'Making India' review
The book is an courageous attempt to explain
the modern Indian English literature.
Rishabh Madhavendra Pratap, IBNLive.com
It is at times good to find a piece like 'Making India' which gives a broad insight from Historical events that lead to the contemporary developments. The Modern Indian history is an outcome of various happenings that took place in 18th and 19 century and Prof Makarand Paranjape, the author of 'Making India: Colonialism, National Culture, and the Afterlife of Indian English Authority' brings out the essence of what shaped Modern Indian English literature.
Reading historical cases through a literature expert is always a matter of choice. And Prof Paranjape lives to the expectations of readers. Words like Modernism or 'adhunikata' which refers to the changes in 18th century India have till now seen through the glasses of socio-economic aspect but the author in his creation brings out something that generally goes unnoticed- the changes in language, the writings and its affect on society.
The author begins by tracing the trend of arguing the Brahmanical ideals that have remained untouched for ages, beginning with Rammohan Roy, and the subsequent attempts at revitalising the tradition by infusing new life into it by later day moderns such as Vivekananda.
It is at times good to find a piece like 'Making India' which gives a broad insight from Historical events that lead to the contemporary developments.
Michael Madhusudan Dutt's life incidence have been studied in a chapter. The topic leaves the readers thinking on how even with his moorings he was forever destined to remain an outsider at Albion's shore.
Although lack of evidence as the author himself notes makes the sketch of Vivekananda's life and times incomplete, as do much of the work on saintly figures even from colonial India.
One can not read the literature alone and hence even this book at may points deals with different issues like society, economy and the slavery.
In a nutshell we can say the book is an courageous attempt to explain what we say is Modern Indian English literature.