The most important older work of the Panjabi literature, which like the Sindhi literature is also one of the literatures of Pakistan, was written in the 17th century. Even the Muslim poets who used Persian (court language of the Mughal rulers) and Arabic (religious poetry) did not consider these vernacular languages to be worthy of literature for a long time. The sufi mystics Shah Abdul Latif (* 1689, † 1752) and Divan Korumal Candani (* 1844, † 1916), who founded the Sindhiprosa, as well as his successor Mirza Qalic Beg (* 1853, † 1929) were important for Sindhi literature. The love story »Hir Ranjha« by Varis Shah (* 1735, † 1784), handed down in 22 versions is considered the work in the purest Punjabi that has been supplanted by Urdu in Muslim literature since the 18th century. Representatives of modern punjabi literature are the narrator Vir Singh (* 1872, † 1957), the poet Dhani Ram Catrik (* 1856, † 1954), the satirist Caran Singh Sahid (* 1891, † 1936), the poet and narrator Amrita Pritam (* 1919, † 2005) and the poet Harbhajan Singh (* 1920, † 2002).
Urdu, a Persified Hindi dialect, has been promoted by the sultans of the Dean since the 17th century. The work of the greatest poet of the time, Wali (* 1668, † 1744) was groundbreaking for primeval literature. Literary centers arose in Delhi (17th century), where the still celebrated poet M. A. K. Ghalib worked at the court of the last Mughal, in Lucknow (18th century) and Hyderabad (19th century). The high point of realistic narrative art in Urdu in the 19th century is the novel “Umrao Jan Ada” (1899; German “The Courtesan of Lakhnau”) by Mirza Muhammad Hadi Ruswa (* 1858, † 1936). The father of modern literature is M. Iqbal who advocated the formation of Pakistan in his work. The prose opened in the 20th century BC. a. socially critical tendencies (SH Manto). But also non-Muslim storytellers like Rajinder Singh Bedi (* 1915, † 1984) write in Urdu. According to thereligionfaqs, the Urdu literature of India is in a difficult situation today, as Urdu was only able to maintain itself as an official language in a few areas after the partition of India.
The roots of Indo-Anglian literature lie in the early 19th century, when a society established itself in India that opened up to English (the official national language since 1835) and thus to Western influences. Indo-English literature, which developed its own concept of literature in the 1920s and 30s (K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar, * 1908, † 1999), came to full fruition after political independence (1947). It is to be distinguished from the Anglo-Indian literature of the English colonial writers, who often shaped the colonial experiences in an exotic way. The image of India conveyed was indeed by B. Bhattarcharya and Philip Meadows Taylor (* 1808, † 1876), inter alia. in the novel “A noble queen” (1880), corrected, but this dichotomy still characterizes the work of R. Kipling, which led Anglo-Indian literature to international recognition. Innovative approaches were shown, inter alia. in E. M. Forster’s work (“A passage to India”, 1924) or in L. H. Myers ‘ romantic tetralogy “The near and the far” (1929–40), but they too failed to renew Anglo-Indian literature.
The initiators of Indo-English literature include v. a. Ram Mohan Roy (* 1772, † 1833), the founder of the Brahmasamaj, with his translations from the holy writings of the Brahmins and Henry Louis V. Derozio (* 1809, † 1831), who is in the verse tale “The fakeer of Jungheera” (1828) based on Indian mythology and philosophy on English romanticism, an example that Kasiprasad Ghose (* 1809, † 1873), MM Datta and others. followed. Even in the 20th century parallels to English models can be found in poetry, the most outstanding examples of which are the works of Manmohan Ghose (* 1869, † 1924) and his brother Sri Aurobindo, Govind Chunder Dutt (editor of the first Indo-English lyric anthology “The Dutt family album”, 1870), his daughters Aru (* 1854, † 1874) and Toru (* 1856, † 1877) and his nephew Romesh Chunder Dutt (* 1858, † 1909) belong.
One of the first prose writers was B. Chatterjee , whose family tragedy “Rajmohan’s wife” (1864), influenced by W. Scott, made school. In the work of M. R. Anand in the work of novels after the First World War, there was a shift towards socially critical portrayal (including »Untouchable«, 1935). However, the national movement leading to independence also occupies a large area, in some cases up to the 1970s, for example with R. K. Narayan , K. Singh and R. Rao. After 1947 the problem of national identity became a central issue. Another concern is the conflict between Eastern and Western culture (B. Rajan, Arun Joshi, * 1939, † 1993, K. Markandaya , B. Bhattacharya). R. Rao’s complex work “The serpent and the rope” (1960) on the linguistic and mythological cultural conflict is considered the climax of Indo-English storytelling. The contrast between tradition and modernity as well as the situation of Indian women are also subject of v. a. the prose. In addition to B. Bhattacharya’s “Music for Mohini” (1952), K. Markandaya’s “Nectar in a sieve” (1954) and MR Anand’s “The old woman and the cow” (1960, 1976 under the title “Gauri”) including the hard life of women in the country are A. Desais andShashi Deshpandes (* 1938) To highlight psychosocial studies on female figures of the Hindu middle class. SA Roy caused a sensation in 1996 with “The God of small things”.
An insight into the life of Muslim Indians can be found in Ahmed Alis (* 1912, † 1994) “Twilight in Delhi” (1940) and v. a. with S. Rushdie, who in “Midnight’s Children” (1981) and “Shame” (1983) paints a grimly realistic picture of the political development of India and Pakistan after independence.
More recently, after the work of the “Little Theater Group” (1953–59) in Calcutta (now Kolkata), the successes of A. Currimbhoys and Partab Sharma (“A touch of brightness”, 1968) aroused a new interest in English-language drama. For the most productive genre, besides the short story cultivated by all well-known novelists, poetry, which is also influenced by the poems of J. Mahapatra, Keki N. Daruwalla (* 1937), N. Ezekiel, D. Moraes, M. Varma and K. Das also became internationally known, P. Lal’s “Writers’ Workshop” (founded in Calcutta in 1958) was an important guide.
One Indian writer has received the Nobel Prize for Literature: R. Tagore (1913).