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My first love is media: Yasin Dalal

Yasin Dalal

Yasin Dalal

Yasin Dalal is a very well known name in the field of journalism. Recently  retired but still very active in writing. He has performed different roles in his life such as a writer, a journalist, a film critic, a professor and many others. He established the Journalism department in Saurashtra University.

Recently he was honored by Limca Book of Records award for writing maximum number of books on Media. His record has considered 51 books but by now he has total of 65 books written on Media.

Yasin Dalal with Morari Bapu

Yasin Dalal with Morari Bapu

He has traveled the world and met the leading personalities belonging to world of cinema. He has also met Talat Mahmood, Raj Kapoor, Smita Patil, Ketan Mehta, Om Puri, Dipti Naval and Kaifi Azmi (father of Shabana Azmi). Interesting thing to know is that, Kaifi Azmi has enjoyed Kathiywadi food ‘Khichadi-Kadhi’ at his home.

He was invited by Amitabh Bachchan at ABCL inauguration, where he spent 40 minutes in private with him. He has 800 plus collection of world’s best films, 10000 plus audio tracks. Interesting thing to know about his collection is that, he has the cassettes of first eight films that are made in the entire cinema of world.

Speakbindas had an honor interviewing him and knowing many interesting things about his life and experiences.

Videos of Interview

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Excerpt of Interview

Q.: Sir, welcome to Speakbindas. First thing I would like know from you is your definition for Cinema?

  • In the early days, Cinema was considered as a medium for entertainment. Nobody used to take serious interest in it. In 1950, in America, people started taking serious interest in cinema. Charles Wright suggested all to consider cinema as Mass Media. Since then Cinema received the recognition of Mass Media.
  • Later, people started studying cinema by establishing film societies. I met many leading cinematic figures during my world tour such as Sir Charles Moses, FEDERICO FELLINI etc.
  • There is an interesting story about Pelini. When I was teaching at Journalism department of Saurashtra University, I organized a 10 day Cinema workshop. I invited Shri Satish Bahadur, the then director of Pune Film Institute. I took him to my friend’s home for dinner where during conversation I mentioned about my meeting with Pelini. He instantly bowed down at me. I was surprised and asked him why he bowed down at me despite him being quite senior to me? He said “I also consider Pelini as world’s best film director. I tried hard meeting him, but I couldn’t. So I had decided to bow down at a person who meets him.”
Awards and Book of Yasin Dalal

Awards and Book of Yasin Dalal

Q.: Sir, what’s your taken on current (Indian) television serials?

  • I believe that we (Indians) don’t deserve any technology. Television was launched in the year 1959 in INDIA and was available only in four metro cities. After Asiad Games in 1982, color television came into presence. TV serials of that time were great such as Hum Log-which represented the life-style of Indian middle class families, Khandan, Ye jo hai zindagi and Nukkad.
  • After private channels came, it all ruined the serials. Name of Ekta Kapoor symbolizes to ‘Unity’ but message from her serials are meant to destruct social life! Her serials are stretched so much that the viewers got bored.
  • And now we have reached to ‘Sach Ka Saamna’. In one of my articles, I have clearly shared my view to shut down this serial because by showing greed of 1 crore rupees they were asking personal questions to participants. We know that, every person has something personal stuff, then what is the use or intention of getting it into the public attention?
  • There are also smart people who can lie to polygraph test and not get caught. And taking name of Gandhiji for ‘truth’ in comparison to Sach Ka Saamna is an insult of Gandhiji. Nobody offered anything to Gandhiji to write down his autobiography. It was his decision.
  • Television has immense potential if used in right way. And most of the Indian serials are nothing but robbery of foreign concepts.

Q.: People recognize you through different dimensions such as an author, a columnist, a professor etc. Which one of them is very close to you?

