New Delhi , Dec 14 : Noted journalist and author Amit Khanna feels that media and entertainment are the primordial human emotions, while sharing the gist of his book -- Words Sounds Images: A History of Media and Entertainment in India -- here on Friday.
"We have discovered that media and entertainment are primordial human emotions. When the people were hunters and gatherers, there were only two things to do. One was to hunt or gather food and the other was to kill the boredom," added Khanna.
The book launch was followed by a panel discussion consisting of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairperson Prasoon Joshi, ANI Editor Smita Prakash, India TV Editor-In-Chief Rajat Sharma, NDTV co-founder Prannoy Roy, and Star India chairman Uday Shankar.
Khanna said that everything we do in life is either because of fear or boredom. "90 per cent of the information in the book is either firsthand, from close friends, or distilled from several sources ... It is also mentioned in the book how language evolved. It evolved from imitating birds and other animal calls," he added.
"Edicts of Ashoka were actually means of mass communication. That was the only way he could establish his authority. The concept of 'farmaan' (decree) as well. How else would people living at far off places have known who was ruling and what was going on," he asked.
Famous lyricist Javed Akhtar and veteran actor Jaya Bachchan were among the guests who graced the occasion.
Sharing his views, Joshi said that in the book Khanna talks about 5,000 years of entertainment history. "When he talks about entertainment history, he is talking about 5,000 years of history. That is something only he could have thought of ... Amit is unparallel in this regard," said Joshi.
Smita Prakash said the book has something for everyone, especially for the students of media. "If you are interested in reading about films, you read about films. If you are interested in reading about digital, you read about that. And of course, for the students of media, it is an absolute master, the little that I browsed through the book," she said.
Praising Khanna, Prannoy Roy said "Both of us had parallel careers and he influenced me a lot in everything I did. We started in 1988 and 1989."
Uday Shankar, on the other hand, said that only Khanna could have painted the canvas this book captures.
"It is a stupendous achievement that you have written a book. It is not just the number of pages or the wisdom that has gone in the book. The canvas of the book is the most astounding thing about it. Something that seeks to capture the history of media from the days of human civilisation all the way to contemporary India is a sign of the ambition and a man himself," he said.
"Not everyone can even dare to paint a canvas as big as this. That is what defines Amit," he added.
Agreed Rajat Sharma "I have seen him as a writer, song composer, TV producer, and poem writer. I have seen him convey his messages at different forums. It is a surprise to me how one man can do so much. It is not easy to write a book about the media. It is a dynamic world."
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