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India is a multilingual country. The 1961 Census, which can legitimately be considered most authentic in this respect, recorded a total of 1,652 languages belonging to four (now five, with the addition of Andamanese and Nicobarese family, see Abbi 2006) different language families in this country. The major ones being the Indo-Aryan languages are spoken by 75% of Indians and the Dravidian languages spoken by southern Indians. Other languages spoken in India belong to the Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman. According to 2001 census there are 234 mother tongues , more than 10,000 speakers for each language. Over 87 languages are used in the print media, 71 languages are used on the radio, and the administration of the country is conducted in 13 different languages. Yet many languages have disappeared. People’s Linguistic Survey of India under the supervision of Ganesh Devy (since 2010) identified 860 distinct languages in India. The Constitution of India does not give any language the status of national language. The official languages of the Union Government of the Republic of India are Hindi in the Devanagari script and English as an associate language. The Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution lists 22 languages at present, which have been referred to as scheduled languages and given recognition, status and official encouragement.

Eighth Schedule

[Articles 344(1) and 351]


1. Assamese.

2. Bengali.

3. Bodo.

4. Dogri.

5. Gujarati.

6. Hindi.

7. Kannada.

8. Kashmiri.

9. Konkani.

10. Maithili.

11. Malayalam.

12. Manipuri.

Indian Languages

Indian Languages



13. Marathi. Multilingualism in India 14. Nepali. 15. Odia 16. Punjabi. 17. Sanskrit. 18. Santhali. 19.

Multilingualism in India

14. Nepali.

15. Odia

16. Punjabi.

17. Sanskrit.

18. Santhali.

19. Sindhi.

20. Tamil.

21. Telugu.

22. Urdu

In addition, the Government of India has awarded the distinction of classical language to Tamil, Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Odia. These languages are also used for day to day discourse.

Multiplicity of languages in India does not act as a barrier in communication; instead variability in linguistic behaviour facilitates communication. Contemporary research has shown that multilingualism is an asset for language learning, scholastic achievement, cognitive growth and social tolerance. The significance of Hindi as our official language and as a major link language of a substantial part of the country can hardly be overstated. Considering the importance of English as our window to the world and as a language of higher education, knowledge and social mobility, most states now introduce English early in school.

Social harmony in a country as diverse as India is only possible through mutual respect for each other’s language and culture. Such respect can only be built on knowledge. Ignorance breeds fear, hatred, and intolerance and this is indeed a major barrier to the building up a national identity and responsible citizenship. With each State having one dominant language, there is bound to develop a certain amount of ethnocentric attitude and linguistic chauvinism. This not only hampers the free movement of people and ideas but also imposes restrictions on creativity, innovation, and diffusion and retards the modernization of the society. Therefore multilingualism is encouraged in India.


In spite of the fact that all languages as abstract systems or subsystems are equal, the complex ways in which history, economics, sociology, and politics interact with language, some languages become more prestigious than others and become associated with socio-political power. It is generally the language used by the elite that acquires power in society and becomes the standard language. All the grammars, dictionaries, and various reference materials will invariably address this

‘standard’ language. From the point of view of the science of language, there is no difference between what is variously called standard language, pure language, dialect, variety, etc. Those who wield power create and perpetuate negative stereotypes about the languages of the underprivileged. As Chambers (2003: 277) points out, “Prejudices based on dialect are as insidious as prejudices based on skin, colour, religion, or any other insubstantial attribute, and they have the same result.” More than anything else, it is the socio-political and economic considerations that make people decide the national, official, and associate official languages to be used in education, administration, the judiciary, the mass media, etc. In principle, it is eminently possible to do anything in any language, including advanced research in the humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences. It should thus become obvious that the languages of the underprivileged will never become empowered unless we provide support structures that will ensure their use in a variety of contexts. It is also important to remember that ‘standard’ is never a fixed constant. Socio-historical processes create hierarchies within languages; it is possible to initiate processes of dialogue among these languages and follow an approach that travels within margins and from there connects with the centre. The Indian tradition has been one of coexistence of languages in day to day life and in different performative arts and literature.


The relationship among language, culture, and thought has been an area of serious enquiry for sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists and linguists for a very long time. There is no doubt that in addition to a variety of gestures, rituals, and paralinguistic features, language remains the main source of cultural transmission and cognitive structures. The linguistic and cultural patterns of social behaviour are largely subconsciously acquired and they gradually become constitutive of our identities. The role of multiplicity of languages and diversity of cultures in this context can hardly be over emphasised. If language, on the one hand, structures our thought processes, it liberates us and takes us into unexplored territories of knowledge and imagination, on the other. The relationship between language and thought is indeed very complex and has remained one of the most challenging puzzles for linguists, psychologists, and cognitive scientists in general. The cognitive, social, and cultural patterns that govern our perception of the world are largely shaped, formulated, and even dictated by the structures of the languages we speak. In the case of Indian languages and cultures, we, in general, share a linguistic, sociolinguistic, and cultural matrix, and an articulation of this matrix in different languages may eventually lead to an enrichment of both linguistic and cultural systems.

There are several functions of language apart from having the quality of unfolding the world. The basic function of language is for communication.It is a medium through which most of our knowledge is acquired. Language and literature have

close relationship. Literary forms such as poetry, prose, and drama are potent sources that not only refine our literary sensibility but also enrich our aesthetic life, enhane our synaesthetic abilities, and enormously improve our linguistic abilities, particularly reading comprehension and written articulation. Literature also includes jokes, irony, fantasy, story, parody, and parable, which pervade our everyday discourse and in no way constitute an autonomous universe cut off from ‘the world’s business’ (habermas 1996, 1998, 2001). A considered appreciation of the aesthetic aspects of language would inevitably lead to a preference for linguistic vitality and creativity rather than an obsession with purity and correctness. Human beings not only appreciate beauty but also often systematically codify laws that govern aesthetic dimensions. This would also lead, one hopes, to a respect for minor and endangered languages that is legitimately due to these languages and their speakers. No community wishes to let its ‘voice’ die. These languages are repositories of rich cultural traditions and knowledge systems and every effort needs to be made to keep them alive. This can be done only by making provisions for them in the school curriculum framework.


Even in the absence of standardised varieties, tribal langusges could become accessible tools for literary endeavour that allows for free expression to develop in all varieties and results in the consolidation of knowledge bases in each language. Many languages are becoming endangered and some have actually disappeared from the Indian linguistic scene. Every time we lose a language, a whole literary and cultural tradition is likely to be erased.

Indian subcontinent consists of an umpteen number of separate linguistic communities, at times sharing a common language and culture and again, at times standing in huge difference in dialects. It is already acknowledged that cosmopolitan and metropolitan populace possesses their indigenous sophisticated version of language and mode of communication. However, the point of interest in this context is the mode of utilisation of the language of tribes and tribal population in the country.

Tribal people make up 8.2 percent of the nation's total population, which adds to over 84 million people, according to the 2001 Indian census. Tribal people are essentially an aboriginal community residing in India, possessing their own customs and languages.