Yasin Dalal with Dhirubhai Ambani

Yasin Dalal with Dhirubhai Ambani

  • I have contributed equally in Mass Media (cinema) and Print Media. Sometimes my mind gets confused for choosing which way to go! When I went to Mumbai, Goenkaji of Indian Express offered me to join ‘Samkalin.’ Hasmukh Gandhi told me that after he retires, I am the next. But I didn’t accept the offers for my love of Media.
  • My role model is Guru Dutt who made the movie ‘Pyaasa’, which I believe is the best of all films made so far on earth. I also wanted to produce films. But my financial conditions didn’t allow me to purse the wish.
  • I have written many reviews on films. Also have written six books on Cinema. I have attended film festivals world over. I have met Pelini, Mrunal Sen, Shyam Benegal, Meryl Streep, Sydney Pollack and many others.
  • I have my 65 books already published and more 35 in pipeline, making a century soon!
  • So writing has been my main stream.

Q.: According to you, journalists are born or made?

  • Both the ways. Pulitzer, the world famous journalist, was asked on the eve of donating 10 lakhs to first Journalism department in New York and then Columbia that why you donate for the training of journalism when you yourself have become a journalist without any training? He replied “When a man is born, only an idiot is born. I would have been a more successful journalist if I was trained.”
  • So I believe, those who are born journalists if take training, their skills become sharp.
Yasin Dalal with Pandit Ravi Shanka

Yasin Dalal with Pandit Ravi Shanka

Q.: You are quite a live and vital personality. What are the activities you are involved with at present?

  • I wake up at 11 am in the morning and sleep at 1 am. I believe in time management. Kumarpal Desai once told me that I am faking about my late waking up schedule because he doubted that such a later waker like me can not write this much! Secret to my success is that I have not attended useless functions. I do not even attend marriages except of personal circle. So nobody now invites me! I believe that we are over social and we waste time on the name of socialization. Everybody has 24 hours only. So I utilize my time in totality.
  • In the old days, I used to wake up at 08:30 following by editing of magazine ‘Saujanya Madhuri’ till 11. And then having lunch at 12, I used to be at Saurashtra University till 6. And then I used to go to office of ‘Saujanya Madhuri’, which I have been running since last 16 years. And from 08:30 onwards, I used to record the film cassettes. My life is an open book, no matter people believe it or not.

Q.: What is your taken on present education system?

  • Particularly in Gujarat, it is worst. A loot has been started under the name of self finance educational institutions. In schools, fees comes around 1 lack per year where as for medical education, it reaches to 10, 20 or 30 lacks even. In our times, there was 11 plus 4 years system. Now the present system of 10 plus 2 plus 3 has made quite of destruction. Thousands of students have committed suicide due this system only. We should congratulate Kapil Sibal for canceling board exam for 10th standard from Central schools. What is the need of giving burden to innocent children for two board exams in two years of span? And you know what private educational institutions do? To get their students at TOP, they stretch their connections at Gandhinagar, and crores of rupees are wasted as corruption. And the student who fails in such a corrupted educational atmosphere, commits suicide. The entire system become rotten.
  • To improve the entire scenario, I suggest to bring back 11 plus 4 system. When government had changed it to 10 plus 2 plus 3, the reason they had given was that students would be able to go to professional courses, which intention has failed.
  • Secondly, English is must. The only reason why Gujaratis are setback is their poor English. If you observe Commissioners and Collectors in India, they mostly belong to Bihar and West Bengal.
  • What is the need to go to Australia for further education? Acquire such good education here itself in Gujarat.
Yasin Dalal with Anil Biswas

Yasin Dalal with Anil Biswas

Q.: What is the next ambition of Yasin Dalal?

