|Oral Tradition and Indian Literature|
“Books are infinite in number and time is short. The secret of knowledge is to take what is essential. Take that and try to live up to it”- Swami Vivekanand
- A large portion of ancient Indian literature is a manifestation of the spoken word and it belongs to the oral tradition as far as its preservation is concerned. The Vedas have been preserved without the loss of a single syllable through a complex and intricate system of recital down the centuries.
- The essential culture of India is embodied by a living individual who not only interprets the norms of culture but also acts as a frame of reference.
- Ancient India had both ‘writing’ and ‘speech’ and the basic distinction between them defined their functions too. We have poetic works which are ‘written’ and those which are ‘orally transcribed’.
- The works of Pampa, the first Kannada poet of the 10 Century, have the characteristics of a written work. Pampa composed the historical narrative of the Mahabharata and presented it as an ‘inscription’ to the world.
- An inscription is writing in its pure form. It is spatial and monumental, which means it is bound by space and is meant to commemorate some present event.
- The immediate purpose of Pampa’s epic was to commemorate the historical deeds of his patron-prince, Arikesari.
Written and Oral Forms
- The form of a written poetic text is a ‘closed’ one due to the spatiality of the writing. It has a beginning, middle, and end. The structure of the poem is tight and so accurate that if one adds even a word to it or remove something from it, the structure gets disturbed. The meaning of the poem depends upon the structure, and the structure embodies the meaning.
- The oral tradition in India is still prevalent, especially in the area of folk literature.
- The works belonging to the oral tradition continue to change in form and detail depending upon the demands of the audience.
- The author in a written tradition is necessarily absent while in the oral tradition he is present and therefore the form of the poetic work depends upon the physical, Creative stamina of the author. This also explains the fact that as to why the poetry of the Bhakti tradition belongs to the oral tradition.
- The poetry of devotion addresses itself to God whose supreme presence it celebrates. Two such great examples are Harihara and Kumaravyasa. Kumaravyasa, like Pampa, sought to retell the story of the Mahabharata in Kannada. But his purpose, unlike that of Pampa was to revive the oral tradition.
Co-existence of Oral and Written Tradition in India
- All Indian languages, except Sanskrit, when they reached the status of writing, continued to develop their literature, drawing inspiration from both written and oral traditions.
- In India, the oral tradition does not belong to a pre-literate age representing a primary condition of civilisation. On the other hand, both traditions can Co-exist in a given period of Indian history.
- The main reason for this curious co-existence of these traditions is the fact that these two traditions, although they represent separate sets of values, are not ethically different from each other.
- Nrupatunga, a writer of the 9th century, says that ‘the Kannada people are skilled in the art of producing poetry although they cannot read’. The statement suggests a possibility of profound aesthetic and poetic experience which is not denied to an illiterate person.
- The written tradition in Indian literature starts with the modern period since almost all the writers are literate.
- We don’t know what will happen to the oral tradition in modern times of urbanisation and industrialisation. Campaigning for complete literacy has gained speed and we know that the purpose is purely political.
- The best we can do is to preserve some of the skills from total extinction. Some of our religious rituals in which recitals are compulsory and some of our art forms in which eloquence is an inevitable element can be of great help.
|Tholkapiyyam: The Ancient Grammar|
- Tholkappiam, a grammatical treatise in Tamil, is the most ancient one, the age of which is considered by most as the fifth or sixth century B.C.
- No other contemporary work is available. The massive devastations that took place in the seas of the Southern Peninsula had wiped off large quantities of palm leaf manuscripts which contained many works of grammar and literature.
The Antiquity of Tholkappian
- Tholkappiam states that the Tamil land was ruled by three famous munificent patrons. In the prefatory verse of Tholkappiam, there is the mention of the name of the Pandya king.
- Among the eight anthologies of the Sangam age, ‘Ahananuru’ refers in three verses to the invasion of Maurya kings over the southern region.
- As per the verses, “The Mauryan invasion of the Tamil country could be placed therefore roughly between 298 B.C, and 272 B.C. the reign period of Bindusara,”.
- Nandas are also referred to in Sangam poetry. Tholkappiam had emerged long before the period of Mauryas and Nandas.
About the Tholkappiam
- It deals with the written and spoken Tamil versions that prevailed in Tamil land.
- It is a three-fold work dealing with the alphabets, words, content and form.