Indian tribal languages can be defined as essentially 'folk' languages, and spoken by people of ethnic groups. Indian tribal languages can simply be defined as the traditional languages utilised by the tribal folk. The languages used by tribal communities in India are indeed quite complex, but still priceless relics of India's past. This is the precise reason why they are preserved orally in the form of songs,

legends and other tales. Some of the leading tribal language-speaking groups comprise: Garo tribes, Chakma tribes, Naga tribes, Gond tribes, Mizo tribes, Munda tribes, Santhali tribes,Khasia tribes, Oraon tribes and the tribe of Manipur. Some of the tribal languages prevalent in India are Abujmaria, Garo, Aariya, and Tsangla, Saurashtri etc.The Garo language is spoken by the tribal communities residing in and around Garo hills, Meghalya, Tripura, Western Assam, and Nagaland. Several dialects of this language include Megam, Chisak, Atong etc. Another tribal language is Abujmaria which is spoken by the people of Abujmar hills in Bastar District. The Hill Maria tribal community uses this language as their medium to converse with their folks. This language is of Dravidian language family. Saurashtri is another tribal language which is also termed as Patnuli. Tribal communities residing in different parts of Andhra Pradesh, parts of Karnataka, North Arcot and Chennai speak in this language. Apart from these tribal languages, there are some other tribal languages namely Gadaba spoken by the people of Koraput district of Orissa.

Aariya is another tribal language spoken by the tribal communities of Madhya Pradesh and Tsangla spoken in some villages of Arunachal Pradesh.

Indian tribal languages are extremely well organised and orderly, owing to a developed past and the enlightened educational interference. Garo and Chakma languages have a slight Chinese hint to their diction. There lies an elementary similarity between the Garo and Magh languages, as both tribes belong to the same origin. Munda, Santhali, Kol, Khasia, Garo and Kurukh language are interrelated languages. Munda and Kurukh are regarded as equivalent languages, due to the syntax and verbs of both are almost identical. Munda, Santhali and Kol languages are even more ancient than the Indo-Aryan languages. These tribal languages further belong to Austro-Asian, Indo-Chinese, and Chinese-Tibetan, Tibetan-Burman or Dravidian families. As these tribal groups have mostly migrated from places mentioned, they have adopted their language principally from those nations.

The various languages spoken by Tribes of India are as follows

Indo-Aryan Family: Assamese language , Baigani, Banjari, Bengali language,, Bhatri, Bhili, Bhunjia, Chakma, Chhattisgarhi, Dhanki, Dhodia, Dhundhari, Gadiali, Gamit/Gavti, Garasia/Girasia, Gojri/Gujjari, Gujarati language, Hajong, Halbi, Harauti, language, Jaunsari, Kachchi, Khotta, Kinnui, Kokni, Konkani language, Kotwalia, Kudamamali, Thar, Lambani or Lamani language, Laria, Magahi, Mahl, Marathi language, Mavchi, Mewnri, Nagpuri, Naikadi, Nimari, Oriya language, Rathi, Sarhodi, Shina, Tharu, Wagri, Warli.

Tibeto-Burman Family: Adi Ashing, Adi Bokar, Adi Bori, Adi Gallong, Adi Komkar, Adi Milang, Adi Minyong, Adi Padam, Adi Karko, Pailibo, Adi Pangi, Adi Pasi, Adi Ramo, Adi Shimong, Adi Tangam, Aimol, Anal, Angami, Ao, Apatani, Balti, Bangni/Dafla, Bawm, Bhotia, Biate, Bodo, Bugun, Chakhesang, Champa, Chang,

Chiru, Chote, Chung, Dalu, Deori, Dokpa/Droskat, Duhlian-Twang, Gangte, Garo, Halam, Hmar, Hrusso/Aka, Hualngo, Kabui, Kachari, Kagati, Kak barak, Khamba, Khampa, Khiamngan, Koch, Koireng, Konyak, Kuki, Ladakhi, Lahauli, Lai Hawlh, Lakher/Mara, Lalung, Lamgang, Lepcha, Lisu, Lotha, Lushai/Mizo, Mag/Mogh, Mao, Maram, Maring, Memba, Mikir, Miri, Mishing, Mishmi, Monpa, Monsang, Moyon, Na, Naga, Sherdukpen, Nishi, Nocte, Paite, Pang, Phom, Pochury, Ralte, Rengma, Riang, Sajalong/Miju, Sangtam, Sema, Sherpa, Singpho, Sulung, Tagin, Tangsa, Thado, Tangkhul, Tibetan, Toto, Vaiphei, Wancho, Yim-chungre, Zakhring/Meyer, Zemi, Zou.

Dravidian Family: Dhurwa, Gadaba tribe , Gondi, Kadar tribe, Kannada, Kodagu, Kolami, Koraga, Kota, Koya/Koi, Kui, Kurukh, Kuvi, Malayalam, Malta, Maria, Naiki, Parji, Pengo, Tamil, Telugu langauge, Toda, Tulu, Virnvn, Yerukula.

Austro-Asiatic Family: Asuri, Bhumij tribe, Birhor tribe, Birjia tribe, Bondo, Diday, Gutob, Ho, Juang, Kharia, Khasi, Kherwari, Korku, Korwa, Kurmi, Lodha, Mundari, Nicobarese, Santali, Saora/Savara, Shompen, Thar.

Andamanese Family: Andamanese Tribe, Jarawa tribe, Onge, Santinelese.

Chinese Family: Khampti

Unclassified Family: Manchat

However, the list of Indian tribal languages is pretty long, owing to the overwhelming number of tribes residing throughout the country.


The social and cultural institutions of contemporary societies are constantly illuminated by the past and classical languages remain their vehicles. The Indian educational system has kept itself open to several classical languages, including Tamil, Latin, Arabic, and Sanskrit. But the study of Sanskrit deserves far more attention, for according to Nehru (1949), Sanskrit language and literature was the greatest treasure that India possessed and he believed that the genius of India will continue as long as it influences the life of the Indian people. Democratic and wider access to education and mass media in India have made it possible for the vast masses to have exposure to many more languages and varieties in the classical (and often sanctified) tradition. Sanskrit as well as other classical languages and early literature in the oral traditions are now being studied and brought forward to enrich the contemporary and modern literatures. The literary, aesthetic, and grammatical traditions of Sanskrit have opened up new horizons for the modern world. For example, there is an extremely promising interface unfolding between Panini and computational linguistics. Sanskrit literature has a variety of literature. Recent Sanskrit scholarship has brought to light a rich variety of voices that were lying

buried under the expressions of high culture. It has helped one to talk about many traditions in the Sanskrit language and to contextualise them.


Sanskrit is the oldest among all the available languages of the world. Rg-Veda is the first available literature in any language of the world. Regarding time of Vedic language and literature there are many opinions of scholars of India as well as West.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak opines that Maitrayānī Samhitā of Rg-Veda should have the time around 6500 BC based on the astronomical calculation of the occasion Vasant Sampat (Particular fall of the spring season) as narrated in that text.