  • I feel sad telling that whatever the progress I have made in my life is not because of anybody, not even Saurashtra University. I would rather say that, I have made progress inspite of the University!
  • During my service at University, I established Journalism department, established the field for research for P.hd, I was a members in syndicate for years, established lecturer committee but do you know that after I got retired before 3 years, I haven’t been invited even as a Visiting Lecturer? After I left, the Journalism Department has been broken down. When I was there, 300 applications used to come for 35 seats. Only 14 seats were filled at first year. I used to invite people from around the world, from USA, from Pune etc. Now it’s not happening.
  • I shouldn’t tell this but a student of journalism department desires to write a dissertation on me, but the present head of the department (HOD) has told him that no dissertation on Yasin Dalal!
  • I had overlooked marks of this HOD, taught her MJMC and Ph.D, and you know what she tells me today? She says “હું ગુંડી છું, હું માથાભારે છું” After my job was over, a syndicate member suggested me to extend my services as he shared the fear that after I will leave the department, it won’t have much progress. Considering it, I talked to the then Vice Chancellor and he agreed to sign my application. To which he only said NO after 28 days giving reasons. I told him that only because you had shown the consent, I applied for extension and now rejecting my application, you have made my situation similar to Vergeese Corian. I don’t have need of University, University needs me. And I am that person who had rejected the offer for becoming Chancellor of two universities. I have written 15 books after getting retired. But University hasn’t appreciated me after I got retired. So I decided not to put my foot on Journalism department campus until you (HOD) are there. So my ambition is to assure Saurashtra university that learnedness is to worshiped. I confidently can say that, scholar people in field of journalism in India, are only 10 to 15 and I am one of them.
Yasin Dalal with Master Bhagwan

Yasin Dalal with Master Bhagwan

Q.: What is your message to present and future journalist?

  • My message to journalists is that, become professional. And become honest. I feel sad knowing my student is following check-book journalism. So stay away from check-book journalism. Become neutral. Like, if I accept cover from Congress, I can not write against it and likewise if I accept a cover from BJP, I can not write against it. I have written column for 23 years, and I have never been influenced in anyway by anyone and have produced my honest opinion only.


Devang Vibhakar is the Founder and Editor of www.SpeakBindas.com. He has interviewed more than 350 people. His effort was recognized by Limca Book of Records, twice. He has been to Scotland as well as Germany as part of vocational & cultural exchange programs and has compiled five books so far. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of entrepreneurs to avid readers of SpeakBindas. He can be reached here.

9 thoughts on “My first love is media: Yasin Dalal

  1. Very interesting to read.
    Read his brief profile in Gujarati-


  2. Tushar Bhatt says:

    Yasin Dalal deserved much more than he got from our society. I have never fathomed the animus towards him in the establishment. What has done to face the unjustified wrath of the powers that be.But,Yasin will ,and has been doing it, face the challenge with an upright head and stout heart. He is a secular person.I wish him all the best.

  3. Dr sedani says:

    Yasin Dalal was 2 yrs senior to me=He was teacher of my wife in journalism he is a very nobel person & really true secular person==I miss him here in USA. dr sedani

  4. Dushyanth says:

    It should be FEDERICO FELLINI.

    If Yasinji respects this great director so much then we should be respectful to him too. We can’t take Shakespeare so literally.

    There can be other such instances but this is just where I stopped reading.

    In this age of internet certain verifications should not be so difficult.

  5. @Dushyanth,

    Thanks for drawing my attention to typographical error, the same has been corrected.

    Such vigil viewers/readers like you makes SpeakBindas better everyday. Thank you, indeed.

  6. Yusuf Kundawala says:

    A good interview by Devangbhai–With all due respect to Mr Yasin Dalal it behoves on him to be humble and feel blessed with the accompolishments he acheived in his life so far–bragging and complaining will do more harm to his excellent and brilliant career.I will pray that good sense & forgiveness will prevail.I wish him all the best.

  7. Ronakben Dogra says:

    http://gujarathousingboard.org/11_08_09/RajkotRegion/Rajkot/96LIG.xls. Please go through this website to see that Yasin Dalal does not have money even to pay his LIG housing instalment of Rs 15K. I request all to donate some money to this reknowed writer so that he can pay instalment for his qurarter of LIG at Rajkot. The house is in name of his wife..Zohra Yasin Dalal

  8. prassana says:

    please mention me about jagir. prin media is a fourth jagir? can describe about jagir .

  9. prassana says:

    please mention me about jagir. print media is a fourth jagir? can you describe about jagir .

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