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Introduction to Indian Literature

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Aumi Manansala

on 18 February 2013

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Transcript of Introduction to Indian Literature

Aumi Manansala Indian Literature Classic Literature Ramayana Beginning in the 19th century Such previously unknown forms as the novel and short story began to be adopted by Indian writers, as did realism and a new interest in social questions and psychological description. Modern Literature Brief History The Indus valley civilization saw its genesis in the holy land now known as India around 2500 BC. The second millennium BC was witness to the migration of the bucolic Aryan tribes from the North West frontier into the sub-continent. These tribes gradually merged with their antecedent cultures to give birth to a new milieu. The Aryan tribes soon started penetrating the east, flourishing along the Ganga and Yamuna Rivers. By 500 BC, the whole of northern India was a civilized land where people had knowledge of iron implements and worked as labor, voluntarily or otherwise. Unified under the famous Gupta Dynasty, the north of India touched the skies as far as administration and the Hindu religion were concerned. Little wonder then, that it is considered to be India’s golden age. By 600 BC, approximately sixteen dynasties ruled the north Indian plains spanning the modern day Afghanistan to Bangladesh. Some of the most powerful of them were the dynasties ruling the kingdoms of Magadha, Kosla, Kuru and Gandhara. Known to be the land of epics and legends, two of the world’s greatest epics find their birth in Indian settings - the Ramayana, depicting the exploits of lord Ram, and the Mahabharta detailing the war between Kauravas and Pandavas, both descendants of King Bharat. revived these virtues again, breathing new life in them, during India’s freedom struggle against British Colonialism. An ardent believer in communal harmony, he dreamt of a land where all religions would be the threads to form a rich social fabric. Mahatma Gandhi The Earliest Indian literature took the form of the canonical Hindu sacred writings, known as the Veda, which were written in Sanskrit. To the Veda were added prose commentaries such as the Brāhmaas and the Upanihads. The production of Sanskrit literature extended from about 1400 BCto AD 1200 and reached its height of development in the 1st to 7th centuries AD. Themes In addition to sacred and philosophical writings, such genres as erotic and devotional lyrics, court poetry, plays, and narrative folktales emerged. The Sanskrit philosophies were the source of philosophical writing in the later literatures, and the Sanskrit schools of rhetoric were of great importance for the development of court poetry in many of the modern literatures. The Ramayana belongs to a class of literature known in Sanskrit as kavya (poetry), though in the West it is considered to belong to the category of literature familiar to readers of Homer, namely the epic. The Ramayana existed in the oral tradition perhaps as far back as 1,500 BCE, but the fourth century BCE is generally accepted as the date of its composition in Sanskrit by Valmiki. Mahabarata The longest Sanskrit epic ever written, Mahabharata has a collection of more than 74,000 verses, divided into 18 books. The Mahabharata story is much revered in India and basically among the Hindus. The Mahabharata contains the Bhagawad Gita, the famous gospel of duty that was taught to the great warrior, Arjuna by Lord Krishna. The Mahabharata dwells on the aspect of the important goals of a human being in his mortal life. The epic aims at making people realize the relation between the individual and the society and how they both are inter dependent on each other.  The Panchatantra One of India's most influential contributions to world literature. The Panchatantra consists of five books of animal fables and magic tales (some 87 stories in all) that were compiled, in their current form, between the third and fifth centuries AD. It is believed that even then the stories were already ancient. The tales' self-proclaimed purpose is to educate the sons of royalty. Example:
The Foolish Friend.
Dharmabuddhi and Pâpabuddhi.
The Bullock's Balls.
The Gold-Giving Snake.
The Dog That Went Abroad.
The Brahman's Wife and the Mongoose.
The Fish That Were Too Clever.
The Two-Headed Weaver.
The Broken Pot.
The Enchanted Brahman's Son. Kalidasa (flourished 5th centuryCE,India), Sanskrit poet and dramatist, probably the greatest Indian writer of any epoch. The six works identified as genuine are the dramas Abhijnanashakuntala (“The Recognition of Shakuntala”), Vikramorvashi (“Urvashi Won by Valour”), and Malavikagnimitra (“Malavika and Agnimitra”); the epic poems Raghuvamsha (“Dynasty of Raghu”) and Kumarasambhava (“Birth of the War God”); and the lyric “Meghaduta” (“Cloud Messenger”). British and Western literary models in general had a great impact on Indian literature, the most striking result being the introduction of the use of vernacular prose on a major scale. (Urdu: ; Devanagari: ) was a popular Urdu poet and Hindi lyricist and songwriter. Sahir Ludhianvi is his pseudonym. Sahir Ludhianvi Blood is But Blood!
Repression is sill repression
Rising, it must flop
Blood is sill blood
Spilling it must clot.
Whether it clots on desert sands
Or upon assassin's hands
On justice's head or around shackled feet
On injustice's sword or on the wounded corpse
Blood is still blood
Spilling, it must clot.
However much one lies in ambush
Blood betrays butcher's hideout
Conspiracies may veil in thousand darkly mask
Each blood dropp ventures out with burning lamp on its palm.
Tell oppression's vain and blemished fate
Tell cruelty's crafty Imam
Tell the UN Security Council
Blood is crazyIt can leap up to the cloak
It is inferno, it can flare up to burn grain-stock. The blood you sought to suppress in abattoir
Today that blood moves out into street
Here an ember, there a slogan, there a stone
Once blood comes to flows
Bayonets are no avail
Head, once it is raisedIs not downed by law's hail.
What is about oppression? 
What is with its impression? 
Oppression is, all of it, but oppression
From beginning to end
Blood is still blood
Myriad form it can assume
Forms such as are indelible
Embers such as are inextinguishable
Slogans such as are irrepressible.  T]HE END!
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