Contribution of India in English Literature
English is a foreign language but the contribution of Indian writers in English Literature can be witnessed on several fields such as education, literary effort and as a medium of communication.
A pioneer of Indo-Anglian literature was Raja Rammohan Roy whose prose works is noteworthy. There were poets such as Henry Louis Vivian Derozio, Madhusudan Dutt, Aru and Toru Dutt and Manmohan Ghose.
An outstanding Indo-Anglian writer was Aurobindo Ghose whose poetic magnum opus is Savitri, an epic. In prose his most effective work is The Life Divine outlining his metaphysics in rich language.
Some of Rabindranath Tagore’s works were originally written in English- Sadhana Personality, The Religion of Man.
Yet, another Indian writer in English was Sarojini Naidu, the ‘Nightingale of India’, who rendered familiar things with an essence of colour and romance. The Golden Threshold, The Bird of Time and The Broken Wing are her important works.
Today, we have poets like Nissim Ezekiel, Dom Moraes, A.K. Ramanujam, Kamala Das and R. Parthasarathy who continue to write in English. Jawaharlal Nehru’s prose works The Discovery of India; Glimpses of World History are famous.
In the field of english novel, three early writers made a mark. Mulk Raj Anand’s Coolie, Untouchable. The Big Heart and other novels are about the underprivileged in India.
R.K. Narayan has become famous for creating the imaginary ‘Malgudi’ as the locale for most of his novels. He has a humorous manner and an eye for the comic in the world around him. His works include Swami and his Friends, The Dark Room, The Guide, Waiting for the Mahatma and The Man Eater of Malgudi.
Raja Rao is a good short story writer and has written only four novels, but they are significant: Kanthapura, The Serpent and the Rope, and The Cat and Shakespeare.
Kamala Markandeya has written outstanding novels like Nectar in a Siieve, Some Inner Fury and A Silence of Desire. Khushwant Singh (Train to Pakistan), Manohar Malgoankar (Distant Dawn), Bhabani Bhattacharya (So Many Hungers, He Who Rides Tiger, Music for Mohini) are other Indian novelists writing in English.
In the recent past, we have had a crop of fresh talent. Salman Rushdie, the India-born writer, won fame with Midnight’s Children and Shame. His Satanic Verses created a furore and is banned in India so as not to Hill the feelings of Muslims.
Vikram Seth wrote a novel in verse and The Suitable Boy which is equally famous for the stupendous advance he got from his publishers.
Shashi Tharoor (The Great Indian Novel, Show Business), Amitav Ghosh (Circle of Reason, Shadow Lines) Upamanyu Chatterjee (English August) have made a name for themselves as young and able novelists.