As Vikatan enters it’s 81st year in publishing, its clear that Vikatan has managed to keep up with the interests of Tamil people. What started as a monthly magazine in 1926 turned into a fortnightly and then finally landed up as a weekly magazine from November 1933.
Guess how Vikatan Thatha celebrated his 81st birthday ? Pushed the celebration charges to his readers. Yep. What a dark comedy it is grab an extra 5 bucks from the readers to celebrate his birthday. Not many time such things has happened with vikatan. Vikatan which costs about 10 bucks an issue, costs 15 Rs for this week. During the last week’s issue, there was a letter from the editor which said the readers have to support the price hike for just this issue. The letter also read that its readers should consider the price hike as a birthday gift for Vikatan. Where in the world does the birthday boy get to decide how much his guests should pay for a gift. One has to agree there are many special columns for the extra buck charged. Still, even an avid reader would feel that this is a crude way to accommodate the special issue.
Vikatan was subscribed in my family. Right from my thatha days, it’s been a member of my family for a long time. There used to be a fight on Wednesday mornings to grab the fresh copy of Vikatan and read it. That’s the same thing at least 2-3 generations of people would say. Isn’t that enough to apprise the impact of Vikatan on Tamil people’s life. Though I have to admit their ultra special Diwali Malar 2005 didn’t stand up to it’s culture. With a few columns and couple of travelogues which made value, nothing much glittered in that special issue. But I wouldn’t admit Vikatan would go invalid in the next 10-15 years. It has been open enough to the changing tastes and has kept abreast of the growth. It has been the pulse of Tamil nation and has managed to deliver something for all ages.
I subscribe to the internet edition of Vikatan and I have to say that I’m impressed. Especially if you are a desi, its just $ 11 for a year’s subscription. And that gives the option to read Ananda Vikatan, Junior Vikatan, Aval Vikatan, Shakthi Vikatan, Sutti Viktan and Vikatan Cinema. A kill for the buck. If you aren’t a subscriber and you crib that you aren’t in touch with the happenings at Tamil Nadu, subscribe to Vikatan, I say.
P.S Don’t miss to check-out the mock on Rajini’s Sivaji by the acclaimed artists like Ma.Se, Shyam and Haran.
15 responses to “Vikatan 81”
Good post. Thanks for mentioning about the online edition. Did not know about till now.
Yes, Vikatan was very popular in my family too.
Happy b’day to vikatan thatha.
Who can forget the days, when “thatha” was imprisoned…
The week I took my secondary school exam, that particular edition had a cartoon of “thatha” wishing the students good luck.
Lots of good memories.
I feel Vikatan starts losing its class over the last few years. Not enough short stories, these days. Without Sujatha’s Katrathum Petrathum, recent issues looks very Kumudhamish, giving more importance to stars. Only for desanthri & Hai Madhan, i buy vikatan.
Vikatan-81 was very ordinary. The only thing apart from the quality of the paper that attracts me, was Sonia Agarwal in swimsuit 😉
Vikatan was all of that to many Tamilian families. But over the past few years, they have morphed into Kumudam with the name of Vikatan. It has helped them in collections, that’s what matters. Kumudam has been beaten in their own game.
We stopped buying Vikatan about three years ago. There was nothing in it. I read Vikatan now and then at some friend’s place and am assured that my decision to stop the subscription was a correct one.
Its trully a worldwide phenomenon. My family subscribes to both Vijatan and Kumudham. I have to say both have their plus points, but in general the service to the Tamil language and culture is irreplaceble.
Its normal for a bumper issue to be overcharged, it happens here too. Remember that Readers Digest used to cost a buck…and now? In malaysia we even have anti-dumping charges…
I have to say, if only they reduce the masala contents, the over-masala contents. But the images are less racy now…i still remember the cartoons they drew last time.
In all, both the net edition and paperback’s contribute immensely to everyone. We should be proud to have such publications available worldwide. And yes, the 2005 Deepavali malar was not much of a read.