- Tholkappiam was presented before the learned audience of the Pandya king named Nilamtharu thriuvil Pandian.
- The author of Tholkappiam is Tholkappiar, which is his proper name, and the work by him is named with that.
Structure and composition of the Work
- Tholkappiam is a grammatical work and itis composed of three major divisions. They are:
- Eluththu Athikaram— the chapter on the alphabets.
- Col Athikaram — the chapter on the words
- Porul Athikaram — the chapter on the content and form
|Evolution of Indian Literature|
- India is a land of literature. One hallmark of Indian literature over the past 3000 years or so is diversity.
- The key to this diversity is the linguistic density of India and the willingness to absorb all wonderful things from any language or culture that people came across.
- Much before civilisation dawned on many parts of the world, Indians were dabbling in and producing literature in a variety of genres. This early head start gave a distinct advantage for Indian litterateurs.
- Today, people around the world are wondering how the Indians are doing so well in social media. This is the land that gave birth to varieties of Sutra literature, ' Thirukkural, Dohas, to name a few.
- In the initial days, there were no hard and fast rules and hence no separation between singing, poetry, dance, philosophy etc. What one will discover is that the Kavis outpouring most astonishing poetry and music (as in Sama Veda), highest philosophy (as in Rig Veda) etc.
- If all these were happening on the northern plain, exotic poetry and grammar were being developed in Southern regions as well, in Tamil. We see early Sangam poetry that not only reflects the poet’s thoughts and emotions but also provide a large number of clues to the highly civilised society.
- If Bharata produced Natya Sastra in the north, we see Tholkappiar producing astounding exposition of not only grammar but also plenty of societal rules.
- Plenty of oral traditions were flourishing across the land and the songs, tales, proverbs, legends, etc.
- The prose was there, but poetry dominated. As the genres began to widen, and literature started covering technology, astronomy, agriculture, governance etc., prose literature gained prominence.
- Again, as the number of languages gained writing systems, grammar, etc., the written literature slowly gathered pace and gained prominence over oral literature.
- The emergence of a variety of literature in a large number of languages during the medieval period and almost on all the subjects of human endeavour marks the medieval period as Golden One for India. That is in stark contrast with Europe and the West where the medieval period is referred to as the Dark Ages.
- With the printing press arriving, Indian literature never looked back. With education opening up for all, the number of authors, the number of books increased exponentially.
- In the field of translation, India has been translating freely since ancient times. True to the spirit of the term ‘Anuvad’, most of the classics were adapted into each region and language, to suit the local cultural milieu.
- So, Epics of India, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata were among the most adapted works in the sub-continent. Many religious classics and other texts were adapted and integrated into the local cultural milieu.
- This is one of the main reasons why there is a commonality of culture or a thread of common culture despite vast divergence among the cultural, linguistic and literary traditions of India.
- In the late 19th and early 20th century, many writers across the languages tried to emulate their Western counterparts, especially when it came to stories and novels. The same period and up to 1947 saw the emergence of a unique type of literature – independence literature. Almost all the genres, especially prose and poetry writings, focused more or less on patriotic fervour.
- In the first two decades after the Indian independence, many poems, stories, Novels and plays in many languages focused on the rural landscape, bringing out the travails of agrarian societies.
- For the next three decades came the stories and novels highlighting new problems that society faced — labour unsettling, problems faced by women going for jobs, urban legends and so on. In fact, this period also witnessed the evolution of Indian cinema and many were inspired by the stories and novels.
- Rapidly advancing technology and the digital world have reduced the gap between the author and the reader. Self-publication and digital platforms have also helped in this cause.
- However, what is bound to gladden one and all is the emergence of children's literature in various ways. While poetry publishing is going down, more and more publishers are taking up children’s literature.
- Even in this genre, translation from one language to other languages is also heart-warming. No doubt, the roaring success of Harry Potter and other literature oriented towards young readers in the West and the subsequent success of translations have also aided this admirably.
- Indian literature always had its own, unique style from the beginning. Contrary to the popular perception twenty years ago, Indian literature did not go the Western way.
- It is taking up Mythology in a significant way in many languages and presenting the same to suit the sensibilities of the 21st century is one example.
|India and the World|
- Four salient features of Indian Literature in contemporary times are – multilingualism, translation, comparative, and they are straddling between global and local concerns.
