Literary Shelf

Contemporary Literary Scene

of Hindi Literature in Himachal

In Himachal, creative artists have made significant contribution to Hindi literature and it has attained its present status with an authentic presence. To be precise, it begins to show its presence in the early twenties and attains momentum after Independence. Creative artists have profusely written in almost all the genres and tried to depict various movements in the society realistically. It has a distinct position in Hindi Literature. It speaks of its roots, traditions, innocence and cultural heritage peculiar to hilly areas. It ventilates copiously people’s desires and aspirations. On the other hand, this literature speaks of the contemporary sensibility while staying firmly on its basis and foundations. It appears it has now assimilated the influences of the modernity, if one uses the term in its wider perspective. In its not so long history, one essentially tries to trace the roots of influences on literature. Literature never grows in isolation, and it is never cut off from the societal influences. It is prone to influences from different directions and regions, cultures and languages, people and their traditions. It is a slow movement to the opening of doors to universality of thoughts and feelings.

In Himachal, the creative artists have experimented in different genres of literature. In the beginning, short story and novel writing flourished and then, almost at the same time but with caution, the creative writings spread net around and writers began to write lyrics, essays, critical articles etc. exhibiting anxieties of man with a secular approach. Here, one witnesses spurt of writings cutting across barriers of region, religion, caste and color, language and idiom.

Initially, it would be interesting to observe that creative artists have been quite at ease while penning down lyrics where one observes rhythm with delicacy of emotions and simplicity of thoughts. A few poets experimented with metrical compositions but most of the poets appear quite at home with blank verse. Story writing and novel are genres that require rigorous discipline, areas of approach, concentration and writer’s experiential grade and depth. Creative writers in Himachal have consciousness and sensibility that straightway connect one to larger areas of Indianness and its varied dimensions.

While going through the writing of this period, one finds maturity of language, thoughts and subtle restraint on feelings. An author moves to different areas and probes not only the inner world of man but goes out in search of meaning in the ever-increasing love for materialistic lifestyles. Now, there is emphasizes on life outside that appears rich, luxurious and comfortable. These authors have command over the language, nuances and contours and the treatment of the subject shows authority and confidence. Art and craft of writing have shades of brilliance. The art of novel writing has really made an imprint on the literary sphere. The remoteness of the area from the hub of metropolitan cities and other centers of learning and literature proved a great handicap and most of the writers despite their intellectual and artistic strength were not noticed as they wished.

Like any other wing of life constituting men in numerous classes, the authors of hills could not establish a viable relationship with authors at the national level and so writing remained confined to certain areas with certain exceptions, for literary groups and circles catered to the needs of limited number of authors and regions with a certain amount preferential treatment. It is quite natural and these tendencies exist even now. Keeping these facts in mind, it would be a worthwhile journey to have a bird-eye of the literature of Himachal. In spite of apparent handicaps, it has registered its presence and that assures it of a permanent place in the wider perspective of Hindi Literature.

Initial Years

It is generally considered that novel in Hindi began making serious imprint on the hilly state with the arrival of Yashpal, the godfather of Hindi novel in Himachal who is a notable name in Hindi literature. One can safely observe that he laid the foundations of Hindi novel here with a clean, purposeful, socially and politically ideal description of healthy relation with man and society. Hindi literature of Himachal has been scrutinized, analyzed and evaluated at different levels by various authors and connoisseurs evincing interest in literature, and literary journals helped criticism grow. Still, efforts have not been conclusive, and attempts are made to project Hindi creative writings to give it a concrete shape. Interestingly, while looking into the corpus of literature, one must keep in mind the difficult and arduous terrain of hilly areas with various dialects. This aspect I am not touching, and therefore, leave it to the reader to visualize the topography of hilly areas and its accessibility while historical perspectives are fundamentally integral to the growth of culture and heritage.

