Anant Vijay is a senior journalist, columnist and author with more than two decades of journalistic experience in print and electronic media. He has written nine books across various genres. He is the author of the bestselling book, Bollywood Selfie. He is the only writer who regularly reviews English books in Hindi for various newspapers and magazines. He has written a weekly column in Dainik Jagran on culture and literature for the last six years and is a frequent contributor to national dailies on politics. His latest book is on the 2014 Parliamentary Elections titled Loktantra Ki Kausauti and is currently working on his new book, Marxwad ka Ardhsatya. Presntly he is working with leading Hindi Daily Dainik Jagran as Associate Editor.

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You are a regular reviewer of books . Does knowing the author personally affect your review ?

I am glad you asked this question . as a matter of principle , I make it a point to never to review any of my friends’ work. Whether we like it or not, the fact is that when you know a person too well, it affects your judgement, and a reviwer must be free of bias. Else, it becomes a Public Relations exercise .

What do you like to read for inspiration?

I have no favourite author, in particular, yet, I am interested in reading autobiographies. Books based on real-life incidents absorb me and to read a memoir of someone’s life experiences is immensely encouraging.

What do you think is the biggest strength of contemporary journalists?

I believe that their biggest strength, perhaps, is their quality of being tech-savvy. The fact that they are utterly familiar with technology makes it a cakewalk for them to handle it. Nevertheless, their habit of evading responsibility to undertake in-depth research is their biggest weakness. Sometimes, when their ‘brand’ is strong, they tend to believe that what they say is the last word on the subject. However, they fail to understand that learning is a life-long process, and some things cannot be glossed over, when you are the pinnacle of your success

What is that one quality which you think a journalist must have?

I once heard somebody saying that journalists are uneducated people. My answer to that is that a journalist is the jack of all trades with a little knowledge of every profession, every current affair and every aspect of life. I do not expect a journalist to have deep knowledge of every profession: he must, however, have an open mind, take into account all the different points of view , and share the information with the readers.

What are you expecting from the upcoming Art and Literature Festival, 'Valley Of Words'?

I am expecting the Literature festival to have a reasonable amount of emphasis on regional languages as well. I feel that these festivals should be perceived as a platform for providing space to the mother tongue and regional languages. I have witnessed people well – known in the field of Hindi and regional languages being invited only for the sake of it, with much of the attention given to English. I, thereby, am looking forward to this festival to help break the walls of language, and encourage lively discourses in Hindi.

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