- Literature in different Indian languages draw as much from each other and their textures of location, myths and oral traditions, as they do from their interaction with the Anglophone West.
- In fact, English writings in India draw from local textures of everyday life as much as the Bhasha literature draws from the modernist agenda of colonial regimes, and their interaction with English under the spectre of the colonial education system and colonial modernity.
- Multilingualism is the defining marker of the literary landscape of India. Most Indian writers are bilingual or multilingual.
- The linguistic choices made by writers reflect their involvement in the multi-layered sensibilities at work in the polyglot (speaking or writing several languages) cultural universe to which they belonged.
- The monolithic view of Indian literature perpetrated under the sign of colonial regime already stands challenged in post-colonial times. There is a consensus that even the regional literature is plural in its orientations and language use.
- Multilingualism leads to the centrality of translation for Indian literature as in the case of world literature. One of the oldest classics in Malayalam, Chemmeen, was one of the first South Indian novels to be translated and find acclaim.
- Gone are the days when only literary masters like Tagore and Premchand were taken up for translation while a large body of complex literature from the South, North East, and tribal societies was undermined and largely went unnoticed.
- The earlier held view of the untranslatability of local textures of Bhasha literature is also fast receding.
- Ghachar Ghochar, recently published in the US. It made it to the New York Times list of recommended books in 2017.
- The emerging alterities of Dalit writing, tribal writings and women’s voices have contested the unitary ideas of identity, culture and nation. Polyglossic modernity is further accentuated by the Dalit feminist writers like Bama, Meena Kandaswamy who destabilise narratives of homogenous Indian feminism.
- In the post-liberalisation Indian economy, the diaspora is no longer a movement from east to west, from struggle to opportunity, from bondage to freedom in search of better opportunities as evidenced by the return movements of writers like Chetan Bhagat and Aravind Adiga.
- Diaspora is also not a space singularly populated by Anglophone writers of Indian origins.
- Even in terms of book publishing, most international publishers are moving into Indian language publishing and opening their offices in India. Both English language translations and Anglophone writings have gained the confidence to dispense with elaborate glossaries explaining cultural markers to a western reader.
- In other words, the myth of cosmopolitanism of English, as opposed to the parochialism of Indian languages, has largely dissolved.
|Urdu Language And Literature|
- Languages are not born; they evolve over the years.
- Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language that is a comparatively younger member of the great fraternity of Indian languages.
- Urdu as a language began taking shape around the 10th century in areas surrounding Delhi and was the result of the admixture of Shauraseni Apabhransh, Khariboli and Brij Bhasha with Persian, Arabic and Turkish words.
- In the earlier period, the language was also referred to as Hindi, Hindvi and Rekhta before it finally came to be called by the name Urdu around the 18th century.
- As Urdu was evolving, it was looked down upon by the then ruling elite for writing and literature.
- It was perceived as common people’s language as opposed to the court language, Persian.
- However, the Urdu words had started making their way into the sayings and poetic works of Nizamuddin Aulia (1238-1325), Amir Khusro (1253-1325), Baba Farid (1173-1266), Namdev (1270-1350), Kabir (1398-1448) and Guru Nanak (1469-1539). Urdu shares with Hindi a similarity in phonology and grammar.
- The Khangahs (hospices) and Dargahs of Sufi saints like Nizamuddin Aulia, became hubs of inter-religious and interregional interaction which also helped in the evolution of a composite language like Urdu.
- As a result of these interactions, Urdu travelled to places like Daulatabad, Gulbarga, Golconda etc, in Deccan after the 14th Century or so.
- Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the ruler of Golconda himself composed poetry in Telugu, Persian and Urdu. An iconic, extraordinarily talented and multi-faceted figure in the cultural history of the Indian subcontinent was Amir Khusro. He wrote beautiful poetry which paved the way for the future poetic journey of the Urdu language.
- Urdu language and literature touched its peak in the 19th and 20th centuries. It was preceded by the educational and social reform movement of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan who founded the MAO College at Aligarh in 1877.
- A significant milestone in Urdu literature was the launch of the progressive movement in literature with Mulk Raj Anand and Sajjad Zaheer in 1935.
- At the first All India Progressive Writers conference held at Lucknow in 1936 and presided by Munshi Premchand, it was made clear that the canons of appreciating beauty have to be changed. Literature cannot exist in an imaginary world with so many people around us suffering.
