Time for more Ethnicity in Indian English Literature

Ethnic voices need to find more stronger a place in today’s literature written in any language (mainly in English) in India. While a lot has improved in the last decade that gave India a new crop of authors especially in English, the time is around to take it to another level by merging English in diversities which India has lived and sustained. Why I lay a lot of stress on the ethnicity in literature is because it is something that will ultimately drive people together, force them to empathise, inspire them to live together and carry on the traditions for which Indians are in different parts known for. While it is often assumed dangerous since a school of thought believes that it might further divide the country, it can at least be seen as an effort to reunite people with their roots and guide people to live in unity.

The new race of authors need to comprehend and go down to their roots to unearth, explore the buried folktales, folklore and assimilate it with today’s modern world. People like Sitakant Mahapatra, who has been honoured for his contribution to give recognition to tribal literature, have endeavoured to make the folklore part of the mainstream literature. To record ethnic cultural identities in literature is very important.

The new breed of authors who more or less place themselves in the universal breed of writers must realise and seek universality for their stories, essays, poems, etc in their own roots, for all of them certainly belong to tribes that form the best of people today living in cities. This will not only support the evolution of tribal, village people into a newer world and that too, without shunning their identities. Nevertheless, it will help authors become voices of their own in rather distinguished ways. And for a versatile author, it is not an uphill task to identify topics within folkloric culture to write on. This will eventually establish a connect with the people and resurrect literature to a whole new level. This will help English bear more ethnic flavour and cast an influence on the people living in rural belts.

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