History and Development of Indian Literature


Manuscript from the Bhagawad Gita composed in Sanskrit ca 400 BC – Wikimedia

Without a doubt, the Indian literary tradition is one of the oldest in the world. It comprises 22 officially recognized tribal languages and foreign languages like Persian, French, Portuguese and English. While a significant amount of the Indian literature is written a lot, more is still produced in regional languages, all of which have received an enormous reception worldwide.

The first ancient Indian literature was Sanskrit literature which comprised Rig Veda, Mahabharata, and Kannada, all of which were written in the first millennium BCE. They were then followed by Marathi, Urdu and Rabindra Nath Tagore, a literature writer who went on to become the first Indian Literature writer to receive a Nobel Prize for his literary work.


A brief history of Indian literature

During the anti-colonial period, the Indians began gauging themselves with the rest of the world in education. To keep pace with the world’s developed literature, the Indian linguist created genres unknown to the past. They included fiction, drama, literary history, lyrical poetry, and many more forms borrowed from the west.

Another important factor contributing to Indian literature is the increase in industrialization during the colonial period. The impact of science and rationalism influenced writers to critique institutions and activities that would not stand up to rational scrutiny.

Literature education has been made easy as students can use the best academic services available online when doing college assignments like writing work, essay writing, and other services. Students often use Edubirdie when they face complex essays and research topics. This is especially true when they come from a different background but have to write on another.

Tagore: The Arch-Writer

Image – oldindianphotos.in

Tagore is a perfect representation of traditional and modern Indian writers. Although he was deeply interested in Indian traditions, he cannot be said to be a traditionalist. In plays Bisorjon, he outlined his dissatisfaction with the outmoded conventions. The same can be said about some of his fiction works; they created matchless idioms, communion, solitude and hope. In one line, Tagore calls upon the nation to let love be the light of the world.

Being the most significant Indian literature figure in the 20th century, most of his writings typifies many other outstanding contemporary writings in different native languages like Kuvempu, Subrahmanya, Kannada Prasad Hindi.

Most Indian literature writers changed after independence. Although the literature writing axis never changed much, the freedom from the yoke of foreign rule was left to the locals’ hands and then came violence that changed everything. The newfound hope was replaced by massacres and mass destruction in the hands of Hindu-Muslim riots following the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

Dalit writers


Dalit writers in Maharashtra and other regions began to change the look of the Indian values, most of which were borrowed from their leader Ambedkar. Their sensibility of different languages came in the form of autobiography so that plain narration of his life stories always came as a shock to readers. 

The Dalit writers brought new content and revolutionized the new idiom by drawing images and metaphors from the known to the unknown in the Dalit world.

By the mid-1970s, many Indian pieces of literature entered the current phase, almost impossible to generalize or denominate. During this phase, Indian literature saw countless possibilities, promises, disappointments and triumphs that cannot be generalized. 


Although some literary writings have drawn the world’s attention, the best Indian literary works opened the treasures to the local languages, most of which have been threatened by the rise of India’s English language.

From these, we can say that Indian literature helped to marge Indian local languages and modern languages. These languages’ literature depended on ancient Indian background that included Sanskrit epic poems Ramayana and Mahabharata, and Bhagavata Purana. Also, the Sanskrit became a source of philosophical writings in later literature.

The impact of western education

One cannot doubt the significance of western education on the growth and development of Indian literature. When the Indians embraced western education, literature writers had no choice but to develop literature pieces that were in line with western education.

Today, things have become even better as new Indian literature students have better facilities at their disposal. Modern tools like citation generators, digital resources for references etc have proven to be of great benefit.


The reception of foreign languages in India, especially the English language, brought many radical changes, yet history still views mixed feelings. Thus, the rise of Indian literature can be attributed to the intermingling of social codes between the colony and colonialist Indians and British. The British changed the mindset of the Indian literature writers and prompted many writers to improve their writings and embrace English as a medium of literature development.

Author Bio:

Julius Sim is a well-known figure in the corporate sector and he’s currently working as the Head of Support Team at Edubirdie. His new-age management techniques and strong educational background have helped his team stand out in the customer service sphere. He’s a training expert as well and holds sessions for young students every weekend.


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