The Islamic conquest at the end of the 12th century, which marks the beginning of the New Indian era, added the Muslim cultural property to the traditional cultures of Hinduism and Buddhism. The Christian missionaries laid the foundation for Western influences since the 18th century, which consolidated with the spread of the English language. Today this supplements 14 major constitutional languages of India, which also contain more recent literatures such as that in Kashmiri. Bihari represents a special case, whose literary tradition is v. a. developed in Maithili.
In the 20th century, common trends can be seen in all New Indian literary languages, even if these often occur with a time lag and impulses often come from the most important literary modern languages such as Bengali, Hindi, Marathi and, in some cases, Kannada. The process of literary renewal and synthesis triggered by the encounter with European literature, denoted by the term »Renaissance«, began early in the 19th century in Bengal, while corresponding developments in other regions only occurred towards the end of the 19th and in the 19th century became tangible in the first decades of the 20th century. In the context of the Indian struggle for freedom, the return to Indian traditions and their – often romanticizing – reinterpretation in the service of nationalist goals also shaped literature. In addition, the advocacy of social reforms was particularly evident in the genre of the novel. Modern drama and theater were shaped by the reception Shakespeare and Kalidasas . The mostly Marxist “progressives” came together in 1936 to unite progressive writers in India, represented harsh social criticism and turned to the poor and exploited as heroes.
Dealing with the situation after independence in 1947 and the division into the two states of India and Pakistan led to the “new” literature of modernism, which v. a. was characterized by self-reflection and introspection. Since the beginning of the 1970s, a large number of newer, postmodernist currents can be observed, most importantly perhaps the so-called Dalit literature, with which authors from underprivileged classes speak for the first time – this includes angry poetry that emerged from big city life, and in Novels and short stories portray the life of sections of the population that were previously not authentically represented in literature. Feminist authors are also raising their voices for the first time.
According to programingplease, the Bengali literature is one of the largest and best known of the literatures of India. It begins in the mostly Buddhist songs (»Caryas«) from the 10th-12th centuries. Century. Classical literature begins with the Vishnuitic works of Candidas andCaitanya (both 15th to 16th centuries). Important later representatives of this period are B. Ray and Ramprasad Sen (* 1715, † 1755) in the 18th century. During the colonial era, epic and prose received new impulses from M. M. Datta and B. Chatterjee. The lyrical work of R. Tagore, which is characterized by the English Romanticism, is part of world literature. Manik Bandyopadhyay (* 1908, † 1956), whose work “Putulnachen Hikatha” (1936) was translated into many languages, was close to the politically committed literature of the progressist movement, whose followers came together in 1936 in the “Progressive Writers’ Association”. At the same time, the apolitical novelists Bibhutibhusan Bandyopadhyay (* 1894, † 1950)and Tarashankar Bandyopadhyay (* 1898, † 1971) and the narrator Banaphul (* 1899, † 1979) achieved national fame. Modern Bengali poetry is a.o. by Jibanananda Das (* 1899, † 1954), Buddhadev Bose (* 1908, † 1974), Bishnu De (* 1909, † 1982),Sankha Ghosh (* 1932), Alokeranjan Dasgupta (* 1933), Shakti Chattopadhyay (* 1933, † 1994) and Sunil Gangopadhyay (* 1934, † 2012) (partly German translation). Groundbreaking for contemporary Bengali theater were v. a. Utpal Datta (* 1919, † 1993) and Badal Sarkar (* 1925, † 2011). The writers Mahasveta Devi (* 1926, † 2016) and Kabita Sinha (* 1931, † 1998) also use v. a. Bengali as a literary language.
Bengali and the closely related Assamese are the main lingua franca in Assam. The Assamese literature, founded by Shankara Deva (* 1449, † 1569), a supporter of the Vishnuit movement Caitanyas, was long overshadowed by the Bengali development. Promoted by the missionaries, however, after it was officially recognized as the state language of Assam (1873), it was able to establish itself as an independent variant of New Indian literature. The question of Assam’s identity is dealt with today in the poetry of Hiren Bhattacharya (* 1932) and Nilmani Phookan (* 1933). – After the partition of India, a Bengali literature developed in what is now Bangladesh, in which secular and Islamic elements merge.
The Jaina monks played a major role in the development of Gujarati literature. Her earliest texts (1100-1300) can be found in the work of Hemacandra (* 1088, † 1172). A Jain version of the Mahabharata material by Nala and Damayanti cannot be precisely dated. The assemblies in honor of Krishna from the area of Bhakti poetry, ascribed to the Brahmin Narsimha Mehta (* 1414, † 1481), belong to the middle period. After a decline in the 16th century, Gujarati literature flourished withPremanand. In the 19th century began with Narmadashankar (* 1833, † 1886) an extensive prose writing. Considered one of the most important authors Govardhanram Tripathi (* 1855, † 1907), whose socially critical novel “Sarasvaticandra” (1887–1901, 4 volumes) helped to prepare the teachings of Gandhi, whose autobiography itself became a model for a rich political literature. The poets Vipin Parikh (* 1932) and Sitanshu Yashaschandra (* 1941) are among the most important representatives of modern literature in Gujarati.