Indian literature has been steadily going on a certain path in the past two decades if we strict the term literature to be applied to Indian English novel only. There have been developments in the field of romantic writing and it has limited itself to that very movement. Novelists like Ravinder Singh and Chetan Bhagat have given rise to the romantic narrative that shows less in terms of artistic development of characters but offers a wide horizon of entertaining resources in the stories. Is it enough? Is it enough for us to sum up the story of the Indian English novel? Being serious and concerned, you will find that we are lacking the depth of plots and breadth of the themes. And this is the reason we have been unable to represent our fiction widely on the global forums.
What do we need?
We need authors from India to write serious fiction along with their commercially beneficial works. Yes, we should understand that ultimately the authors need sales in order to survive the tussle. However, they should also do something that can raise India’s stakes on the global literary forums – such as awards and recognitions. We need authors who can mix their personal ambitions with global frustration and create stories that are universally appealing. For example, novels like The White Tiger, Narcopolis, and even a recently written piece by Ravi Dabral, one of the best crime thriller novelists in India right now, Greed Lust Addiction… these novels appeal to various reader base because of their versatile themes and handling of complex plots and narrative designs. Once we begin producing the world-class fiction in English, our contribution to the world literature will be duly recognised.
What can the readers do?
As readers, do we really have many options? I think no. We can only read and express our opinions. However, the ones who read as well as write to express their opinions about books they read can do many things more than merely reading. We can express our concerns about the books we read and the kind of books we want to read. We can raise our concerns with the authors whom we know. We can inspire them to think wider and produce the literature that has universal and serious elements rather than a male and a female and something between them…
I am reading a few serious works and the reviews will come shortly on this website. Do check the website in some days and you will find wonderful reviews for sure. All the best with your reading desk, reader friends!