(Last Updated on : 19/07/2010)
The influence of Renaissance in South Indian literatures is quite evident from the literary works. The concept of renaissance entered the Indian ethos from France. The French word 'Renaissance' means rebirth, synonymous to Latin Renascor and Italian Rinascimento. Many translations have been provided of this word in different Indian languages: Nava Jagaran (Bengali), Prabodhan (Marathi), Nash'at (Urdu). Renaissance Art from the European view point meant the cultural awakening and glorification and the nostalgia remembrance of the pre-industrialization era.
Development of Concept of Renaissance in South Indian Literature
As the British power rose in dominance in India three kinds of Britishers: conquerors and colonizers, Christian missionaries and civilizers, who were the champions of culture. They were again classified into 'Orientals' and 'Anglicists'. In South India certain material events boosted this western impact. Like in Madras (presently Chennai
) the University was constructed in 1857, the first telephone exchange in. 1881, the first manganese mine in 1892. Before the western impact the towns were either seats of pilgrimage and political power like Chidambaram, Tanjore and Madras. They were relocated to new ports like Madras. The same process was observed in other regions as well. Literature was also not devoid of this impact. The great contributions of Subramanya Bharati or V. Swaminatha Iyer, Kumaran Asan or Vallathol, Vireshalingam or Suravararn Pratap Reddy, Srikantaiah or Parye Mangesh Rao (Kailasam) are all the achievements of last hundred years.
Impact of Renaissance in South Indian Literature
The South Indian literatures are characterised by a rich literary tradition and heritage. Each literature has had its own share of ups and downs, the glorious periods alternating with sterile. The British conquest resulted in confusion, demoralization and sterility which affected the entire literature of India including the four literatures of South India .However the last century was characterised by literary renaissance all over the country which resulted in the prominence of stalwarts in South Indian literatures. The birth anniversaries of these stalwarts who marked the renaissance in South Indian literatures have always been celebrated with great dignity and respect or will be celebrated soon. The renaissance revived not only the greatness of the past but also incorporated the new relevant elements appropriate for the present age. New forms like the novel, social play, satire, the light essay, etc., was handled with heightened self-assurance due to the influence of western literature and thought.
The Renaissance movement was not only characterised by a mere awakening but a historical epoch culminating the advent of modern world. In India, the impact of it was mainly felt in the arts, particularly with Indian Literature. New discoveries and voyages, the birth of printing and new military weapons, rise of the new city-states, foundation of secular humanism and a heightened interest in vernacular language are some significant developments that characterised this movement.