“Indian English Fiction Ii: Establishment Of An Autonomous Idiom”

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Shabeena Kuttay


When English came to India as foreign language, little did people know that this language that this language of colonisers and exploiters would one day become the most commonly used medium for creative expression by natives. The beginnings of this language-transplant were quite humble, and the acceptance or appreciation of this western language held no charm for the culturally and linguistically rich country like India. But the language established itself in such a way that it became more Indian than any native language. One of the main factors responsible for the establishment of English as an autonomous idiom, was the choice of this language by our novelists writing in it, along with other factors like the education policies, the growing demand of information technology, mass media and world-wide-web.

Indian English fiction served as the appropriate platform for experimentation, innovations, nativisation, Indianization, chutneyfication, and most importantly for establishing a unique unfeterred identitiy in the postcolonial world. With a history of more than hundred years, the strongly emerging Indian English fiction has found its identity as well as recognition, both national and international. For a wider reading audience inside and outside India, Indian English fiction has facilitated access to a body of modern and contemporary Indian literature. Impressed by its originality and scope, the Indian English fiction has become more and more familiar in the world, especially in the west that has always been baffled and intrigued, even fascinated by its ‘Indianness’. The present paper aims at exploring the journey of Indian English fiction in the postcolonial world with a focus on the contributions made by Indian English novelists to Indian litearture in particular and the world literature in general.

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