Famous astronomer Herman Jacobi studying the position of the stellar Krttikā mentioned in Śatapatha Brāhmana (an auxiliary text of Yajurveda) fixes its time around 4500 B.C.

Great archaeologist of Czechoslovakia Prof. Hozni after excavation at Bogazkoi of Turkey found some stone plates engraved by the names of Vedic Gods like Indra, Mitra, Varuna and Nāsatya writes in his report that Vedic culture and Sanskrit language was prevalent in the Asian sub-continent by 2000 B.C.

Thus by the words of Tilak, Jacobi and Hozni time of Sanskrit language and its literature can have the upper limit up to 7000 B.C.

Development of Sanskrit literature has gone through different phases viz, the Vedas (Rg, Yajus, Sāma and Atharva), Vedāngas (Śiksā, Kalpa, Chandas, Nirukta, Vyākarana & Jyotisa), Ārsakāvyas (Rāmāyana and Mahābhārata), Purānas and classical literature.

Along with Sanskrit literature, literature in Pāli and Prākrt languages also flourished in ancient India. 400 B.C. to 100 B.C. was the time when scholars of Sanskrit and Sanskrit literature came into contact and mingled with the languages and literatures of Pacific kelands like Java and Bali (Suvarnadvīpa in Sanskrit). Vietnam (Campā) Cambodia (Kamboja), Keddah, Malaysia (katāhadvipa), Thailaad (Śyāma) and Mianmar (Suvarnabhūmi) where even now lots of Sanskrit literature were found preserved.

Vedic literature, the most ancient in the world are in form of hymns (Mantras) which are of 3 types, viz, Rk, Yajus and Sāman. The hymns purporting the praise of gods are called Rk and book of collection of Rks is called Rgveda. The book consists of 10 Mandalas, 85 Anuvākas and 10580 hymns. The hymns that describe the process of Yajna (rituals) are called Yajus and the collection is called Yajurveda. Sāma means the hymns that please the gods (by its musical rhythm) (सामयति प्रीणयति दवे ान् इति साम

In course of time sages Atharvā and Angirā collected some other hymns that are useful for man in everyday life like medicines, antidote to poision, administration

and some black magic. The Collection of these books later on was called by the name of the authors as Atharvaveda, Ātharvana Samhitā or Atharvāngirasa Samhitā. And thus erlier Vedas were three (trai) and later four in numbers.

Language of the Vedas are mysterious which is why scholars interpret in different ways. Some interpret it as a historical document whereas some take it symbolically and some as a test of religion.

Vedic literature (Vedavanmaya) not only comprises of 4 Vedas but other ancillary texts such as Brāhmana. Āranyaka, Upanisad. These texts are considered under Vedic literature on the basis of their language which we call as Vedic Sanskrit that is slightly different from classical Sanskrit which is prevailing even now.

Messages of all the Vedas are Peace of the world, unity of mankind, world- fraternity, and egalitarianism and so on Rg Veda says मनर्ु भव meaning everybody first become a human being. Vedas are not attached to any particular caste, creed, and religion and are without any bias. Its teaching is universal and without any boundary. It suggests having open mindedness.

आ नो भद्राोवतो : यन्वुशत‍तव:

Let the noble thoughts come from all angles. It also advocates for social harmony.

संगच्छध्तं संत्ध्तंसं तो मनांशस जानवाम्

Let us walk together, speak in same tone and understand each other’s heart.

In order to understand the application of the Vedic Mantras as well as their relevance Brāhmana texts were written. Śatapatha Brāhmana of Yajurveda establishes deep connection of Yajna with ecological balance. Some famous Brāhmanas are Āitareya, Taitereya etc.

Āranyakas are the texts which describe about the Vedic way of life, code of conduct of various Aśramas like Brahamacarya, Grhastha, Vānaprastha and Sampnyāsa.

Towards the end of Vedic literature comes an encyclopedic philosophical literature viz, Upanisads which are more than 100 in number. Out of them 11 Upanishads become famous thanks to the masterly commentaries of Śankarācārya, i.e. Isa, Kena, Katha, Praśna, Mundaka, Māndukya, Aitareya, Taitareya, Brhadāranyaka, Chāndogya and Śvetāśvetara.

The world Upanisad signifies the proximity of teacher and taught. ‘Upa’ means ‘near’ ‘तन’means ultimately and ‘sad’ means

(cast away)




(to know, to move and to obtain) (to fulfill)

This means student reaches near Guru and casts away his ignorance, knows/ moves to/ obtains ultimate truth and fulfills his goal of life.

In order to take the knowledge forward Upanisad prays for strong bonding of teacher & taught.

सहनाततवुसह नौ भनुक्वुसहत्यं वरतातह वेजश‍तनातत्वम‍वुमा शतशिषात ह

May you protect both of us, nourish both of us, give energy to both of us, make both of us study with valour and never let us fight with each other.

Upnisad gives a unique narrative to explain about Ākman which otherwise is indescribable

पणू मण ्पणू शणम :्ं पणू ाणत्पणू मण ्ुच्यवे।

पणू ‍ण य पणू मण ा्ाय पणू मण ते ाशतष्‍यवे।।

That is full in itself. This is also full in itself. Full is subtracted from full and the remainder still is full. This description is about the relationship of the greater Ātman which pervades the whole universe and the individual soul (i.e. Jiva)

ईषाता‍यशम्ं सतणयशत्वं ग जगत्यां जगव्।

वेन त्यक्वेन भजुज्था

नम्।।श‍तमा गत: व‍य :

Whatever is available in the world is all enjoyable by the god. So enjoy with the feeling of sacrifice and never greed for other’s wealth.

By and large objectives of the Upanisads are

knowledge of God, Nature, Soul, Society, Nation

Relationship of Mind, body and soul.

To lead a spiritual life and cessation of suffering.

In order to understand and preserve the Vedic wisdom some other branches of knowledge were developed which were called the Vedāngas (limbs of Veda). Those are Śikā (treatise on Pronunciation), Kalpa (Treatise on architecture of Yajñās), Nīrukta (Science of etymology), Vyākarana (Science of language), Chandas (Science of meters) and Jyotisa (Astronomy).

These branches of knowledge help in pronouncing and understanding the Vedas and performing the Yajñas. These were developed in post Vedic era i.e. 800 B.C. onwards when Vedic language was no more is use and hence became difficult to understand.

was no more is use and hence became difficult to understand. Siks – D ifferent Vedas

Siks Different Vedas had their own Śiks Prātiśākhyas. Prātiśākhyas describe the letters, sounds and some phonetic specialties and operations of the respective Vedas.

Prātiśākhyas describe the letters, sounds and some phonetic specialties and operations of the respective Vedas.

