(Last Updated on : 11/08/2010)
Indian Literature after Independence of the country witnessed some major changes in terms of literary writings. Indian independence may be a historic event for its socio-political significance. But according to some writers, this event has had an outstanding impact on the creative writing done in various regional languages of the writers. India`s nationalism at the point before independence was a nationalism of grief and mourning. Thus, most of the new age writers through their writings portrayed the terrible fake world that was based on the western modernism. However, in a country like India, the vast culture of the past does not go off completely. With the independence of the country the cultural rhythm of the past certainly broke down as a result of modernistic experimentations. Rabindranath Tagore
, Sarat Chandra Chatterjee
, Vallathol Narayana Menon
, Munshi Premchand
, Mardhekar and Iqbal, to mention a few towering peaks in the Indian literary scene in the first half of this century, had given their best before independence.
Post-independence India did see greater awareness on the part of the reading public as well as the government of the existence of many more and richer languages and literatures, beyond the limited periphery of one`s own mother-tongue or province. Some states entered a big way by giving prizes and awards and much translation work was encouraged. Writers received the opportunity of visiting new places and publicise their works. All this, with all its limitations, did stimulate a literary climate. Further, the industrial and scientific advancement throughout the country after independence also had an impact on Indian literature. In spite of the new vistas opened to the writers in the form of writing for the new mass media like the film, the Radio and TV, the character of Indian literature continues to remain feudal, romantic, pastoral, idyllic and medievalist. Interestingly, the post independence literature of the country showed signs that permanent literature springs out of great tragedy.
The partition of India did sear a poignant scar in the souls of many writers, particularly in Punjabi literature, Urdu literature, Hindi literature, and Bengali literature. Many moving short stories and poems have been written on this subject by authors like Amrita Pritam
, Kartar Singh Duggal
, Krishan Chander, Khushwant Singh
, Premendra Mitra and Manoj Basu, to mention a few names. The martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi
was another such event, about which soul-stirring poems were written by Vallathol Narayana Menon, Wamiq Jaunpuri, Bhai Vir Singh
, Shivmangal Singh Suman and others. Hardly there was any mentionable little classic produced during this period. Some progressive critics oversimplify the situation by saying that the Indian writer comes from the lower middle-class, which is facing several physical and financial hurdles. One of the functions of literature is to elevate but nothing seemed to inspire them. But after 1948 there were several tragic events, but hardly any great literary piece was written. It was commonly believed that Indian independence did not bring any special bloom in the meadow or the field of literature. There were many successful novels written before the independence of the country, which won Sahitya Akademi Awards
, and were even translated in English and Russian and several other languages. An identity crisis developed among the writers and poets of the fifties and sixties, the age considered as `dark modernism`. The particular identity crisis of the writers and the clash between traditional cultures and western modernity is mostly found in the writings during those days. The concept of experimentation also developed under the western influence. It emerged as a chase for new values and their sources.
Even disillusionment creates great literature. Various reasons have been cited behind the production of any good work after independence. The first reason for no great work in the creative field was that the writer, being in a period of transition between the traditional and the experimental, was not able to sift and choose and to properly discriminate between the deadwood and the living from the past. The second reason was the constant search for a new idiom. In a way, all the languages were not fully developed, yet they possessed a rich untapped reservoir in their classics. However, the creative writer`s frustrations in translating poetry from any foreign language into Indian language are worth taking to consideration. Thirdly, the Indian authors lacked identity crisis. One of the greatest impediments in the way of the growth of indigenous literature of India after independence was the dominance of double-standards.