I heard, some of the readers get dissapointed about the special issue. I didn’t read the special issue though.
As SK Ramchandran said..not enough shortstories in Vikatan these days….it is mostly cinema related stuff these days…And i predict that it would get worse…
Mags like Vikatan & Kalki should encourage short stories, poems and stuff….I believe that one reason why there are not many writers now in the league of Jayakanthan, Indumathi, SivaShankari, Balakumaran,Jayamohan,Nila Padmanabhan,Sujatha is that the same mags which encouraged and gave scope for the development of these writers have either disapperaed or now seem to prefer the life history of guys like Cheran and Bala. As filmakers I like Cheran a lot and to a lesser extent Bala…but do they become the main feed for a magazine….I don’t think that is a good development.
81 years is certainly an acheivement for Vikatan group, but one does feel sad that the magazine which once had Kalki in its group has to become almost a cinema malar to survive.
The way Vikatan has become a complete crap, especially after Srinivasan, the son, took over…I am going to ask for nationalisation of Vikatan and The Hindu.
These two media houses no longer deserve to be in the hands of a few families.
Remember,none of these two self-righteous, progressive people wrote anything about the attempts to nationalise SCV.
Here’s my thought and a few others’ thought.
pls read the post by Keerthivasan. It exactly reflects my thoughts abt AV these days. As an ardent supporter of AV, i am sure, you’ll write a post defending it 😉
I agree with every inch of your comment
Very informative post.
But I have to give my 2 paisa here: I always felt that Ananda Vikatan catered to Tamil Brahmins pretty much. Over the past couple of decades, they tried to move with the times; but the intrinsic nature can never be changed, I guess.
the current issue contains 288 pages whereas a normal issue will be less than 200 pages. Hence the price of Rs. 15 is justified given the price of the newsprint. Those who feel value (not necessarily quality of content) will definitely buy it. It is common for special issues to be priced at a premium and mags like India Today, Outlook etc follow similar pricing structure for year end editions and other special issues.
As soon as I saw the 260+ page vikatan in shop, I picked it with an enthusiasm and hand over a 10 Rs note the shop keeper. Only I noticed the amount When he asked another 5 Rs. I am a regular reader of AV but to be frank I felt
hesitation while I gave that 5 Rs. I am a regular reader, so I buy even it is Rs 20 but,
they should not utilise it.
I strongly defend S.K.Ramachandran’s view, still AV satisfies all age and all categorey of people. You cannot compare AV with Kumudam.I would like to point out few colums in last 2 to 3 months issues which keeps it new.
Vimarsanam- Still people gives respect to the
marks given by AV
Aanmegam-Athanikum aasaipatdu, Krishna vijayam,
now new column by Jiki Vasudev
Kathai- one page stories,short stories
Thodarkathai- Karuvachi Kaviyam
Kavithai- Kanda naal muthal,
Cartoon- Madhan, Haran
Comedy- Jaali Vilas,Jokes,
Talaiangam- Always a highlighted one
Others- Karthadum Petrathum,Kalai Payanam,Katha
Ooruku Nallathu Solven,Kelvi Bathil….
New- Newly few topics have been started from
the current issues related to health, IT
Don’t think that I have mentioned everything. These are all the things
which keeps them going and makes it different from others. When one column is ended they will start a new column immediately.
81st year special issue with a increased price of Rs 15. When did 81 become a magic number. What next 82nd year special at Rs 20 ? In recent years, quality of vikatan and it’s journalism has gone down considerably. Nowadays I dont waste my time reading vikatan.
yeppadiyo, andha sonia agarwal in swimsuit photos kku Rs.15 kodukka maatengalaa? Unga favourite vera. yevlo naalaikku dhaan azhu moonjiyaave sonia-va paapeenga?
IMO Viktan has lost its charm. There is more cinema and less substance. I recently found an article that was outright wrong also. I had written about this in my blog. You can read it at http://orucupcoffee.blogspot.com/2006/03/vikatan-quality.html