Kalpa This means the rules or methods. Vedic rituals have some specific rules

which are described in the Kalpa Sūtra. It has four branches, viz, Śrauta Sūtra,



Sūtra. It has four branches, viz, Śrauta Sūtra, Gr San the rules of rformed at home,

the rules of rformed at home, Dharma Sūtra explains the duties at

different states such as duty of human being, social duties, royal duties etc. and Śulva Sutra is the science of geometry which was basically used for making the Vedi (Place of Yajaña) of various kinds.

for making the Vedi (Place of Yajaña) of various kinds. Vyākaran – This is considered to
for making the Vedi (Place of Yajaña) of various kinds. Vyākaran – This is considered to

Vyākaran – This is considered to be the most important An words are emplaned by their division into stems and suffixes. Innumerable treatises are mode in this field of knowledge, foremost of which is Pānini’s As which was written in the 6 th C.B.C. and the tradition of this is still present. Vyākaran dharma (virtue).

of this is still present. Vyākaran dharma (virtue). Nirukta – The main purpose of this treatise
of this is still present. Vyākaran dharma (virtue). Nirukta – The main purpose of this treatise

Nirukta The main purpose of this treatise is to explain the meaning of Vedic words systematically. Though tradition records that various Niruktas were there in ancient india, presently only one is available with us, that is authored by Yāska in 800 B.C. Apart from etimologies of Vedic words Nirukta also explains linguistic intricacies in it.

Chandas This book helps in pronunciation and recitation of Vedic stanzas which are composed in Various meters. It explains the main 7 meters of Vedic literature, i.e.,

1. Gāyatrī (3 lines of 8 letters each)

2. Us

i.e., 1. Gāyatrī (3 lines of 8 letters each) 2. Us es of 8 letters and
i.e., 1. Gāyatrī (3 lines of 8 letters each) 2. Us es of 8 letters and

es of 8 letters and 1 line of 12 letters)

3. Anus

4. Br

5. Paňktī (4 lines of 10 letters each)

6. Tris

7. Jagatī (4 lines of 12 letters each)

Jyotisa -

This is a science to measure the time. As Vedic rituals are supposed to be performed in specific time, this science was developed to measure and fix the time for particular activities. It counts the timing and movements of different planets and stars. One of the most authentic texts on this subject is Vedānga Jyotis Lagadha cārya sometimes between 1400 B.C. to 800 B.C.

Lagadha cārya sometimes between 1400 B.C. to 800 B.C. After the era of Vedic literature comes

After the era of Vedic literature comes the age of classical had been toned down to more systematic, uniform and free use of many words had been restricted. The first work in this language which is still a master price in the literature world is Rāmāyana by Vālmīki the text consists of 24000 verses and divided into 7 chapters,

i.e. called Kān d as. The story is about lord Rāma who possesses a very high moral character. His character is depicted as a dedicated son, committed to friends and relatives, full of charity, truthful, a great warrior helping to the needies, protector of Dharma, killer of wicked and person with a great soul. His character became so popular that the story got narrated not only in Indian languages but also in most languages of the world. In Srilanka the story is called Ramaketti, Ramakiyen in Thailand, Hiqayat Maharaja Rama in Malaysia, Ramayanakakavin in Java and so on which is still the foundation of religious, social and spiritual ethos of these Iceland countries. First Rāma’s visit to Jungle, killing of golden deer, kidnap of Sitā, death of Jatāyu, dialogue with Sugrīva, killing of Bāli, crossing over the ocean, burning Lankā and later killing of Rāvana, Kumbhakaraba etc, (friends) this is Rāmāyana. After Rāmāyana, Sanskrit Literature offers another magnum opus, viz, Mahābhārata by Kr - dvaipāyana, also known as Vedavyāsa for he systematically divided the Vedas Mahābharata consisting of 100 small chapters (parvas) and 18 big chapters (Parvas) consisting about 1,00,000 verses is not only an authentic text for Indian history but also is an encyclopedic text of religion, philosophy, spirituality, geography, astronomy and many other sciences and

customs and traditions of india. This is why it is aptly said. -यश्हाश‍व व्न्यत्र यन्नेहाश‍व न


Whatever is here is (elaborated) elsewhere and what is not here, is nowhere. Based on the stories of Mahabhārata numerous literatures were written in later period in various languages. Though Mahābhārata is incomparable to any literature in the world for its rich content and simplicity, a small portion of it from Bhismaparva has caught the eyes of world literature enjoyed a special status as a complete treatise on philosophy. That is called as Śrimadbhagavad gitā. Which is of about 700 verses with 18 chapters (Adhyāya) and has been translated and commented upon in almost all languages of the world. Kr and his disciple where Kr shows the different ways for the mankind for salvation and liberation form suffering. The different ways are, Jañāna, Karma and Bhakti (knowledge, action and devotion), i.e., knowledge of ultimate truth, i.e. Ātman which is beyond birth and death, action, i.e. performed with detachment and selflessness and devotion towards god with complete self sacrifice. Writer of Mahābhārata, Vedavyāsa has also authored 18 Purān Bhāgavata and Brahmasūtra.

has also authored 18 Purān Bh āgavata and Brahmasūtra. While Rāmāyan ārata and Purān of Indian
has also authored 18 Purān Bh āgavata and Brahmasūtra. While Rāmāyan ārata and Purān of Indian
has also authored 18 Purān Bh āgavata and Brahmasūtra. While Rāmāyan ārata and Purān of Indian
has also authored 18 Purān Bh āgavata and Brahmasūtra. While Rāmāyan ārata and Purān of Indian
has also authored 18 Purān Bh āgavata and Brahmasūtra. While Rāmāyan ārata and Purān of Indian
has also authored 18 Purān Bh āgavata and Brahmasūtra. While Rāmāyan ārata and Purān of Indian

While Rāmāyan

18 Purān Bh āgavata and Brahmasūtra. While Rāmāyan ārata and Purān of Indian people with their

ārata and Purān

āgavata and Brahmasūtra. While Rāmāyan ārata and Purān of Indian people with their epic stories with

of Indian people with their epic stories with highly moral as well as religious characters, in later period many classic literatures in form of poetries and dramnas were composed adapting the original stories of those with some modifications. Some creations were also made with historical characters. The eighteen puranas are:

1. Vishnu Purana

Some creations were also made with historical characters. The eighteen puranas are: 1. Vishnu Purana 2.


Srimad Bhagavata Purana

4. Garuda (Suparna) Purana

5. Padma Purana

6. Varah Purana

7. Brahma Purana

8. Brahmanda Purana

9. Brahma Vaivarta Purana

10. Markandeya Purana

11. Bhavishya Purana

12. Vamana Purana

13. Matsya Purana

14. Kurma Purana

15. Linga Purana

16. Siva Purana

17. Skanda Purana and

18. Agni Purana

Purana 16. Siva Purana 17. Skanda Purana and 18. Agni Purana Classical Sanskrit literature by and

Classical Sanskrit literature by and large has two forms.

