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“OPEN” the New English Weekly from the Portal of RPG Group (A Multi Crore Indian Company). A Review.

Posted in Publications

Last updated on June 20, 2014

“OPEN” the new weekly magazine is launched in India on the first week of April 2009. It’s from the RPG group, a 14,000 crore industrial multinational company which includes companies like Ceat Tyres, Spencer’s etc. A Review and some suggestions.

“OPEN” Magazine yet another English weekly news magazine from India. It’s from the RPG group a 14,000 crore industrial multinational company which includes companies like Ceat Tyres, Spencer’s etc. launched in India on the first week of April 2009.

A weekly, entirely different in look as well as in its contents comparing with its counterparts in India. A weekly stands apart from all the other weeklies in the Indian market. The Editor Sandipan Deb said in its first issue’s editorial and I quote:*

“Welcome to Open. We hope you will find it a friendly word: inviting liberal, without biases, inclusive and eager to engage. A pause amid the breakneck pace of TV and new media, more of a saunter than a sprint. After all, we’ll trouble you only once a week.”

“So, what does open hope to be? We hope to be a weekly offering on your life and times. We hope to inform, engage, stimulate and entertain in an intelligent fashion. But isn’t this what almost all magazines set out to do? Yes, there may be nothing new in what we want to do, but we think we will be distinctive in how we do so, in these strange and complex times we live in. So let’s start with what we won’t do.

We won’t repeat the news you have already watched on TV, read in the papers and on the net, unless we can find a new approach to it. Or contribute significantly to your additional knowledge needs. We won’t know whether we have succeeded till we hear from you, but this is our promise to you: we value your time. And we don’t want to be an echo. Also, we don’t want to be a purely India centric magazine. You are a global citizen, and you are as interested in Barack Obama’s hair greying considerably in his first ten weeks in the White House as in the men and women who are the closest advisors of Rahul Gandhi. We are a magazine from India for the global minded Indian. We will be opinionated. You will often not agree with that opinion. Let us know. Let us talk.” *

The editor concludes with following lines:

“So many hopes we have, so many things we want to do through this magazine, so many ways we want to engage with you. And these are not just words for us, though we are fundamentally about words. Above all, above all, we will try our damnedest never ever to insult your intelligence. Call that more than a promise. Call that a covenant.”

Editors concluding lines are very touching and it definitely draw the attention of the readers.

As the editor said, we hope they will stick to their words. At a time we the Indian readers are fed up with the routine style of presenting the stories. Hope this magazine’s ‘People Page’ should not be restricted to the celebrities and for their juicy stories alone instead they share the feelings of the common readers too.

Thank God, they did not waste their pages for the so called “weekly astrology” column like many other Indian publications do. This is no doubt, a progressive step in this modern world.

When you flip thru the pages after the editorial page you find a section called “Small World” a seven page section allotted for the squeeze news from around the world. There you can read about ‘the unreasonable person of the week’ Confessions, Real India, and Business etc. And a page full of International news. The weekly also provides different sections for feature articles, politics, business, lifestyle, health, sports, literature, arts, culture and technology. And another important section called Mindspace; they emphasized this space as, “Literally, the icing on the cake, covers literary essays, stories on arts, culture, film reviews, and Gadget updates. Lastly a People page, a science page, and a headstart to challenge the readers with puzzles, riddles and mindgames. In short almost a complete magazine for the family.

Ah! The editor says, “And we will not be a magazine that mostly men find interesting Ever.” * Its an interesting note: to watch for in the coming issues, hope that this will be a publication for the whole family.

Here are some suggestions to the Editor and publishers of this fascinating weekly magazine.

Please share some space to the general readers to air their views on current issues or any other relevant hot and burning subjects which we are facing in India in a wider angle. (I mean, not the letters to the editor column, which is generally restricted to few lines only).
Also, if the weekly provide some space exclusively for children, youth and women, and accommodate one or two short stories or mini stories and a poem. Then this will be a complete family magazine.

Add a small write-up (in one or two lines) about the writers’ at the bottom of the article with their email ids, if possible with their photograph. So that readers can interact with the reporters and writers. Above all give an opportunity to the new writers to exhibit their talents by offering an attractive honorarium, this very few do in the Indian media.

A word about the content in the inaugural issue (April4-10): The Cover Story “Inside the Pakistani mind after 26/11 revealed so many chilling facts about the most dangerous place on earth ‘Pakistan’ and its people. It’s really shocking to know that 90% Pakistanis will join the army if there is an Indo-Pak war. Even though only 2% think they’ll win.” We must be so alert and be ready to face any such situation. The story is a warning signal to the Indian administration as well as the people of India.

Manu Joseph’s essay ‘The Power of nonsense’ was an interesting and informative read. The writer covered almost everything currently happened or happening around us in its 3 page write-up. And “Ow! Zzat?” Below the belt. Too revealed many unknown facts about that important cricket accessory. Of course the contents of the first issue were altogether informative and fascinating.

It was a lovely week with the weekly “OPEN”, yes you made our week, and I have decided to be a regular reader of this amazing weekly. Hope your closing sentence, the promise or the covenant has a long-lasting effect on your readers. Yes, please remember that “Readers are KING”, give them a prominent place in your esteemed weekly and satisfy them with your talented writers’ creations.

Congratulations for bringing out such and elegant weekly news and family magazine for the Indian readers as well as the web community around the world.

I wish them a happy publishing time ahead.


A Freelance writer from Secunderabad India

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