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19 Feb 2021

  • The story of Indian Literature extends back over more than 5000 years.
  • It includes the religious classics of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.
  • Apart from that, literature from the courts of Indian monarchs, oral poetry and song and modern verse and prose expressing contemporary ideas.
  • Although each successive generation has added its own contribution to Indian literature the ancient texts are still influential. Until modern times, literature usually reached its audience through performance and recitation. Religious texts and stories, often of enormous length, were memorized and handed down orally from one generation to the next. So, although about half the population of Southern Asia are unable to read or write, the culture of the region is highly developed.
  • The literature of the Indian subcontinent falls into three periods:
    • The Ancient Period: primarily dominated by Sanskrit, lasting up to about A.D. 1000
    • The Medieval Period: From about 1000 A.D to early 1800 (during which time the regional languages developed)
    • The Modern Period: it is influenced by European culture.
  • In the first two periods, most literature was in verse or in the form of an epigram (a short, clever poem), though prose was also used.
  • In modern period, the use of prose has become fully developed.
  • Indian literature has been written in many languages. Each language has made its own contribution and expressed its uniqueness.
  • The literature of a particular language has its own special form, symbols and nuances. Therefore, it is more logical to say that there are as many literature in India as languages which have flowered into literature.