- Later, the progressives were accused of ideological extremism and making literature a tool of communist propaganda. The strong reaction to their propaganda literature came in the form of a modernist trend.
- The first recorded collection of poetry is attributed to Wali Dakhani.
- A unique poet in the history of Urdu literature is Nazeer Akbarabadi (1740-1830) who digresses from contemporary traditional poetry and concerns himself with the affairs of the mundane. He was a mystic. Krishna and Mahadeo, Nanak and Narsi Bhagat find a mention in his poems.
- The nineteenth century is considered to be a golden period of Urdu literature. It produced poets like Zauq, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Momin and Ghalib. Ghalib is considered to be a great Urdu poet who added wit and intellect to the emotions and sensitivities of poetic expression.
- The first recorded pieces of Urdu prose in Deccani Urdu are found around the 15th century. The earlier prose is mostly the teachings of the Sufi saints to their disciples.
- The first significant work of literary prose is “Sabras” by Wajhi in 1635.
- To teach British Officials Indian languages like Hindi and Urdu, Governor-General Lord Wellesley established the Fort William College at Kolkata in July 1800. The books prepared here proved a landmark in the evolution of simple Urdu prose. Later, the Aligarh College’s influence lent simplicity and purpose to prose.
- The Urdu novel traces its roots in Dastaan or long fairy tales.
- Mirza Hadi Ruswa wrote the famous novel Umrao Jaan Ada. The turning point in Urdu fiction came with the arrival of Munshi Premchand. His simple language and straightforward style transformed the contours of fiction writing.
- The first Urdu newspaper Jam-i-Jahan Numa was launched in Kolkata in 1822 by Harihar Dutta.
- The editor of Delhi Urdu Akhbar, Mohammad Bagar was shot dead by a British government official Major William Hudson for his involvement in the 1857 rebellion. He was the first Urdu journalist to sacrifice his life for the freedom struggle.
- Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s newspapers Al-Hilal and Al-Balagh and Mohammad Ali Jauhar’spapers Comrade and Hamdard took up the cudgels against the British rule.
- National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education. It was established to promote, develop and propagate the Urdu language.
- Urdu is an important Indian language that is included in the eighth schedule of the Indian constitution. The fast pace of modern life has made leisurely ways a thing of the past. Computers, laptops and mobiles are the new writing tools replacing the old pen and paper.
- As more users shift to reading on digital devices and formats, the language and its script will also have to adapt to the same to reach its target readership
|Post-Independence Hindi Literature|
- The violence and cruelty witnessed during the partition and subsequent communal riots put a deep scar on the psyche of the people. This sorrow was reflected in the writings of some Hindi writers.
- Agyeya is the most notable writer among them. His book titled ‘Sharnarthee’ (Refugees) published in 1948 contained these poems compiled under the same title and Stories based on prevailing communal tension and violence of those times.
- Before independence, two prominent trends were prevalent in Hindi poetry. One of these was the progressive (Pragatisheel) poetry, patronised by poets like Nagarjun, Kedarnath Agarwal, Dinkar, etc. The other stream was of the Experimentalist (Prayogvaadee) poetry, led by Agyeya. It started with Taarsaptak (1943) and Doosra Saptak (1951) — both were collections of the poems of seven poets each. This stream was established as Nai Kavita (New Poetry).
- Different literary movements flourished after independence in the realm of Hindi literature — from Nai Kavita (New Poetry) and Nai Kahani (New Story) to Progressive and Janvadi (People’s) stories and poetry writing.
- Simultaneously, Aanchlik (literature reflecting dialectical regional variations) literary trends in stories also flourished, prominently in the writings of Phanishwar Nath Renu, Nagarjun, Shivprasad Singh and others. The poems of these new poets opened new vistas of social realities, as well as of romanticism.
- The ‘New Story’, parallel to the ‘New Poetry’, was centred around the evolution of middle-class creativity. The thought process of the proponents of the ‘New Poetry’ and the ‘New Story’ centred around individuality.
- To establish that individuality, a discourse was started on ‘honesty and authenticity of creative experience’ (Abhivyakiti Kee Imandaaree) in poetry, and ‘self-experienced reality’ (Bhogaa Hua Yatharth) in stories.