1. Śravya Kāvya (Literature that can be read or listened)

2. Dr śya Kāvya (Literature that is performed and seen) The earlier one is further divided into three.

1. Gadyakāvya (Prose)

2. Padyakāvya (Poetry)

3. Camoūkavya (Mixed)

(Prose) 2. Padyakāvya (Poetry) 3. Camoūkavya (Mixed) Gadyak āvya - The form of literature that is


The form of literature that is not bound in meters and mostly elaborated is Gadyakāvya. As per its contents it is divided into two categories, i.e. 1- Kathā and 2- Ākhyāyikā. Kathā is based on fictional stories. Famous literature in form of Kathā in Sanskrit is Kādambarī of Bān abhat t a and Das akumāracaritam of Dan d in. Ākhyāyikās based on the life stories of popular characters in history. The most famous Ākhyāyikā in Sanskrit literature is Bān abhatta’s Hars acaritam which is based on life history of the king Hars avardhana.

which is based on life history of the king Hars avardhana. Padyakāvya – Most creations in
which is based on life history of the king Hars avardhana. Padyakāvya – Most creations in
which is based on life history of the king Hars avardhana. Padyakāvya – Most creations in
which is based on life history of the king Hars avardhana. Padyakāvya – Most creations in
which is based on life history of the king Hars avardhana. Padyakāvya – Most creations in
which is based on life history of the king Hars avardhana. Padyakāvya – Most creations in
which is based on life history of the king Hars avardhana. Padyakāvya – Most creations in
which is based on life history of the king Hars avardhana. Padyakāvya – Most creations in

Padyakāvya –

Most creations in Sanskrit literature are in this form. It has three varieties viz-

1. Mahākāvya

2. Khan

3. Muktaka

has three varieties viz- 1. Mahākāvya 2. Khan 3. Muktaka āvya Mahākāvyas are written on stories


varieties viz- 1. Mahākāvya 2. Khan 3. Muktaka āvya Mahākāvyas are written on stories picked form

Mahākāvyas are written on stories picked form history or purān number of chapters. Detailed elaboration of nature, personalities and situations are

available in this form of poetry. In Sanskrit literature there are famous five Mahākāvyas, viz, Kālidāsa’s Raghuvamśam and Kumārasambhavam, Bhāravi’s Kirātārjuniyam, Māgha’s Śiśupālavadham and Śrīharsa’s Nais adhiyacaritam. Mahākāvyas contain all kinds of rasas (sentiments) with one Śr ngāra (erotic) and Vīra as prime sentiment. Khan akāvyas contain all the qualitīes of Mahākāvya except the large volume and multiple chapters. Famous Khan akāvya in Sanskrit literature is Kālidāsa’s Meghadūtam and Ŗtusam hāram. Muktakas are those varieties of poetry which are independent in itself. It’s contents are mostly witty, beautiful presentation of a situation or person and brain teasers. Famous Muktakas in Sanskrit literature which have inspired the world literature are Bhartr hari’s traid of Śatakas viz, Nītiśataka, Śrngāraśataka and Vairāgyaśataka and the verses of Vis nuśarmā’s Pañcatantra etc.

and the verses of Vis nuśarmā’s Pa ñcatantra etc. Campūkāvya This form of literature is composed
and the verses of Vis nuśarmā’s Pa ñcatantra etc. Campūkāvya This form of literature is composed
and the verses of Vis nuśarmā’s Pa ñcatantra etc. Campūkāvya This form of literature is composed
and the verses of Vis nuśarmā’s Pa ñcatantra etc. Campūkāvya This form of literature is composed
and the verses of Vis nuśarmā’s Pa ñcatantra etc. Campūkāvya This form of literature is composed
and the verses of Vis nuśarmā’s Pa ñcatantra etc. Campūkāvya This form of literature is composed

Campūkāvya This form of literature is composed with both prose and poetry portions. These are like telling stories with recitation of poems in between to enhance the aesthetic value. Famous campukāvyas in Snaskrit literature are Nalacampu, Viśvagunādarśacampu, Rādhāmādhavavilāscampū etc.

Dr śyakāvya Literature that is audio-visual and enjoyed while performed on stage is called Dr yakāvya. In language of dramaturgy this is known as Rūpaka which is of ten types.

नाटवमथ प्रवरणं भाणव्योगसमतवारश मा।:

ईहामगाङ्वत्ऽय: प्रहसनशमशव रूपवाशण ्ष ।

रूपवाशण ्ष । । The types of Rūpakas are Nā t aka, Prakaran a, Bhān a,
रूपवाशण ्ष । । The types of Rūpakas are Nā t aka, Prakaran a, Bhān a,

The types of Rūpakas are Nāt aka, Prakaran a, Bhān a, Vyāyoga, Samavakaras D ima, Ihāmr ga, Anka, Vīthi and Prahasana. This categorisation is made on the basis of their theme, type of hero and the sentiment (Rasa). Among these the famous types are Nāt aka, Prakaran a and Prahasana. Nāt aka being the most popular form of Rupaka has been mostly used as a synonym of Rūpaka. The most famous Nāt aka of Sanskrit literature that caught the imagination of world literature is Kalidāsa’s AbhijKānaśākuntalam. There is a

popular quote by its name i.e., काव्येषुनांक ्‍य िर ्‍या ुकु‍िला

्‍य िर ्‍या ुकु‍िला Nāt aka is the most adored form of literature and Nāt aka
्‍य िर ्‍या ुकु‍िला Nāt aka is the most adored form of literature and Nāt aka
्‍य िर ्‍या ुकु‍िला Nāt aka is the most adored form of literature and Nāt aka
्‍य िर ्‍या ुकु‍िला Nāt aka is the most adored form of literature and Nāt aka
्‍य िर ्‍या ुकु‍िला Nāt aka is the most adored form of literature and Nāt aka
्‍य िर ्‍या ुकु‍िला Nāt aka is the most adored form of literature and Nāt aka
्‍य िर ्‍या ुकु‍िला Nāt aka is the most adored form of literature and Nāt aka
्‍य िर ्‍या ुकु‍िला Nāt aka is the most adored form of literature and Nāt aka
्‍य िर ्‍या ुकु‍िला Nāt aka is the most adored form of literature and Nāt aka

Nāt aka is the most adored form of literature and Nāt aka of śakuntalā among all Nātakas. Kālidasa has created two more Nāt akas, viz, Mālavikāgnimitram and Vikramorvaśiyam. Other famous drammas in Sanskrit literature are Bhavabhūti’s Ult ararāmacaritam, Śudraka’s Mrcchakat ikam, Viśākhādatta’s Mudrārāks asam to name a few. The divisions of classical Sanskrit literature can be understood by the following


The divisions of classical Sanskrit literature can be understood by the following diagram. काव्य (Literature)
The divisions of classical Sanskrit literature can be understood by the following diagram. काव्य (Literature)
The divisions of classical Sanskrit literature can be understood by the following diagram. काव्य (Literature)
The divisions of classical Sanskrit literature can be understood by the following diagram. काव्य (Literature)
The divisions of classical Sanskrit literature can be understood by the following diagram. काव्य (Literature)
The divisions of classical Sanskrit literature can be understood by the following diagram. काव्य (Literature)