Yashpal as a novelist of humankind, a multifaceted personality, stays as a lighthouse to many young and old authors of not only this hilly state but also he sets principles of chaste and meaningful writing for authors of different regions to follow. When he wrote, times were different, the country was facing crisis of identity, and struggle for freedom was gaining momentum. His novels depict agonies and sufferings of Indians engaged in a relentless fight against a foreign regime. He is sensitive and emotional, looks at India, its people and their struggles for independence from many aspects, and evaluates philosophically. His thoughts provoke, stir and inspire us to think of nation, identity and the value of freedom. His writings show influence of Marxism, as it was time of class struggle taking frontal positions raising host of numerous other issues concerning man’s economic life with political undertones.

Areas of Reflection and Truth of Times

With the passage of time social, economic and political areas in life gained ascendance and the creative writers began to interpret life from various angles. A subtle journey had started from the outer to the inner world of man and this added intricate dimensions to writing that encompassed man in totality. However, the authors continued to write about man and society. They carried the influences of the past and present. History of freedom movement worked as a strong backdrop from where all social, economic and political thoughts originated. Various social and religious movements influenced the social sphere and none could escape.

There were implicit and apparent efforts in creative writings to depict society as a whole and thus, one finds that the writers in hilly areas were quite conscious of their obligations and responsibilities to the society and this raised hopes that a bright future awaited ahead. Efforts have been made to find the precise origin of effective creative writing in Himachal. The borders of literature cannot be defined precisely from the viewpoint of time, location and inter-connection of men of different religions, castes, cultures and regions including countries. These aspects continue to change in a subtle manner and affect the psychology of man. Therefore, to restrict literature of Himachal to its present boundaries would be injustice to those who were born here and migrated to different parts of the country.

Thus, various influences determined the limit and strength of creative writing. Dr Sushil Kumar Phull, in earlier stages, made sincere attempts to trace the history of Himachal creative writing. He has been a keen student of Hindi Literature, and slowly he began working in this direction. He has tried to locate the roots of various genres of writing. In Himachal, he opines that novel took birth somewhere between 1960 and 1980 and thus, a long span creates confusion, and curiosity at the same time. A few writers were engaged in experimenting but nothing was visible in print. In fact, after 1980, many names appeared on the scene and this registered an effective presence of novelists, poets and a few critics.

Origin, Influences, Growth and Brief Analysis of Trends

Hindi novel in Himachal is sixty years old if one makes a rough estimate. If, on the one hand, ‘Bhagyavati’ by Shradhasram Philauri is considered the first novel in Hindi Literature, the first Hindi novel in Himachal is ‘Dada Comrade’ by Yashpal. There had been certain obvious hurdles in the full development of novel in Himachal and elsewhere. Struggle for freedom caused natural disturbance in the minds of the people, and restricted creative or critical activities that prosper in times of peace and harmony. Lack of education was another significant reason, as the British never wanted that education spreads in each corner of the country, for they wanted a specific class of elite and sophisticated among the Indians who had love for the lifestyles and culture of the British. They were interested in English language, standard of living and cultural traditions etc. and indirectly developed a cynical or carping attitude towards Indian traditions, heritage and culture.

This trend is noticeable in these uncertain conditions when people were involved in freedom struggle. While lack of education resulted in inadequate expression of social consciousness, there were efforts at the subconscious level by a few keen and curious men of feelings and thoughts who continued to demonstrate interest in different genres of literature, folklore, painting and music with diversified interest in other aspects of life.

In depicting social, economic and political culture of the society, novel here has played a significant role and largely, it has given authentic voice to the socio-cultural thoughts while economic and political anxieties of the people were kept in mind. Rural economy grew and expanded, and spread of education noticed tangible changes in thoughts and feelings, aspirations and living habits. The novelists were fully conscious of these aspects and thus, not only the historical, cultural, social, political, religious and philosophical viewpoints were given exhaustive treatment with a critical eye, these were related to life patterns of people and thus, took a positive and progressive shift. Here, the astute and imaginative authors predicted a definite tilt in attitudes of people and later on, this forethought proved correct.