- Sometimes, ‘self-experienced reality’ was extended to the crass depiction of ‘lived reality/ indulgement’ (Bhog ke Yatharth) whose extreme forms were witnessed in ‘Akavita’ and ‘Akahani’ (‘Non-story’ and ‘Non-poetry’, i.e., creative expressions that go beyond the usual ambit and format of stories and poems).
- In the realm of Hindi literary criticism, a clash of realistic and individualistic trends was witnessed during the 1950s and 1960s on the one hand, while traditions were being evaluated on the other.
- During this period, some old genres of writing faded away and some new genres emerged. The most important fading genre was Gadya Kavya (poetic prose), while very few Lalit Nibandhs (Aesthetic Essays) were written after independence. Satirists like Harishankar Parsai established Satire as an independent genre.
- Kavva Natak (drama in poetic form) is an important emerging genre. Dharamvir Bharati, Dushyant Kumar and Naresh Mehta wrote such plays.
- The reportage was also a new genre, practised prominently by Dharamvir Bharati and Phanishwar Nath Renu.
Impact of Post – Independence Social & Political Events on Hindi Literature
- After 20 years of independence, in 1967, Hindi literature took a definitive direction. There was disillusionment among the masses after 20 years’ continued reign of one party.
- This disillusionment resulted in two significant events. First was the emergence of a new political awakening resulting in a severe jolt to the ruling party. The other was the revolutionary struggle of the farmers who were continuously exploited by ruling vested interests. This socio-political scenario of 1967 has influenced a whole generation of writers across the country.
- A new trend of secular writings started in Hindi literature around the 1980s. Some Muslim writers like Shaani, Asgar Wajahat and Abdul Bismillah, Rahi Masoom Raza continued writing on such themes. The secular traditions of Urdu literature, established by Meer, Ghalib and Nazeer kept on influencing Hindi litterateurs.
- Women’s writing emerged with a new gusto in Hindi literature around the 1980s. Among old generation writers of this stream were Krishna Sobti, Mannu Bhandari and Usha Priyamwada; followed by the new-comers like Chitra Mudgal, Raji Seth and many others.
After the 1990s
- The generation of Hindi writers emerging in the 1990s had many challenges before them. Socialist regimes in different parts of the world were either disintegrated or were disintegrating.
- Capitalism was spreading in India with its new banner of globalisation. People were getting intoxicated by the emerging consumerism and the market culture. The objective of globalisation was to establish the overwhelming victory of capitalism.
- Therefore, the meaningful creation of the new generation of Hindi writers started resisting globalisation and its impacts.
- The new generation of writers is facing the dual pressure of globalisation and cultural nationalism. This pressure is reflected in their writings in different shades of anger, depression, tensions and disappointment.
- In the 1990s, Dalit writings emerged in Hindi literature. They enriched literature with their self-realisation and experiences. They made literature a vehicle of their emancipation in oppressive Indian society.
- Dalit literature is quite different from aesthetic Hindi literature. It reflects the realities of life in their society, their travails and sorrows, and the resultant anger.
- Dalit writers are expressing their new anxieties and awareness related to their past, present and future. This corpus of writings has been christened as ‘Dalit Vimarsh’ (Dalit Discourse). Prominent among Hindi Dalit writers are Omprakash Valmiki, Jaiprakash Kardam, Dharamvir Bharati etc.
- Dalit literature and Dalit Discourse in a pan-Indian tendency as Dalits are in all parts of India, facing the same types of torture, exploitation and slavery.
- Tribal people have their mother tongues, in which they have continuously been expressing their joys and sorrows, tortures and their resistance. Earlier, their literature was oral, but now, after their languages/dialects are developing their scripts, their literature has started coming in written form.
- Discussions are going on different aspects of tribal life, history, crises and different shades of exploitation and suppression and a new ‘Adivasi Vimarsh’ (Tribal Discourse) has emerged.
- Ramanika Gupta played a vital role in bringing out the realities and problems of Indian tribal life and society before Hindi readers.
- The present world of Hindi literature is witnessing neither any mass movement nor an effective literary movement. Therefore, writers themselves have to carve out a creative relationship with their society and times.
- In fact, they are already doing it. This is reflected in the diversity of vision and expression in the writings of present generation writers. They can see through the prism of society and express the realities effectively.
- The journey of Marathi literature begins with the old Yadav Dynasty and flows down to the present limes. ‘Mahanubhav Panth’ and ‘Warkari Sampradaya’ laid the foundation of Marathi literature and were influenced by the ‘Nath Panth’ (9th and 10th century).
