Mysuru: Hundreds of Mysureans thronged the Mysuru Lit Fest on Sunday, the second and final day of the event, to listen to writer Shobhaa De, who had arrived in Mysuru after 20 years, for a discussion on “Shobha at 70, selective memory”.
During her conversation with Mr Mahesh Rao, Ms De said, “The world of journalism is a lot of slog. It is not glamorous and there is nothing romantic to be in journalism. I write four columns a week. Writing a column is a discipline which I have adhered to for the past 45 years. There is no short cut to it. Press freedom is a myth then (45 years ago) and now. There is no such thing as free press. It is compromised for some reason. Media is controlled and owned by corporates. We do not have people like Ramnath Goenka who protested for free press. It's a democracy and I will continue to say what I want. The idea of citizen journalism appeals to me as each one has an opinion and they should express it when they have access. I use colloquial language and dialects because I am deeply interested in languages. Why should we use the language of Jane Austen era which was already antiquated then. At 70, I wouldn't want to surrender myself to stereotypical lifestyle expected by women of my age,” she said.
On #MeToo movement, she said that it was a singularly strong movement in the last 100 years, but it failed to an extent as people didn't have enough moral courage to support it. She credited organic, cold-pressed coconut oil for her reversing age.
At a session, “From diplomacy to peace-building in South Asia through music’, former foreign secretary Nirupama Menon Rao said, “Diplomacy is an art of communication, connecting diverse populations and preventing wars by mediating conflicts. We need humanitarian, citizen-driven cultural diplomacy to bridge South Asia with the rest of the world to create harmony. That is exactly what our unique orchestra, South Asian Symphony Foundation, of over 60 musicians is trying to do.”