regular-article-logo Sunday, 10 December 2023

Letters to the Editor: Ghostwriters deserve the real credit behind popular works by many authors

Readers write in from Calcutta, Ujjain, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Goa, Nadia and Bengaluru

The Editorial Board Published 02.10.23, 05:55 AM
The real question is this: if a ghostwriter is good enough to write a book that sells, why can his or her name not be put on the cover? What does this say about readers?

The real question is this: if a ghostwriter is good enough to write a book that sells, why can his or her name not be put on the cover? What does this say about readers? Sourced by the Telegraph

A name that sells

Sir — Millie Bobby Brown, widely known for her roles in Stranger Things and Enola Holmes, is a good actress. Her greatest acting role yet might be playing the author of Nineteen Steps, her bestselling novel. I call it acting because she has not written the novel at all. It is open knowledge that the novel has been ghostwritten. Brown is hardly the first ‘author’ to employ the services of a ghost writer — from James Patterson to Prince Harry, ghostwriters deserve the real credit behind popular works by plenty of authors. The real question is this: if a ghostwriter is good enough to write a book that sells, why can his or her name not be put on the cover? What does this say about readers?


Suchetana Lahiri, Calcutta

Still burning

Sir — Manipur has been burning for almost five months (“India Shining ghost in Manipur”, Sept 30). Be it the assault on two Kuki-Zo women or the murder of two Meitei students, the government’s inaction is having a negative impact on its image. The exalted image of the government painted by the media is aimed at creating a smokescreen ahead of the 2024 general elections. It is necessary for us to understand the plight of Manipuris and demand action from the government.

Aayman Anwar Ali, Calcutta

Sir — The famed ‘double-engine sarkaar’ has failed miserably in bringing peace to Manipur. What is stopping the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state and at the Centre from working together to ensure that the warring factions in Manipur come to an amicable resolution? The situation will only keep worsening with time. Unless the wounds are healed now, the rifts between the communities will solidify as they have in Jammu and Kashmir.

Santosh Anjana, Ujjain

Sir — Multiple protests have rocked Imphal over the murder of two students who had been missing since July 6 in Manipur. At least 50 students were injured in a standoff with security forces. Why did the police fire tear gas shells at the students? They were simply demanding justice. The right to protest peacefully is a fundamental one and has been an integral part of India’s history.

Abdur Rahman, Mumbai

Sir — The northeastern states are nothing more than electoral trophies
for the BJP. Its core constituency is the Hindi heartland. This is the core that moves the BJP and where it takes swift action on matters.

R. Narayanan, Navi Mumbai

Sir — One cannot really understand how the head of the country can carelessly allow a state to keep burning for almost five months. Perhaps the president should step in and remind the prime minister and the government of their duty.

S. Kamat, Alto Santa Cruz, Goa

Price of politics

Sir — It is clear that as long as the Trinamul Congress leader, Abhishek Banerjee, continues his charge against the Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre, the terror of the Enforcement Directorate will continue to be unleashed against him (“Summons spanner in TMC protest plan”, Sept 29). However, it will also be wrong to underestimate Banerjee who has both courage and conviction to achieve his goal.

Arun Gupta, Calcutta

Sir — Abhishek Banerjee has thrown down the gaun­tlet to the ED, which wants to question him in connection with an alleged scam, by saying that on October 3, the day the ED has summoned him, he will be a part of the big protest planned by his party in Delhi “for West Bengal’s rightful dues” (“Delhi Chalo challenge”, Sept 30). If the ED fails to ensure Banerjee’s appearance, its credibility will be further dented.

S.S. Paul, Nadia

Risky bite

Sir — In spite of a prohibition by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, vendors across the country still use newspapers for storing, wrapping and serving food items. Small eateries and roadside hawkers selling chaats, snacks and so on can be seen freely offering their wares on old newspapers. The FSSAI recently warned against this practice once again by drawing the public’s attention to the fact that the ink used in printing newspapers contains harmful chemicals that can easily mix with the food, posing serious and life-threatening health risks.

Given the general lack of awareness among people about such advisories, media organisations should include sufficient warning in their publications on a regular basis to inform people of the dangers of this practice.

Kamal Laddha, Bengaluru

Call for humour

Sir — Chandrima S. Bhattacharya’s humour is appreciated at a time when aggressive political rhetoric dominates the public discourse (“Tongue in check”, Sept 29). I, too, receive unsolicited calls about loans and simply answer in Kannada, my mother tongue, to flummox the callers. At other times, I claim that I have unpaid loans and help would be appreciated. The calls are instantly disconnected.

H.N. Ramakrishna, Bengaluru

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