दृश्य (Dr

श्रव्य ( Ś ravya) Padya दृश्य (Dr śya) N ātaka Prakarana Bhāna Vyāyoga Samavakāra Dima













Samavakāra Dima Īhāmrga Vithi Prahasana Gadya Camp ū Katha Akhy āyikā Muktaka Mah ākāvay Khandak āvya



Īhāmrga Vithi Prahasana Gadya Camp ū Katha Akhy āyikā Muktaka Mah ākāvay Khandak āvya HINDI Hindi





Hindi Literature (Hindi: हिन्दी साहित्य, Hindi Sahitya) includes literature in the

various Central


prominent forms (styles) based on the date of production. They are :






Adi Kaal 11th14th century

Bhakti Kaal14th18th century

Riti Kaal 18th20th century

Adhunik Kaal (modern literature) 20th century onwards

The literature was produced in different varieties of Hindi such as Braj, Bundeli, Awadhi, Kannauji, Khariboli, Marwari, Angika, Vajjika, Maithili, M agahiand Bhojpuri. From the 20th century, works produced in Hindi, a register of Hindustani, are sometimes regarded as the only basis of modern literature in Hindi.

Adi kaal (c. 1050 to 1375)

Literature of Adi kal (c. before 15th century CE) was developed in the regions of Kannauj, Delhi, Ajmer stretching up to central India. Prithviraj Raso, an epic poem written by Chand Bardai (1149 c. 1200), is considered as one of the first works in the history of Hindi literature. Chand Bardai was a court poet( known as darbari) of Prithviraj Chauhan, the famous ruler of Delhi and Ajmer during the invasion of Muhammad of Ghor.

Jayachand, the last ruler of Kannauj belonging to the Rathore Rajput clan, gave more patronage to Sanskrit (which was no longer the common man's language in this period) rather than local dialects. Harsha, the author of Naishdhiya Charitra, was his court poet. Jagnayak (sometimes Jagnik), the royal poet in Mahoba, and Nalha, the royal poet in Ajmer, were the other prominent literary figures in this period.

However, after Prithviraj Chauhan's defeat in the Second Battle of Tarain, most literary works belonging to this period were destroyed by the army ofMuhammad of Ghor. Very few scriptures and manuscripts from this period are available and their genuineness is also doubted.

Some Siddha and Nathpanthi poetical works belonging to this period are also found, but their genuineness is again, doubted. The Siddhas belonged to the Vajrayana, a later Buddhist sect. Some scholars argue that the language of Siddha poetry is not an earlier form of Hindi, butMagadhi Prakrit. Nathpanthis were yogis who practised the Hatha yoga. Some Jain and Rasau (heroic poets) poetry works are also available from this period.

In the Deccan region in South India, Dakkhini or Hindavi was used. It flourished under the Delhi Sultanate and later under the Nizams ofHyderabad. It was written in the Persian script. Nevertheless, the Hindavi literature can be considered as proto- Hindi literature. Many Deccani experts like Sheikh Ashraf or Mulla Vajahi used the word Hindavi to describe this dialect. Others such as Roustami, Nishati etc. preferred to call it Deccani. Shah Buharnuddin Janam Bijapuri used to call it Hindi. The first Deccani author was Khwaja Bandanawaz Gesudaraz Muhammad Hasan. He wrote three prose works Mirazul Aashkini, Hidayatnama and Risala Sehwara. His grandson Abdulla Hussaini wrote Nishatul Ishq. The first Deccani poet was Nizami.

During the later part of this period and early Bhakti Kala, many saint-poets like Ramanand and Gorakhnath became famous. The earliest form of Hindi can also be seen in some of Vidyapati's Maithili works.

Bhakti kaal (c. 1375 to 1700)

The medieval Hindi literature is marked by the influence of Bhakti movement and composition of long, epic poems.

[Avadhi] and [Brij Bhasha] were the dialects in which literature was developed. The main works in Avadhi are Malik Muhammad Jayasi's Padmavat and Tulsidas's Ramacharitamanas. The major works in Braj dialect are Tulsidas's Vinaya Patrika and Surdas's Sur Sagar. Sadhukaddiwas also a language commonly used, especially by Kabir in his poetry and dohas.

The Bhakti period also marked great theoretical development in poetry forms chiefly from a mixture of older forms of poetry in Sanskrit School and the Persian School. These included Verse Patterns like Doha (two-liners), Sortha, Chaupaya (four-liners) etc. This was also the age when Poetry was characterised under the various Rasas. Unlike the Adi Kaal (also called the Vir Gatha Kaal) which was characterised by an overdose of Poetry in the Vir Rasa (Heroic Poetry), the Bhakti Yug marked a much

Kaal ) which was characterised by an overdose of Poetry in the Vir Rasa (Heroic Poetry),

more diverse and vibrant form of poetry which spanned the whole gamut of rasas from Shringara rasa (love), Vir Rasa (Heroism).

Bhakti poetry had two schools

believers of a formless God or an abstract name) and the Saguna school (the believers of a God with attributes and worshippers of Vishnu's incarnations). Kabir and Guru Nanak belong to the Nirguna school, and their philosophy was greatly influenced by the Advaita Vedanta philosophy of Adi Sankaracharya. They believed in the concept of Nirgun Nirakaar Bramh or the Shapeless Formless One. Collection of Kabir’s works are known as Bijak. The Saguna school was represented by mainly Vaishnava poets like Surdas, Tulsidas and others and was a logical extension of the Dvaita and Vishishta Advaita Philosophy propounded by the likes

of Madhavacharya etc. This school was chiefly Vaishnava in orientation as in seen in



the Nirguna school


extoling Rama and Krishna. the the Nirguna school (the – main This was also the age


This was also the age of tremendous integration between the Hindu and the Islamic elements in the Arts with the advent of many Muslim Bhakti poets like Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana who was a court poet to Mughal emperor Akbar and was a great devotee of Krishna. The Nirgun School of Bhakti Poetry was also tremendously secular in nature and its propounders like Kabir and Guru Nanak had a large number of followers irrespective of caste or religion.

Riti kaal (c. 1700 to 1900)

In the Ritikavya or Ritismagra Kavya period, the erotic element became predominant in the Hindi literature. This era is called Riti (meaning 'procedure') because it was the age when poetic figures and theory were developed to the fullest. But this emphasis on poetry theory greatly reduced the emotional aspects of poetrythe main characteristic of the Bhakti movementand the actual content of the poetry became less important. The Saguna School of the Bhakti Yug split into two schools (Rama bhakti and Krishna bhakti) somewhere in the interregnum of the Bhakti and the Reeti Eras. Although most Reeti works were outwordly related to Krishna Bhakti, their emphasis had changed from total devotion to the supreme being to the Shringar or erotic aspects of Krishna's lifehis Leela, his pranks with the Gopis in Braj, and the description of the physical beauty of Krishna and Radha,(Krishna's Consort). The poetry of Bihari, and Ghananand Das fit this bill. The most well known book from this age is the Bihari Satsai of Bihari, a collection of Dohas (couplets), dealing with Bhakti (devotion), Neeti (Moral policies) and Shringar (love).

