The literature of Nationalism
Patriotic writings proliferated and almost spontaneously in different languages, as a resistance of the community against foreign rule. Rangalal (in Bengali) Mirza Ghalib (in Urdu) and Bharatendu Harish Chandra (in Hindi) expressed themselves as the patriotic voice of the era.The voice was, on the one hand, against colonial rule and on the other, for the glorification in India.
Birth of the Novel
The birth of novels is associated with the social reform-oriented movement of the 19th century. This New genre, borrowed from the west, is characterized by a spirit of revolt, right from its adoption into the Indian System. The first Tamil Novel, Pratap Mudaliyar Charitram (1879) by Samuel V Pillai, the first Telugu novel, Shri Ranga Raja Charitra (1872) by Krishnamma Chetty and the first Malayalam novel, Indu Lekha (1889) by Chandu Menon were written with didactic intentions and to re-examine evil social customs and practices like untouchability, caste distinctions, denial of widow remarriage etc.
They were written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee (Bengali), Hari Narayan Apte (Marathi) and others, to describe the glorious past of India and to instill nationalist fervor in her people. It was during this time that Tagore started writing the novel Gora (1910), to challenge the colonial rule, colonial criteria and colonial authority and to give a new meaning to Indian nationalism.
The trend of Indian romanticism ushered in by three great forces influences the destiny of modern Indian literature. These forces were Shri Aurobindo’s (1872-1950) search ‘for the divine in man’, Tagore’s quest ‘for the beauty in nature and man’ and Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘experiments with truth and non-violence’. Shri Aurobindo , through his poetry and philosophical treatise, “The Life Divine”, presents the prospects of the ultimate revelation of divinity in everything. He wrote mostly in English.
The Progressive Writers Association was originally established in 1936 by some expatriate writers in London, one of whom was Mulk Raj Anand (English). However, soon it become a great Pan-Indian movement that brought together Gandhian and Marxist insight into society.
The movement was especially conspicuous in Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Telugu and Malayalam, bit its impact was felt all over India. It compelled every writer to re-examine his/her relationship with social reality. In Hindi, Chhayavada was challenged by a Progressive school that came to be known as Pragrativada (Progressivism).
one of the most significant features of the most-modernist era was the emergence of writings of the outcasts as a major literacy force. The word ‘Dalit’ means the downtrodden. The Dalit Movement was started in literature by the Marathi, Gujarati and Kannada writers under the leadership of Dr Br Ambed
kar. It came into the limelight because of progressive literature moving nearer to the downtrodden. It is a literature of militant protest against the upper caste literature that unholded Brahmani-cal values.
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