If one analyzes novel’s craft, art, language, storyline and command over the subject, it shows a rich crop -thought provoking and meaningful, visualizing a bright future. If some authors are conscious of social responsibility, political tantrums, uncertainties and deceptions, unfortunately this creates anxieties and genuine worries, for the conduct and character of political people is not dignified and honest. A sick and corrupt psyche governs the minds and hearts of the rulers, and these aspects find ample description in creative writing. At times, the authors see at life philosophically and discern sufferings, injustice, corruption and inequality in society.

Initial Years, Areas Of Reflection And Truth Of Times

In the light of these initial observations that underline certain major influences in literature, it would be worthwhile to scrutinize the contribution of novelists, poets, storywriters and critics. It is relevant to observe that these factors have affected literary output almost everywhere with some variation and degree of influence. Himachal has a large number of novelists and storytellers. Among the notable names, one is reminded of Sant Ram Sharma, Kishori Lal Vaidya, Rameshchandra, Ram Krishan Kaushal, Mast Ram Kapoor, Shanta Kumar, Santosh Sailaja, and Krishna Kumar Nutan. Sudarshan Vashist, Dinesh Dharmpal, Sunder Lohia, Mansa Ram Arun, Kailash Bhardwaj, Trilok Mehra, SL Gupta, Ramesh Sharma, Arun, Pradeep Sharma, Hansraj, Uttam Parmar, Nagesh Bhardwaj, Narveer Lamba, Badri Singh Bhatia, Keshav, Dr Hemraj Kaushik, Maharaja Krishan Kaw, Sushil Kumar Phull and P C K Prem have undoubtedly, made significant contribution to this genre along with others. It is not possible to give a complete list for obvious reasons and limitations. Many authors are now silent and do not write while a few have just written a novel or two and that is the end. Let us hope the situation improves.

If a few novels are analyzed without prejudice, one comes to know about the feelings, thoughts, social and philosophic anxiety of the authors and indirectly, this throws light on the strength of the author. At this stage, it must be said that the novelists’ social anxieties and apprehensions in Himachal are clean, ethically satisfying and aesthetically charming and therefore, persistently inspire faith in values, cultural heritage and traditions without provocation. Maturity of thought exhibits progressive outlook. A few novelists understand social responsibility and obligations toward man and society and therefore, are able to observe attitude to situations, characters and thoughts not objectively to some extent and so, characters become toys in the hands of the authors and here, weaknesses appear evident. On the other hand, the authors have highlighted social angularities and lethal social traditions that are outdated and repulsive if looked at from the contemporary point of view.

A few appear anxious about the political environment often polluting social and economic fabric with irreparable damage to the moral code of life. Every writer, somewhere definitely feels harsh realities of life where politics, instead of improving life, destroys belief in life by distorting value system. Still, one finds some authors are firmly rooted to the soil and thus, regional background plays a significant role where one has glimpses of folklore and folktales, customs, rituals, dialects and a secular tendency to expand and go out to the other world with universal approach to life. Here, one finds variation in the use of idiom and language with linguistic experiment as words of dialects are introduced in Hindi by many authors. Moreover, some are experimenting with local dialect and thereby, trying to advocate ‘Pahari Language.’ Many collections of poems have appeared on the Pahari literary scene with a couple of novels and short stories in Pahari.

Depiction of Relations – Men and Women of Changing Psyche

In the light of above observations, it would be interesting to examine the feelings and thoughts of novelists. Human relations have always been close to the hearts of creative writers. In the gigantic milieu of human relations, novelists try to depict relations realistically, imaginatively and then, take the readers to a dreamland where relations are based on deep feelings of love, compassion, sympathy, understanding and sacrifice without any jealousy or hatred. Here, one has glimpses of ideal relationships. Idealistic depiction of relations in literary areas are quite apparent but later on, as realities dawn upon, fractures appear, for self-interests govern the psyche of man.

Many authors are worried about the social relations. They raise questions, dwell on the issues, try to find the areas of tensions and focus on the questions and then, analyze relations among men and women in various social settings. Based on human relations, they make genuine efforts to reach some viable understanding. Social relations in different situations are examined in novels like Sukhada -1982 (Uttam Parmar), Nagphans -1985 (Sushil Kumar Phull), Hawaghar -1989 (Keshav) and Akash Mera Nahin & Sangyheen -1991 (P C K Prem). They peel off many layers of feelings where hearts bleed but empathy and gentle slowness surface. They lead to a world of imagination and then, suddenly talk of the ocean of love and bitterness.

