Diwali anks inculcate good societal values and enlighten minds, feels Suhas Bahulkar, chairperson of Mumbai's National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA). Talking about the covers of these anks, he elucidates how its publishers are not glamour-hungry. "The covers were painted by acclaimed artists, and were pictorial representations of the then changing contemporary life around the festival of Diwali. This allowed youngsters to develop an eye for good art and their documentation is now invaluable for even researchers who wish to study Marathi culture and tradition of this century."
Arun Shevate, who has been helming the publication of an ank named Ruturang for the past 26 years, says that the quality of these Diwali issues is increasing every year, and ridicules the argument that these Diwali issues are a money-making scheme. "The monetary returns are nowhere close to the effort taken in bringing out these anks." Overall, with print media in taking a beating at the onset of digital age, in the last decade, the number of advertisers and others who were proud to monetarily associate with Diwali anks, have drastically curtailed. Shevate attributes this to the lack of serious attitude towards anks. "This unique literary and cultural tradition of the Marathi linguistic world is now being forgotten," he laments.
Even Radthivadekar, observes that this year, real estate developers and other entrepreneurs, usually on the forefront of financing these anksthrough advertisements, have not been so enthusiastic. "This has increased the price. On an average, the prices have gone up by 20 per cent."