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Although it is mainly diasporic writers who have made Indian English writing global, and have translated works into many other languages, there are many others ignored by the media, the government and other establishments.
by Aju Mukhopadhyay
Indian English Literature is the work of Indian-origin poets and writers writing in English, and living anywhere around the globe. They usually have similar mindsets, especially when writing about, or referring to India. Meenakshi Mukherjee has said that it is born out of Indian and English parentage–thus twice- born1. Another writer, Maria Tymoczko, thinks that it is born out of one culture and expressed in another2. Their opinions carry the idea of translation, but it may be said that there is exactly no question of translation as such, because when the creation is one’s own and not an independent version or expression of another’s creative production, albeit in a language not one’s own, the creative product is a trans-lingual/cultural endeavor. When an Indian writes his Indian experience in a foreign language it can be said to be a trans-cultural creative process. The history of this expanding literature has covered more than 200 years.
More than 170 writers and scholars from across India have converged at the ongoing annual festival of Sahitya Akademi to deliberate over the challenges Indian languages are facing and the role of literature in society.
The week-long Annual Festival of Letters began in the capital New Delhi on Monday and this year the literary institution is also celebrating its 60 years of existence.
Many Indian languages are losing their oral literature and globalisation isn’t the reason for the loss of this intrinsic fabric of culture, parliament was informed Tuesday.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Culture and Tourism Minister Shripad Yesso Naik said: “It is true that globalisation is affecting languages in the sense that many languages under pressure are losing oral literature and words related to culture, especially food items, dress and ornaments, rituals, flora and fauna.”