The relations among men seem varying radically with the change of times, environment, material growth and cracking up of social fabric, particularly the family system where once grandfather, great grandfather, father, mother, uncles, cousins sisters and so on…constituted a family and the degree of pain of one caused worries in the hearts of other members of family. One learns about new equations in relations while moral values get a back seat. Old principles appear to crack and new value-system looks as if definite.

If Sukhda inspires confidence among women, it also emphasizes that a woman is the foundation of a healthy society. Parmar avers that with the change in times and locales, there have been drastic changes in relations and values. She gives glimpses of rural areas and traditions and there the regional element fascinates. She efficiently and authentically reveals significant aspects of Himachal rituals, customs and traditions while giving vivid description of relations.


Nagphans shocks when it speaks about the disintegrating forces in relations where values, honor and words of grace are meaningless, and physical relations determine everything. The author is realistic and shows the true face of man. A change is necessary and it should be accepted, the author says. It is based on love for another man and woman and thus, it tries to build up a structure of life outside marital relations. The relations between a man and a woman are subjected to rigorous scrutiny and in the process, the author reveals emotional stress, bitter feelings, agonies of usually incomplete relations –those relations specifically, which do not have sanction of society. The author takes the reader to a land where a man lives in sick and mutilated relationship with a woman –outside socially agreed norms, and still, puts up a brave face. Hawaghar splits feelings, it moves from one word to another, peeps deep into the heart, body and passions.

Like Nagphans, it reveals hidden feelings and thoughts of men and women. Akash Mera Nahin examines relations from a different angle where life’s concerns also intervene and obstruct the path to freedom in relations. Sangyaheen examines relations at the intellectual level while showing respect to social set up.

Dr Laxmi Narayana (a renowned professor, scholar and critic of Hindi Literature) observes on Akash Mera Nahin that the contemporary life and existence are overshadowed by dishonesty, sleaze, vicious and corrupt mentality and therefore, all are victims from babus, officers, and political leaders to ordinary men –general populace. It is an authentic document on the ailing frame of mind of clerks and officers –big and small and proves its perennial historical relevance.” Sanghyaheen underlines contemporary stress, agony, bitterness in anguish while highlighting changes in personal relations. A man experiences the pains and agonies of others and thus, gives birth to different relations where it is difficult to give a name. Everyone has to exist in the area of one’s sorrows and sufferings, is the message. One cannot escape the conclusion that this is precisely the karma and dharma of life.

It would be pertinent to recall Sant Ram Sharma’s Us Chhat ke Neeche (1965) that adds romantic dimensions of human relations. Phull’s Kahin Kuchh Aur and Onkar Rahi’s Shavyatra (1972), Sailani (1972) of Ram Krishan Kaushal, Krishan Kumar Nutan’s Mann Ek Pyasi Machhali also take the journey to romantic and dreamy lands in a man’s life. At the other end, one can have glimpses of novels like Sanskar and Mridula. These novels try to delineate sex relations in social and family life imparting new and controversial meaning when bodily attraction governs psyche men and women. In other words, it is an obvious attack on the frail mental attitude prone to polluted thoughts.

However, these feelings of love and passion are being examined from different facets of life so that a coherent picture emerges where realities and truth conciliate to offer clean, significant and relevant connotation to the traditions of love and romance.


Observing Issues from A Political Perspective

The authors deliberate on various aspects of life. They depict life in totality. If, in the foregoing lines, human bonds have been described, it means the authors are primarily concerned about human relationships. It does not mean that they ignore other aspects of life. Political thoughts do creep in most of the writings. Observations on politics interfering in day-to-day life do interpret life in terms of different segments of society. Mostly, it is believed that politics does not unite but divides. It functions in a subtle way and dehumanizes noble instincts. Such messages are quite clear in most of the writings whether poetry or prose or novel. Short fiction is not an exception.

