Essay about Children’s Literature in India

Essay about Children’s Literature in India

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Their world is huge, luckily sans boundaries, bright, intriguing and spontaneous, allowing absurdities of all kinds to exist. Their horizons are fleeting, giving space to dragons, fairies, elves, wizards, goblins and unicorns, to rabbits that talk and broomsticks that fly. Their sense of adventurism make them scale mountains, drink potions that do wonders and imagine frogs that turn into princes. Their world is the world of pure innocent fun. And their literature is as a colour-riot as their world. Perceived as adults in the making, their books deal also with the issues of environment conservation, child labour, differently-abled and relationships – to name a few.
Children’s literature in India is a subaltern field, only now beginning to attract its long overdue attention. While literature in English for adults attained an enviable position with the likes of Anita Desai, Kiran Desai, Salman Rushdie, Jhumpa Lahiri, Amitav Ghosh, Arundhati Roy, Kamala Markandaya etc winning awards, critical acclaim and giving structure to the literature from the subcontinent, children who had an interest in reading books beyond their prescribed syllabus for decades took doses of Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew, Mills and Boons i.e all work of foreign writers and the translations of Panchatantra, Jataka Tales and Amar Chitra Kathaein from Indians, leaving much to be desired in the field of children’s literature in English in the country. The only significant name and very significant for that matter is of Ruskin bond who has been prolifically and tirelessly writing delightful short stories for children.
For a long time, children books by Indian writers confined themselves to the genres of mystery and adventure, with some historical fiction, school stories a...

... middle of paper ...

...yphenated genres – fantasy, realistic, science-based, informative, didactic, historical, folk, mythical, fables, environmental, nonsensical that it’s going to take into account; the bafflingly different age group and thus the variety that it’s going to cover, the length of the pieces that it is going to counter, and the vast period it is going to study. It is also interesting to see how writers who themselves have been brought up on a staple diet of foreigner books are writing books rich in Indian content.
Working in the genre of children’s literature can be quite aesthetically rewarding and may lead to springing up and then further the development of areas of study in the vista of children’s literature.

Works Cited

Subramanium, S. All for Children. The Hindu. 03 Apr. 2005. Print
Vijaykumar, Chithira. “Through the sands of Time.” The Hindu. 8 Feb. 2011. Print

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