Hindi writer Vinod Kumar Shukla fights for rightful royalty, says Vani Prakashan paid him Rs 1.35 lakh in 25 years

NEW DELHI: Prominent Hindi writer and poet Vinod Kumar Shukla, whose poems, stories and novels have been part of the Hindi curriculum for years, on Wednesday accused his publishers of paying him a pittance for years .

A video of the 86-year-old Raipur-based writer, taken by a local channel, has gone viral on social media where Shukla is seen talking about the royalties he has received from Hindi publishing houses like Vani Prakashan and Rajkamal Prakashan for his most popular books including the novels “Naukar Ki Kameez” and “Deewar Mein Ek Khidki Rehti Thi”.

Shukla alleged that while Vani paid him only Rs 1.35 lakh for the past 25 years, Rajkamal pays him around Rs 14,000 a year for six pounds.

In a statement, Ashok Kumar Maheshwari, managing director of Rajkamal Prakashan, said the publication promised to sort out the issues in a meeting with Shukla.

Maheshwari, however, denied that there was any miscommunication with the writer on their part.

“Vinod Kumar Shukla ji is a respected Hindi writer. He has always trusted us and we have always respected him. There are no instances where we did not respond to his letters or calls. not to publish any of his books. We had a contract with him to publish his only collection of short stories ‘Mahavidyalay’ in June last year… It was published last week.

“Before this book, which was published under my tenure, we always sent a royalty advance to Vinod Kumar Shukla ji. It was the first time that he did not ask for a royalty advance for “Mahavidyalay “and we took it as his trust. This is the first time we hear about the issue of mistrust through social media,” read Rajkamal Prakashan’s Hindi statement.

There was no immediate response from Vani despite repeated calls and messages.

Writer and actor Manav Kaul, one of the many admirers of Shukla’s writings, had met the poet recently in Raipur while filming a documentary and was the first to bring up the issue.

Talk to
PTI on behalf of his father, Shukla’s son, Shashwat Gopal Shukla, said they only learned of the low royalties after the writer met Kaul. And after Kaul’s Instagram post, many of his students and young writers confirmed their suspicions.

“About a week ago, Manav Kaul ji had come to meet my dad in Raipur and spent some time here. During their conversation, he asked about royalties. The dad said that on average he was receiving about Rs 6,000 from Vani Prakashan for three of If you average the royalties received over the past 25 years, it comes to about Rs 5,500 per year Rajkamal on average paid Rs 14,000 per year for six pounds,” Shashwat said.
PTI by telephone.

“My father has been asking them for four or five years not to publish some of his books because there were errors in correction but there have been no answers. They even continue to release new editions.”

According to Shashwat, the contracts for “Naukar Ki Kameez”, which was also made into a film by the late Mani Kaul, and “Deewar Mein Ek Khidki Rehti Thi” were made at a time when there were no e-books or Kindles. .

He claimed that they learned that Vani published a Kindle edition of the novel and poetry book “Atirikt Nahi” without any royalty statement to the writer.

“We don’t use Kindle and e-books so we had no knowledge about it and we’ve just found out now. Young writers, students and my dad’s admirers have told us that even a new writer gets about Rs 3-4 lakh a year for two or three books and here my dad only gets Rs 5500. When my dad heard about this he said, “Main thaga gaya hoon” (I was cheated ).

“He feels like his trust has been shattered and that’s what he said in the video broadcast by a local station,” Shashwat added.

When asked if any of the editors had contacted his father after the controversy broke out, Shashwat said they had received no word from Vani, but Ashok Maheshwari had messaged him saying that he would meet the veteran writer in Raipur by the end of this month.

In his Instagram post, while highlighting the issue, Kaul had also posted photos with the writer.

“Last year, he only received Rs 6,000 for three books published by Vani Prakashan. And only Rs 8,000 for the whole year from Rajkamal Prakashan, almost the same amount. country only earns Rs He hasn’t received any response to his letters for months He wrote to Vani not to publish his book but nothing has been done about it,” the actor captioned ” The Fame Game”.

Rights to “Deewar Mein Ek Khidki Rehti Thi”, poetry book “Atirikt Nahi” and another collection of poems by Sahitya Akademi award winner Shukla belong to Vani, while Rajkamal publishes “Naukar ki Kameez” , “Sabkuchch Hona Bacha Rahega”, “Kabhi Ke Baad Abhi”, “Kavita Se Lambi Kavita”, and the children’s novel “Hari Ghaas ki Chhapar Wali Jhopadi aur Bauna Pahaad”, among others.

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