Political anxieties and social issues intermingle to evaluate life in wider perspective as the nation wakes up to freedom. Mast Ram Kapoor in Teeri Ankh Ka Dard (1979) and Rasta Band Kaam Shuru (1982), Sushil Kumar Phull in Mitti ki Gandh (1982), Maharaja Krishan Kaw in Asman Nahin Girte (1984) and P C K Prem in Akash Mera Nahin, (1988), Sankhnad (1990), show sensitivity towards social problems arising out of economic sufferings. In the process, they depict political scenario in a realistic manner and seek solutions to the issues facing man while awakening to the political machinations affecting human affairs. Teeri Ankh Ka Dard of Kapoor gives graphic picture of Kangra Valley with a nostalgia that stirs. Mitti ke Gandh does not clearly give indication but its environment speaks of the hilly terrains vividly. On the other hand, Asman Nahin Girte and Rasta Band Kaam Shuru are different, for they talk of life and politics at another level.

Kapoor has tried to highlight issues of land holdings, its fragmentation, and family planning with a pragmatic approach while giving expression to his philosophical anxieties. Kapoor is a sensitive novelist and in a low profile, he talks of man in rural surroundings and his aspirations where politics is playing a sullied game. He is quite apt in describing various welfare programs of the government and the disgusting publicity it gets by wasting public money. Phull speaks of the regionalism and related issues raising heads to tear down unity of the country with fissiparous tendencies. Politics will have to rise above other considerations and think of the nation as a whole. Phull is straight and incisive.

Akash Mera Nahin conveys the message that a compromise is necessary if one has to live life where ominous and sinister caucus of politicians and bureaucrats works dangerously, says Phull. On the other hand, Piyush Guleri thinks that the novel begins its journey from an individual and moves, surveys and depicts life of a society, office, politics, dharma, culture and consequently, speaks of the distortion and defacement of values. Thus, these novels reflect political thoughts of the novelists while they try to emphasize the essentiality of living life purposefully. At the end of the dark tunnel, they see a ray of hope of life making authors authentic, and in this way, they establish strong links with Indian consciousness and join the main stream of Hindi Literature.

In Teesri Ankh Ka Dard, Mast Ram Kapoor depicts the life of a village in Kangra Valley of Himachal. It is a poignant tale of the struggles of people confronted with social and economic disparities where politics does not solve issues but complicates the lives of innocent rural people. If politicians solve one rural-related issue, they create dozens of other problems. Kapoor has the eye to examine issues rationally, and the sufferings a man undergoes in a remote hilly state, take larger dimensions and begin to speak of the issues rural people face throughout India. He talks of heartlessness of politics, the question of livelihood, unemployment, hunger, poverty…and thus, the tale becomes a historical document.

If Kapoor is worried about the life of villagers, Phull takes up the issue of regional thought entering the minds of politicians –little state straps who want to grow in the state and narrow down the parameters of nationalism. He painfully describes the sufferings of individuals who suffer at the hands of leaders and people who harbour ‘son of the soil’ feelings and thoughts. It is still a pertinent thought when one observes what is happening in India. If this lethal thought of regionalism continues to grow, it will prove disastrous. These thoughts find expression in a few other creative writings.

Rasta Band Kaam Shuru of Kapoor speaks of the clerical life and its unfeeling attitude to men and matters. There is no empathy, no human feeling and no compassion. It is a life of conspiracy at all levels, for survival is a major question for everybody. It is a dry life amidst starred living. A single office room is enough to understand the psychology of a babu who is very tall and incredibly small also, a tiny fellow who knows not what he does.

On The Life of Man and Society

The novels from Himachal make not only an interesting reading but also convey concrete message to life and society. At times, one might find that authors appear to sermonize but if one wants to be useful to society, one has to say what one feels. One observes that the creative artists are conscious of the social set up and so, ardently and incisively underline contours of ugliness. They are anxious about the not very healthy body and good-looking face of politics. Generally, it is observed that the authors talk genuinely about the sufferings, anguish and psychological pains of life and then, connect these apparent agonies to social and political environment and there, they appear to turn sarcastic, subtly philosophic and pessimistic. They are frank, true and straight.

