Silence of the sage and saint

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Forerunner of the kahani style of Indic English writers and an author with a transcendental view,  Raja Rao deserves a better position in the literary pantheon.

His first novel, Kanthapura, written in 1937 when he was only 21 years old, has continued to be acclaimed as a precursor of a kahani – Puranic style of Indic-English.

His preface to Kanthapura is often cited as the quintessential statement or manifesto of Indian writers in English, where he wrote that “English is not really an alien” to India, but like Persian and Sanskrit before, has become the language of governance and of India’s “intellectual make-up.” He continued, “We cannot write like the English. We should not. We can write only as Indians” because the “tempo of Indian life must be infused into our English expression. . . . We, in India, think quickly, and when we move we move quickly.”

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