The success of translations has bridged the gap between writing in Indian regional languages and Indian writing in English

Source– The post is based on the article The success of translations has bridged the gap between writing in Indian regional languages and Indian writing in English” published in The Indian Express on 2nd January 2023.

Syllabus: GS2- Indian literature

News– The article explains the status of vernacular literature in India

The International Booker Prize was awarded to Tomb of Sand. It is an English translation of Geetanjali Shree Hindi novel Ret Samadhi.

What is the status of literature in vernacular?

These languages have substantially smaller numbers of speakers than Hindi. But they have large readership and a vibrant literary sphere.

JCB award is given to the best Indian novel published in English or translated into English from any Indian language. For the last three years, it has gone to novels originally written in Malayalam. This year it has gone to translation from Urdu.

Over the last two decades, novels from the Indian language have been translated into English. They have occupied a larger space in the literary ecosystem. The Bhojpuri novel Phoolsungi  translated into English in 2020 has made waves.

All these novels were written in the 20th or 21st century in Western-realist mode. They deal with modern social-historical themes. Phoolsungi depicts indigo cultivation and the coming of railways in Bihar.

How the differences between vernacular literature and Indian literature in English have reduced with time?

Ever since Bankim Chander, the majority of writers in all Indian languages have been well versed in English while preferring to write in their own languages.

The difference between the vernacular writers and Indian writing in English has not been much of sensibility and quality. It is about language affiliation and social class.

But now vernacular literature has emerged equal to Indian writing in English and enjoys a substantial demographic dividend.

The deep bilingualism that has always coexisted between English and Indian languages at literary level seems now to be breaching linguistic borders.

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