Tat ke Bandhan of Kishori Lal Vaidya, Man-manthan of Ganga Ram, Hardyal Nastik’s Laherein aur Tinke, Dashansh, Sangyaheen, Vishmoh, Itne Baras Baad and Vanshdaan by P C K Prem, Vipathgami and Ek Atut Silsla, by Kapoor, Man ke Meet by Shanta Kumar are significant contributions to literature. Moreover, Kaushal’s Kalpna, Path ke Rahi, Devangana of Mansa Ram, Antank of Sudarshan Vashist and Meetha Jahar of Kailash are other noteworthy novels, which carry forward healthy traditions.

Sukhda, Naagphans and Hawaghar speak about the changing social set up and thoughts, and thereby of the developing transformation in social relationships and do it convincingly. On the other hand, novels like Laajo (1979) of Shanta Kumar, Gali Gali Maili (1980) of Nagesh Bhardwaj, Parampara (1981) of Dinesh Dharmpal, Vakt ka Ek Din (1987) of Narveer Lamba, Aadha Ahura Ek Din of P C K Prem, Phull’s Phuloan ke Chhaya (1983) and a few others, make serious attempts to evaluate and depict human relations in authentic social background. One witnesses a continuous movement against orthodox thoughts, rituals, superstitions, prejudices and thereby, one observes changes in the social set up. Progressive social reformation is the objective of Laajo and Parampara. Nagesh tries to find roots of an ideal society. Problems of orphans and social responsibility arise. Laajo gives glimpses of rural surrounding. Shanta Kumar is a politician, a leader and therefore, issues like social uplift, progressive thoughts, widow marriage, rehabilitation and the incessant problems of poverty and deprivation haunt the pages of his novels and the author proves his point. Shanta, at times, is highly idealistic and this irritates while a few authors also speak of ideals and ethics perhaps to provide some food, may be.

In Phuloan ke Chhaya, social issues and personal relations find expression when sufferings, joys and family obligations trouble working- women. Dashansh raises significant questions. Dr Kirti Kesar talks of the flow, music and beauty of the language and tells that affection, warmth, love and sympathy prove essential for a meaningful life. A man lives in the love of his karmas and this determines his existence amidst jealousy, hate, greed and corruption while working hard to establish feelings of satisfaction, patience, sacrifice and meaningful love and warmth. It is not necessary to create fissures in the emotional and intellectual structure of the society but if some efforts to bring synthesis and harmony are made, it makes life purposeful and so, Kesar sums up the message.

Glimpses of Local Culture

Some authors have realistically depicted hilly life. Local rituals, customs, clothes, ornaments and language are saturated with locales and landscape where characters live, struggle and open up their hearts’ aspirations to the outside world and thus, connect their emotional life with the wider continuum of life and living. When the story moves outside a particular area and a class of people, it causes genuine problems of language and craft. However, the authors have been successful in establishing a relationship with the characters and the language. In Parvaton ke Uppar, Sushil Kumar Phull delineates the life of the gaddis –a tribe in Himachal who rears up sheep and goats and lives a wandering life. In winter, they arrive at some fixed locations of plains along with their animals and in summer, they go back to hilly terrains but there is visible change perceptible in the lifestyles. Gaddis do not live a comfortable life but in struggle they live, enjoy, sing and dance. Badri Singh Bhatia, describes the lifestyles, rituals, customs and living of gorakhas who, too, love life of movement.

Similarly, Peele Phool Kaner Ke also creates a backdrop of rural life. Vishmoha (P C K Prem) depicts struggles, sufferings, conflicts and little victories of villagers while earning livelihood as politics intervenes to add new and fresh dimensions to life in a village where welfare projects, schemes and plans are executed. It talks of little corruption that has the capacity to enlarge its tentacles to areas beyond village life. These novels make not only interesting reading but inspire one to peep deep into the life of hilly people with love and sympathy. Gorakhas and Gaddis inspire confidence and alertness to fight with change, and a motivation to live in trying circumstances. On the other hand, these novels convey the message that perseverance and fortitude are essential to live life among sufferings, difficulties and challenges. Joys and pleasures are possible even in sufferings and struggles one learns.


