Literature of politics and politics of literature
There have been many authors in India who may have used the best themes in their great works of fiction. However, the recognition they might have got or the appreciation they may have garnered did not have any influence of their greatest works of literature. Rather, on the very contrary, their reputation and their fame rested upon the irresponsible shoulders of their affiliations with the powers that be – those days. Even today, the greatest of the authors in India – or should I call them authors at all – are in the continuous habit of licking the boots of the powers that be or their ideological affiliations. A recent example is Ravinder Singh, the infamous author who sold his story by saying it to be true has come out in open with the vicious agenda of breaking India forces – just for a few perks and a golden ticket to the notoriety of fame. Why?
Sooner or later, we do realise that literature and politics have always been hand in hand – all along. We have seen the rise of Chetan Bhagat with his mediocre but bestselling literature and we have also seen the rise of Amitav Ghosh with his quality but politically charged literature and his open backings and attacks on political parties. Recently, Chetan Bhagat played a big part in complicating the issue of CAA. He may have been influenced or persuaded by some people that CAA is against Indian Muslims or otherwise but he certainly did not apply his own wit (whatsoever is left in his head other than lust for money). And later, we might have seen the ramifications of it in terms of his books being offloaded of all the railway station bookstalls. In terms of Amitav Ghosh’s influence in politics or the influence of politics in his literature, we have many ample examples.
His openly backs the dynastic party number one of India – the Indian National Congress. He openly criticises and vehemently fires his salvo against Narendra Modi, the second time prime minister of India on his social media profiles. However, in spite of his quality oeuvre, The Congress Party did never give him the Jnanpith Award that he deserved all well. It was the Modi Government that offered (graciously) him this award in spite of his open political ideologies. So, what does it show? Who is more into the work honestly?
When we are talking about literature and politics in the same paragraph, we cannot forget the writings of Arundhati Roy, the modern Ranga Billas and Kung Fu kuttas will like her name. In her second novel, overly priced and overly propagated, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, she has vomited venom against a particular political party without giving proper reasons for doing so. We all know what stands she takes in the public against the current government and for certain ideologies that she supports including Islamic Terrorism and Naxalism and Violent Communism. Arundhati Roy is the best example of literature and politics going hand in hand. She has mastered the art of inciting her readers with her schemes in the garb of literature. Many book review websites in India have pointed out this in their reviews as well.
So, in short, we can all agree that Ravinder Singh is only a new addition to an already existing list of the literary personalities who have succumbed to their political ideologies and ruined the taste of their readers over time.
And though I have only taken the names of the authors who write in English and popular in the circles of readers of English Literature in India, many authors from many other languages like Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi and others have been political in their thoughts and have openly backed up or attacked their favourite parties in the literature produced by them.
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