Adhunik kaal (c. 1900 onwards)

In 1800, the British East India Company established Fort William College at Calcutta. The College president J. B. Gilchrist hired professors to write books in Hindustani.

Lal, Naasiketopaakhyan by Sadal


Some of these books were Prem Sagar by Lallu

Mishra, Sukhsagar by Inshallah Khan.




and Rani Ketaki ki kahani by

Khan. Sadasukhlal of Delhi and Rani Ketaki ki kahani by The person who brought realism in

The person who brought realism in the Hindi prose literature was Munshi Premchand, who is considered as the most revered figure in the world of Hindi fiction and progressive movement. Before Premchand, the Hindi literature revolved around fairy or magical tales, entertaining stories and religious themes. Premchand's novels have been translated into many other languages. Some of his famous novels are Godan, Gaban, Nirmala, Karmabhumi etc.

Phanishwar Nath 'Renu' was one of the most successful and influential writers of modern Hindi literature in the post-Premchand era. He is the author of Maila Anchal, which is regarded as the most significant Hindi novel. He is best known for promoting the voice of the contemporary rural India through the genre of 'Aanchalik Upanyas' (Regional Story), and is placed amongst the pioneering Hindi writers who brought regional voices into the mainstream Hindi literature.

Bhartendu Yug

Bharatendu Harishchandra (1849-1882) is known to have brought in a modern outlook in Hindi literature. He is described as “Father of Modern Hindi Literature”. Other writers of this period include Radhakrishna Das, Pratapnarayan Mishra, Balkrishna Bhatta, Badrinarayan Chaudhuri and Sudhakar Dwivedi. Bharatendu Harishchandra, the pioneer of modern Hindi literature, encouraged many members of his circle of poets and writers to recreate and translate novels from other languages. Many novels were actually translated and adapted from English and Bengali under his influence.

Dwivedi Yug

The Dwivedi Yug ("Age of Dwivedi") in Hindi literature lasted from 1900 to 1918. It is named after Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi, who played a major role in establishing the modern Hindi language in poetry and broadening the acceptable subjects of the Hindi poetry from the traditional ones of religion and romantic love. He encouraged poetry in Hindi dedicated to nationalism and social reform.

Dwivedi became the editor of Saraswati in 1903, the first Hindi monthly magazine of India, which was established in 1900. He used it to crusade for reforms in the Hindi literature. One of the most prominent poems of the period was Maithili Sharan Gupt's Bharat-bharati, which evokes the past glory of India. Shridhar Prathak's Bharatgit is another renowned poem of the period. The period was

important for laying the foundations for the modern Hindi poetry and that it did reflect sensitivity to social issues of the time. However, she also adds that the inelegance is a typical feature of a "young" poetry

Without a poetic tradition in modern Hindi, poets often modeled their forms on Braj, and later on Sanskrit, Urdu, Bengali and English forms, often ill-suited to Hindi. The subjects of the poems tended to be communal rather than personal. Characters were often presented not as individuals but as social types.

Chhayavaad Yug

In the 20th century, Hindi literature saw a romantic upsurge. This is known

as Chhayavaad (shadowism) and the literary figures belonging to this school are known

asChhayavaadi. Jaishankar Varma and Sumitranandan




major Chhayavaadi poets.

Poet Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar'was another great poet with some Chayavaadi element

in his poetry although he wrote in other genres as well.

This period of Neo-romanticism, represents the adolescence of Hindi Poetry. It is marked by beauty of expression and flow of intense emotion. The four representative poets of this era represent the best in Hindi Poetry. A unique feature of this period is the emotional (and sometimes active) attachment of poets with national freedom struggle, their effort to understand and imbibe the vast spirit of a magnificent ancient culture and their towering genius which grossly overshadowed all the literary 'talked abouts' of next seven decades.


Pragativad (Progressivism) of Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh and other authors. Prayogvad (Experimentalism) of Ajneya and the Tar Saptak poets, also known as Nayi Kavita (New Poetry) and Nayi Kahani (New Story) of Nirmal Verma and others.Some important poets of this era are Shamsher, Nagarjun, Bhawani Prasad Mishra, Raghuvir Sahay, Kedar Nath singh, Savashverdayal Saxena, Kunwar Narain


of Adhunik Sahitya (Modernism) are:



Hindi travel literature

Rahul Sankrityayan, Bhadant Anand Kausalyayan, Sachchidananda Hirananda Vatsyayan 'Ajneya' and Baba Nagarjun were some of the great Indian writers who dedicated themselves entirely to the Hindi Travel Literature (Yatra Vritanta). Rahul Sankrityayan was one of the greatest travelled scholars of India, spending forty-five years of his life on travels away from his home. He is known as the ("Father of Hindi Travel literature"). Baba Nagarjun was a major Hindi and Maithili poet who has also penned a number of novels, short stories, literary biographies and travelogues, and was known as ("Janakavi- the People's Poet").

Hindi playwriting

playwrighting, Bhartendu

Harishchandra wrote Satya Harishchandra (1875), Bharat Durdasha (1876) and Andher Nagari (1878), in the late 19th century, Jaishankar Prasad became the next big figure in Hindi playwriting with plays like Skanda Gupta (1928), Chandragupta (1931)

and Dhruvswamini (1933).

The pioneer

of Hindi



As the Independence struggle was gathering steam playwrights broaching issues of nationalism and subversive ideas against the British, yet to dodge censorship they adapted themes from mythology, history and legend and used them as vehicle for political messages, a trend that continues to date, though now it was employed to bring out social, personal and psychological issues rather than clearly political, though street theatre broke this trend in coming decades in post-independence era, like IPTA-inspired, Naya Theatre of Habib Tanvir did in the 1950s90s, Jana Natya Manch of Safdar Hashmi did in the 1970s80s. Post-independence the emerging republic threw up new issues for playwrights to tackle and express, and Hindi playwriting showed greater brevity and symbolism, but it was not as prolific as in case with Hindi poetry or fiction. [11] Yet we have playwrights like Jagdish Chandra Mathur (Konark) and Upendranath Ashk (Anjo Didi), who displayed a steadily evolving understanding of stagecraft. These were followed another generation of pioneers in Hindi playwrighting, Mohan Rakesh, who started with Ashadh Ka Ek Din (1958), Adhe Adhure and Lehron Ke Rajhans, Dharamvir Bharati, who wroteAndha Yug, and other playwrights like Surendra Verma, and Bhisham Sahni.

