Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Hindi Magazines: Reading Another India

            by Dr. Brian Mendonca 

A study of Hindi magazines in India suggests a system of ‘othering’ vis a vis their more countenanced English magazines. From occupying the last racks at the bottom of displays in bookshops, to being ignored by mainstream English readers, Hindi magazines --despite their wide variety, modest presence on the internet and being comparatively lower priced – have seemingly to struggle for their readership in a country which boasts Hindi as its rashtrabhasha/ National language. This irony merits an examination of Hindi magazines and their English counterparts (or vice versa) to see whether two Indias are being addressed. Hindi magazines occupy a niche market which deal with their own set of variables in terms of cost, colour, pricing, advertising revenue, content, editorial policy and even page layout. Even when two issues – one Hindi and one in English --are published the same week by the same media conglomerate, the linguistic nuances in translation connote different meanings for the Hindi reader and the English reader though the base text is the same. Assumptions about the semiotics and respective readerships lead us into ghettoes, mindsets, and stereotypes which we are called upon to rise above after 67 years of India’s Independence. We are one people -- why think in two different languages? The study examines Hindi and English editions of India Today, Femina and Cine Blitz.
UGC-sponsored National Seminar on  ‘Janasanchar Madhyam evam Hindi’ / Mass Media and Hindi, Carmel College, Nuvem , Goa,  18 March 2014.  Pix of Dr. Brian Mendonca presenting his paper at the seminar taken by Dr. (Sr.) Aradhana A.C.

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