Friday, June 06, 2008


An editor acquaintance told us about a librarian from a prominent Delhi school who declared that he would "Never buy a children's book for the library, unless it had a moral." This statement was met with incredulous laughter, with dismay at the future of childrens' book publishing in India - "if such bumbling moral police continued to be responsible for acquiring collections."

I wondered later about whether searching for morals was really so bad. If by 'moral of a tale' one means an undercurrent of ageless insight and truth - then I must be looking for tales with morals too. Just like the librarian who must surely have had his loquacious, uncool head bitten off that afternoon. Maybe all the guy was trying to do was sift out the slickly packaged garbage.


Anonymous said...

how do you recognise a truth/insight?

Anonymous said...

can we assume your writing will adhere to your own beliefs?

amruta patil said...

i hope *i* manage to adhere... other extensions - written or not - will follow.

Sridhar said...

Welllll... the PC police usually mean that if I come to something by my own impressive self, it is truth, and if it is told to me by some (always inferior) social other, it is moralising.

These new-age savants equate children with adults in making fine ethical discriminations. I'm all for children being free and unfettered, but realise that my own moral compass owes much to the 'morals' in stories heard, books read, scoldings, and the powerful precept of example.

What I find unforgivable is those who live with bohemian disregard for ideology, decency, and truth, then deny children the simple guidance that they want (yes, children do want it). In a few decades of postmodern thought, we have learnt enough to abdicate the responsibilities of 3 million years of social parenting.

Anonymous said...

Google Alerts told me about an endorsement from an IIT boy ;)