Did you know that Bankim Chandra Chaterji wrote “Rajmohan’s wife” in English published in 1864?
With advent of English and English writers on the scene of Indian literary world with the awards such as Booker’s, there has been considerable increase in the number of Best Sellers, that too in English and in India and by Indian Writers. That is the point where trigger of Indian Literature scene has been catapulted. Today there was one hastag #1yearofSOI
on twitter trailing or trending. I thought what has happened to our own Indian rich heritage of Sahitya?
Many years back I was waiting with lot of enthusiasm for a telecast on Doordarshan. it was an award presentation ceremony of Smt Mahadevi Verma ji. Iron Lady Mrs Margret Thatcher and Smt Indira Gandhi were there to give away the award. It was most contrasting and most amazing moment in my life. An British PM was there to felicitate a Hindi Writer and that too an Indian. It was in 1982? After that I have searched the photograph of that event I was not able to see it on internet?
There are MoortiDevi and Jnanpith awards in all Indian languages(languages which are scheduled in the Constitution of India), I think English was also included in it.
Later Nayantara Sahgel and Smt Anita Desai got awards for their works in English in India too?
Whenever there was this ceremony telcasted on Doordarshan i used to look at the big pictures/photos put up at the backdrop of stage. Photo was of Smt Rama Jain and Shri Shanti Prasad Jain. Together they had established Jnanpith Parishad (i think) back in 1944. Initially they were interetsed in reserach works in our ancient texts written in Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit and also apabhransh. Since Jainis they also started study of Ancient Jain text of centuries old preserved in several jain temples. Later in year 1962 or some they put forth the idea of starting an award to writters in any Indian Language. Thus with great efforts the Bhartiya Jnanpith award was instituted. The first award was given in Novemebr 1965 to Shi Kurup a famous Malyalam writter and poet. Since then this award has been continuously given to several of our great writters in many Indian Languages. First award for Hindi was given to Shri Sumitranandan Pant in 1968. Smt Ashapoorna Devi became the first lady (female) to get Jnanpith award in 1976. If i am correct there has been serial on TV based on her novel?
With the wining of awards by Arundhati Roy scene changed. Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kiran Desai also made news. Even as English writers I knew Nayantara Sahgel, Smt Anita Desai. But before that RK Narayan and MulkRaj Anand (purple or untouchable??) and also Ruskin Bond I knew.
Later Chetan Bhagat, Amish Tripathhi, Patnaik, Ira, few other are now Best Sellers?
But I was amazed that the works on SHIVA (and trilogy ?), RAM, Mahabharata, SATI, etc are the topics of best sellers, that too written in English.
Has our rich heritage of literature SAHITYA got set back? Kalidas, Jaidev, PremChand, Dwedi ji, Dinkar, Nirala, Mallikarjun, Renu, Nagar. I admired Krishna Sobti, Shivani ji, qurtulin Hyder, Ismat chugtai (though I read les of her works) Many more… do they have to be written in English to be known? Something has happened to our own languages and Sahitya?
It has to be thought while preparing the EDUCATION POLICY?