Age of participation in Indian literature

A piece by G N Devy in the Hindu literary review:

Throughout the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, drama and theatre had been very powerful genres for creative expression. During the last 60 years, Indian languages have witnessed a decline in these genres, particularly in ‘ sangeet-nataka’. Its place is now occupied completely by cinema and television.

One can mention the names of Mahasweta Devi, U.R. Anantha Murthy, Vaikom Mohammed Basheer, M.T. Vasudeva Nair, A.K. Ramanujan, Arun Kolatkar, Dilip Chitre, K. Satchidanandan, Nirmal Verma, Ashokamitran, Salman Rushdie, Qurtalain Hyder as the great names in literature during the last 60 years. Fortunately, their writings have not been merely the narration of a nation. Indian literature’s concern for issues larger than nationalism, the multi-lingual character of Indian creativity and the participation of wider section of society in literary creation make the last 60 years of Indian literature an important literary era. It has been the Age of Participation in Indian literature.

Link via Literary saloon.

By the way, I recently heard Prof. Devy on A Nomad Called Thief: Social Stereotypes and Violence in India — a deeply moving lectures in four parts (or, in four stories, as he called it), which taught me, among other things, that we can never understand India and her colonial history unless we closely follow what happened in contemporary England. What is more such an understanding even help us understand the current day Indian society.

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