Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Raja Rao | Indian English Literature

RAJA RAO

The art of story-telling attained a high degree of success in ancient India, as is evident from the popularity 8 the epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, and collections of short stories like Kathasaritsagar, Puncha Tantra and the Jataka Tales. In modem times, with the appearance of Indian writing in English towards the close of the nineteenth century, the novel came on to the scene rather late in India. It was the British who introduced the Indians to the novel as a form of literature.



The Indian novel in English emerged in the 1920's and established itself as a popular form in the next thirty years. Social realism and the reform movement generated by liberal humanist ideals gathered momentum and assumed a national form between 1920 and 1940 under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. The Gandhian ideals of Satyagraha (demands based on truth) find expression in the novels of Mulk Raj hand and Raja Rao.
Their blend of political ideology and social realism ensured that the English prose fiction would be the medium for the definition of a new India and its aspirations. Raja Kao's Kanthapura belongs to the same class of Indian novel in English,
Raja Rao goes beyond common realism and dramatizes the national  struggle as a mythic and symbolic event. The Kanthapura village in his novel is a piece of mythic land containirlg within it the memory of the village community's traditions . 
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 While R.K. Narayan in The Guide is content to show the progression of events in the life of an individual, Mulk Raj hand m his novels like Untouchable and Coolie gives evidence of a total commitment to the socialist doctrine. Anand also presents a cross-section of the Indian society though the national struggle for freedom, which is not only a political event but also a comprehensive emotional experience for the people involved in it, there is a shift of emphasis in the post-Independence Indian literature in English.


The novelists writing after 1947 show a sense of disenchantment with the actual reality of freedom, and their anger finds expression through a sense of humanistic compassion for the suffering Indian masses. A theme that has dominated the Indian novel in English is the contrast of cultures between East and West. Those who have written works dealing with thus theme include Raja Rao, Balachandra Rajan, Kamala Markandaya and Shantha Rama Rau.


While Rajan explores the theme of alienation, Shantha Rama Rau examines the conflict of attitudes and values. Kmala Markandaya, on the other hand: depicts the East-West encounter as an inevitable accident of history, and passes no judgment on it. Raja Rao's work is a class apart from that of the other novelists writing of the same theme. For his examination of the East-West dilemma is characterized by a deep sense of crisis in human relationships.


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