reading a lot and writing. “It’s just the beginning, and I am sure over the years these blogs will produce high quality literature.”