POST-INDEPENDENCE HINDI LITERATURE
2nd Apr, 2021
- The freedom in 1947 brought along with it joy, enthusiasm and hopes, fraught with the sorrow of the tragic partition of the country.
- It was natural to be enthused at the prospect of freedom after a century-long struggle of the masses, but the joy was subdued by the tragedy of partition, displacement of lakhs of people, dreary communal violence and loss of lives.
- The martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi within one year of independence was a traumatic event. This was also reflected in 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. He wrote II poems, from October 12, 1947 to November 12, 1947, on the tragedy of partition.
- He had written these poems in various cities of the Hindi-speaking belt of India.
- He also wrote some stories on the tragedy of partition.
- 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.
- Eminent Hindi poets — Nagarjun, Dinkar, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Sohan Lal Dwivedi, Bhavani Prasad Mishra and others — expressed the angst and deep sense of sorrow due to partition in their poems.
- Hindi novel developed manifold during this period, expressing the historical traditions and contemporary reality of society.
- On the one hand, Yashpal, RahiMasoom Raza, BhishamSahni, and others were writing novels of epical proportions on the tragedy of partition, while PhanishwarNathRenu, Nagarjun, Bhairav Prasad Gupta, Shiv Prasad Singh and others were exploring the struggles and strife of Indian rural life.
- Scholars like Rahul Sankrityayan and RangeyaRaghav were re-interpreting Indian history through their novels. Noted scholar-critic Hazari Prasad Dwivedi also wrote his historical-cultural novels during this period.
- Sometimes, social and political events influence literary trends in a decisive manner. 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.
- 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.
- Women's writing emerged with a new gusto in Hindi literature around the 1980s.
- This has vastly influenced the content and direction of Hindi literature. Among old generation writers of this stream were Krishna Sobti, Mannu Bhandari and UshaPriyamwada; followed by the new-comers like ChitraMudgal, Raji Seth, Mridula Garg, the trend of women's writing further strengthened and more and more writings with self-awareness and intellectual acumen enriched Hindi literature.
- MahadeviVerma, in her 'ShrinkhalakeeKadiyan' (Links of a Chain) deliberated upon the issue of women's emancipation. Concerns related to this issue were more focussed during this period.
- Global movements of women's liberation have also sharpened the vision of women's writings in Hindi. This fresh awakening among women writers was not restricted to a single genre. They practiced multiple genres and the trend is continuing.
- 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. With that, the socialist dream of emancipation from capitalist exploitation and suppression also evaporated.
- Simultaneously, capitalism was spreading in India with its new banner of globalisation. People were getting intoxicated by the emerging consumerism and the market culture.
- For the younger generation, the hypnotic and mind-boggling campaign of globalisation was more alarming than amazing.
- The objective of globalisation is to establish the overwhelming victory of capitalism. It means westernisation of the entire world, which, de facto, is to put the world under the US umbrella.
- This will result in the destruction of the environment and the spread of the culture of violence. These trends are visible now. Therefore, the meaningful creativity of the new generation of Hindi writers is resisting globalisation and its impacts. This generation knows that they are living in violent times where everything has a price tag.
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.