Author's Diction~Vipin Behari Goyal: The future of English fiction writers in India

Friday, June 28, 2013

The future of English fiction writers in India

Indian Society is complex, so Authors need to work hard

                                                      [Jyoti Arora-Indian English Author]

The English fiction writing has undergone many ups and downs in last few decades.

 Since, Nirad C. Chaudhuri (The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian), Mulk Raj Anand (The untouchable) and R.K.Narayan (The Guide), who wrote simple heart touching stories about the people around them, the flavor has been maintained by Jhumpa Lahiri (The Namesake)  and Sudha Murthy(wise and otherwise) till the current decade.

Some authors became famous for controversial writing as Khushwant Singh(A history of Sikhs) and Salman Rushdie(Satanic Verses) who wrote against religion or Shobha De to Arundhti Roy who said, did or wrote things to hurt the sentiments of people.

Vikram Seth(A Suitable Boy), Amitav Ghosh (The Glass Palace )wrote  literary English books that were highly acclaimed by Indian as well as foreign critiques.

The contribution of R.N.Tagore and V.S. Naipaul (both are Nobel laureate) is beyond my words.

These authors caused ripples in the literary world which was enjoyed by all those who love reading Indian English Authors.

Then the new wave emerged called Chetan Bhagat with his debut English novel “Five point someone”. It was a retold Indian version of Peter Robinson’s novel “Snapshots from hell”. Many surfers took the ride and a new wave was set in.

Love story is an eternal theme of literature since eleventh century when first novel was written. The youth of India had so far read few Mills and Boon was eager to explore the Indian counterparts of that series. The authors of this wave did not disappoint their readers and Indian book stalls were flooded with Boy-meets-Girl kind of romantic novels. It developed reading habits in youth that was lost in maze of cricket, cinema and career. The identity crisis of Indian youth and their dilemma to follow traditions and anxiety to be identical to their Western counterparts led them to read books in search of solutions. How far the Indian authors have been successful in suggesting remedies or at least, a better comprehension of the situation is anybody’s guess.

Literature is said to be the mirror of society. Indian youth is torn between old and new values but is not ready to revolt against age-old traditions. The medieval values of caste system, arranged marriage, dowry, child marriages, veil system, female feticide, divorce, inequality of men and women have become issues of yesterday, and youth is open to new wave of gender equality, choosing life partner and ready to share equal responsibility in raising children.

The basic values are deeply rooted in the psyche of Indian youth. Most of them respect and take care of elders and parents and are religious from the core of their heart. The medieval values emerged with Muslim invaders and strengthened with British Empire in India. Now after 65 years of Indian independence, when most of the population of India is born in free India a radical change is bound to come.

The Indian English authors should divert to serious writing suggesting pragmatic solutions of contemporary social issues, to sustain the hobby of reading in youth.

Amar Nath Prasad in his book Indian Writing in English said"The plant of Indian writing in English must develop its root quite deep into the fertile soil of Indian myths and culture."

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The future of English Fiction writers in India - 2

© Vipin Behari Goyal


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