Hindi essay-writing

Kuber Nath Rai is one of the writers who dedicated themselves entirely to the form of essay-writing. His collections of essays Gandha Madan, Priya neel-kanti, Ras Aakhetak,Vishad Yog, Nishad Bansuri, Parna mukut have enormously enriched the form of essay. A scholar of Indian culture and western literature, he was proud of Indian heritage. His love for natural beauty and Indian folk literatures and preference for agricultural society over the age of machines, his romantic outlook, aesthetic sensibility, his keen eye on contemporary reality and classical style place him very high among contemporary essayists in Hindi


Urdu holds a unique position among Indian languages by virtue of not belonging to any well-defined geographical area. For linguists, there is no fundamental difference between Urdu and Hindi. Both languages have the same syntax and share a greater part of their phonology, morphology, and lexicon. It is only during the last seventy years that efforts have been made to increasingly Sanskritise Hindi and Persianise or Arabicise Urdu, with the result that the two varieties positioned at the extreme ends of the continuum often become mutually

the two varieties positioned at the extreme ends of the continuum often become mutually A Textbook

A Textbook for Urdu Literature

incomprehensible, largely because of differences in the lexicon. On the other hand, the symbolic and socio-political significance of these two varieties of Hindustani is indeed immense. The fact that Hindi is written in the Devanagari and Urdu in the Perso-Arabic script has become extremely important. Urdu (along with Sindhi) is unique in that, while it is spoken all over the country.


Over a period of time, English has become an integral part of the Indian verbal repertoire. Even though in many remote parts of the country, it must still be treated as a foreign language, in several semi-urban and urban areas, it can safely be called a second language. With the impact of globalization, English is no longer the privilege of the rich and middle class, but also the language of hope for the vast majority of people.

Though English is the mother tongue of a very few people, it is widely used as a second language in several domains of activity by a large number of people. It is an important link language, an Associate Official language of the Union, the language of higher education, competitive examinations, a substantial amount of national and international business, commerce and finance, international communication, of major news papers and important television channels holding a significant place in the print and electronic media. It is also one of the major languages of research in the fields of science, technology, medical sciences, liberal arts and humanities.

There is a rich body of Indian literature written in English. In the 20th century, several Indian writers have distinguished themselves not only in traditional Indian languages but also in English. Indian English typically follows British spelling and pronunciation as opposed to American, and books published in India reflect this phenomenon.

Indian English literature (IEL) refers to the body of work by writers in India who write in the English language and whose native language could be one of the numerous languages of India. It is also associated with the works of members of the Indian diaspora, such as V. S. Naipaul, Kiran Desai, Jhumpa Lahiri, Agha Shahid Ali, Rohinton Mistry and Salman Rushdie, who are of Indian descent. A few among others are mentioned below.

IEL has a relatively recent history, being only one and a half centuries old. The first book written by an Indian in English was Travels of Dean Mahomet, a travel narrative by Sake Dean Mahomet published in England in 1793. In its early stages, IEL was influenced by the Western novel. Early Indian writers used English unadulterated by Indian words to convey an experience which was essentially Indian. Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay (18381894) wrote Rajmohan's Wife and published it in the year 1864; it the first Indian novel written in English. Raja Rao (19082006), Indian

philosopher and writer, authored Kanthapura and The Serpent and the Rope, which are Indian in terms of their storytelling qualities. Kisari Mohan Ganguli translated the Mahabharat into English at that time.

India's only Nobel laureate in literature was the Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore (18611941), who wrote some of his work originally in English, and did some of his own English translations from Bengali. He received the Nobel prize for his work Gitanjali. Dhan Gopal Mukerji (18901936) was the first Indian author to win a literary award in the United States. Nirad C. Chaudhuri (18971999), a writer of non-fiction, is best known for his The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian (1951), in which he relates his life experiences and influences. P. Lal (19292010), a poet, translator, publisher and essayist, founded a press in the 1950s for Indian English writing, Writers Workshop.

1950s for Indian English writing, Writers Workshop . R.K. Narayan (1906 – 2001) contributed over many

R.K. Narayan (19062001) contributed over many decades and continued to write till his death. Similar to the way Thomas

Hardy used Wessex, Narayan created the fictitious town of Malgudi where he set his novels. Through Malgudi one can vividly understand the Indian experience. Narayan's evocation of small town life and its experiences through the eyes of the endearing child protagonist Swaminathan in Swami and Friends is a good sample of his writing style.

Mulk Raj Anand (19052004), was similarly gaining recognition for his writing set in rural India such as The Lost Child and Other Stories, Untouchable, Coolie, Seven Summers etc.

Recent writers in India such as Arundhati Roy and David Davidar show a direction towards contextuality and rootedness in their works. Arundhati Roy, a trained architect and the 1997 Booker prize winner for her The God of Small Things, calls herself a "home grown" writer. Her award winning book is set in the immensely physical landscape of Kerala.

Among the later writers, the most notable is Salman Rushdie, born in India, now living in the United Kingdom. Rushdie with his famous work Midnight's Children (Booker Prize 1981, Booker of Bookers 1992, and Best of the Bookers 2008) ushered in

a new trend of writing. He used a hybrid language English generously peppered with Indian terms to convey a theme that could be seen as representing the vast canvas of India. Nayantara Sehgal was awarded the 1986 Sahitya Akademi Award for English, for her novel, Rich Like Us (1985), by the Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters. Anita Desai, who was shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times, received a Sahitya Akademi Award in 1978 for her novel Fire on the Mountain and a British Guardian Prize for The Village by the Sea. Her daughter Kiran Desai won the 2006 Man Booker Prize for her second novel, The Inheritance of Loss. Ruskin Bond received Sahitya Academy Award for his collection of short stories Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra in 1992. He is also the author of a historical novel A Flight of Pigeons, which is based on an episode during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

Vikram Seth, author of The Golden Gate (1986) and A Suitable Boy (1994) is a writer who uses a purer English and more realistic themes. Another writer who has contributed immensely to the India English Literature is Amitav Ghosh who is the author of The Circle of Reason (his 1986 debut novel), The Shadow Lines (1988), The Calcutta Chromosome (1995), The Glass Palace (2000), The Hungry Tide (2004), and Sea of Poppies (2008), the first volume of The Ibis trilogy, set in the 1830s, just before the Opium War, which encapsulates the colonial history of the East. Ghosh's latest work of fiction is River of Smoke (2011), the second volume of The Ibis trilogy.

Rohinton Mistry is an India born Canadian author who is a Neustadt International Prize for Literature laureate (2012). His first book Tales from Firozsha Baag (1987) published by Penguin Books Canada is a collection of 11 short stories. His novels Such a Long Journey (1991) and A Fine Balance (1995)earned him great acclaim. In 2008, Arvind Adiga received the Man Booker Prize for his debut novel The White Tiger.

Contemporary Indian Drama has moved away from classical and European models. Its main characteristic is that it is experimental and innovative in terms of thematic and technical qualities. It does not follow any specific tradition and it has set its own distinctive tradition in the history of world drama. It largely reinvestigates history, legend, myth, religion and folk lore and views it in the context to contemporary socio-political issues. Some pioneers of this form are Mohan Rakesh, Badal Sirkar, Vijay Tendulkar and Girish Karnad, prepared the background of contemporary Indian English Theatre.