Medieval Movements and their impact on Marathi Literature
- Nath Panth is a medieval movement. It combined ideas from Buddhism, Shaivism and Yoga traditions of India. Gorakhnath is considered the originator of the Nath Panth.
- Nath tradition has extensive Shaivism related to the logical literature of its own, most of which is traceable to the 11th century or later.
- The Nath tradition was influenced by other Indian traditions such as Advaita Vedanta monism. Further, Nath Panth influenced movements like Vaishnavism, Shaktism, Mahanubhav Panth
- Mahanubhav Panth was founded by Sarvadnya Shri Chakradhar Swami in 1100-1200. This cult accepted all members irrespective of their castes. These sects, through literature, tried to describe incarnations of Gods and explain the philosophies. This in turn led to the enrichment of Marathi literature.
- Leela Charitra is thought to be the first biography written in the Marathi language. It was written by Mhaimbhat (1278).
Origin and Growth of Marathi Literature
- In Maharashtra, the Bhakti movement began in the late 13th century. It was in the rule of Yadavas the tradition of Saints emerged.
- Bhakti movement ignited the minds of countless poor and downtrodden people. Saints like Dnyaneshwar and Vitthal sang in their local, colloquial language. People in large numbers began to attract to the Warkari sect.
- Warkari sect tried to outcast inequality based on discrimination. It inspired people to follow the path of passionate devotion. It was the first time when the great literature in Marathi bloomed.
- Namdev flourished some years after this period. He was a tailor by caste and profession. However, poetic genius was quite ready at his service, and he wrote a great many ‘Abhangas’ on devotion to God. This we may call the first or early period of Marathi literature. It extended from 1200-1350 A.D.The style of the literature of this early period is called Archaic Marathi.
- Namdev being a poet of later date than Mukundraj and Dnyaneshwar, his style is somewhat more modern and we find the purity of diction permeating all his poems.
- From the middle of the 14th century till the beginning of the 16th century was a completely blank period in Marathi literature.
- Saint Eknath was born in 1518. The seed of literary genius germinated again.
- The third period is the most brilliant period in the history of Marathi literature. It extends from the beginning of the 17th century to the close of Peshwa rule.
- Three great poets Ramdas, Tukaram and Mukteshwar were born in only a year or so about 1603 A.D. Saint Tukaram, the greatest poet in Marathi literature preached asceticism, toleration and devotion to God.
- Saint Tukaram composed Abhanga poetry, a Marathi genre of literature that is metrical, simple, direct, and fuses folk stories with deeper spiritual themes.
- Tukaramgatha is the Marathi language compilation of his works. He includes a discussion about the conflict between Pravritti and Nivritti i.e., between having a Passion for life, family and business and the desire to renounce, leave everything behind and individual liberation (Moksha).
- Ramdas was a saint who wrote ‘Dasbodh’ containing sermons on abstract as well as practical topics. Mukteshwar too by his translation of ‘Mahabharata’ motivated the masses.
- The Shayari tradition of the 7th century also became very popular which gave rise to a folk singing form called 'Powadas' immortalising historical events. It mainly glorifies the valour and heroic deeds of Shivaji.
- The Marathi Poetry written during the first decade of the post-independence period is called the “Navkavita’ (New Poetry). Amongst these new poets, Mardhekar and Vinda Karandikar had the strong urge to embody the tumultuous reality of their time.
- The educated Dalits and the oppressed began to register their protest against exploitation and poverty through their creative writing. Protest against the established system and strong self-consciousness are the most notable features of Dalit writing. This movement changed the very face of Marathi literature.
- Women poets who contributed to Marathi poetry with their intense expression are – Kavita Mahajan, Pradnya Daya Pawar, and many others.
- In Marathi, the Novel is called Kadambari. It evolved in the 18 century and before the 19% century, it became very popular. ‘Yamuna Paryatan’ (1857) is considered the first significant novel in Marathi written by Baba Padmanji.
- Narayan Sitaram Phadke (1894-1978) was a major novelist who, with his romantic novel, dominated the Marathi readers for almost two decades.
- V.S. Khandekar was another prominent novelist of the Phadke era. He too became the most popular novelist in Marathi and won the prestigious Jnanpith award for his novel ‘Yayati’.