File Gawah Hai (P C K Prem) is not a novel in the real sense but it is still a novel. Here, file is a personification of the life of files and babus, big or small. It speaks of politics, dharma, karma, love and lust, integrity and corruption, system and the collapsing system, boredom and routine life with philosophic waste and garbage. Satyapal Sharma says, “One is led to believe that the author has a rich heritage and corpus of deep thoughts and experience, and stands on his soil indomitably displaying immense steadfastness.” “Such meaningful and introspective writings spreading out to envelope society and man’s philosophic and psychological horizons appear to fulfil one’s obligations towards humanity,” says another critic Dr Laxmi Narayana. File Gawaha Hai is different in art, craft, language, story and treatment, and there are very few or possible negligible attempts like this and that makes it distinctive and unique, he says.

At this stage, it would be worthwhile to make a mention of one of the longest novels in Hindi, Kaalkhand of this author/critic, in five volumes. This novel depicts life of India encompassing India’s political, historical, philosophical, religious, economic and social aspects covering a period of two hundred years. It is a work of fiction but it looks at life in totality in historical perspective. Himachal works as a backdrop but slowly the novel with a vast canvas moves on to cover the entire history of people with the strength of hundreds of characters.

Sushil Kumar Phull has attempted a short history of this literature years back and now, he has come out with the latest status of literature in Himachal. The sweep of themes and subjects of the novels is noteworthy and the command of authors on the subjects is satisfying. Despite flaws and shortcomings in some places, the novelists have been successful in conveying the message. The novelists realize their responsibility towards the society and therefore, they are genuine when they deal with issues of social relevance. Bhanwar by Pradeep Sharma,Yadoin ke Mahal and Kshitij ke Uspaar of Sagar Palampuri, Jhumati Yaad of Piyush Guleri, Punarjanam of Ashok Sareen, Man ke Devta and Ek Vastivikta of Ramesh Sharma Arun and a few others take up issues of life and society persuasively.

Many are engaged in the art of writing novels but the progress appears to have slowed down. However, for obvious reasons, the creative artists worried about man and society continue to write about it. An attempt has been made to make survey of a few significant novels, and an evaluation has been made of the intellectual range, social and political environment, economic and ethical anxieties worrying writers. It is hoped this genre of creative writing would continue to be enriched. It has not been possible to write about all the novelists here for understandable limitations.


Continued to "Contemporary Literary Scene: Hindi Short Story in Himachal"

Suggested Readings

  • Devi, Dr Jogindra. P C K Prem ka Katha-Sansar. Delhi 94: Nirmal Publicatons, Shahadra. 2005.
  • Kaushik, Dr Hem Raj. Mulya aur Hindi Upnyas. Delhi: Nirmal Prakashan Shahadra. 2000.
  • Kashyap, Dr Padam Chander. Delhi 11: Himachal Pradesh ka Etihasic aur Sanskritik Adhyayan 1981.
  • Lal, Dr Kashmiri. Sahitya ka Samajshastriya Adhyayan. Delhi: Bhavana Prakashan. 1993.
  • Lal, Dr Manohar Lal. Himachal Pradesh ke Braj Kavi. New Delhi: Pustakayan, Ansari Road. 1986.
  • Padamaja, Dr. P. K. Hindi Upnyas par Baicharik Andolanoa ka Prabhav. Gaziabad: Pankaj Publicatons, Garh Mukteswar. 1986.
  • Phull, Dr S.K. Hindi Sahitya ka Etihas (Himachal ka). Delhi: Bhupati Prakashan, M 72, Naveen Shahadra, 2007
  • Puri, S, Bharteeya Rajnaitik Vyavastha, Jalandhar: New Academic Publishing Co., 14th Edition, 1999.
  • Singal, Dr Baijnath. Nayei Kavita: Mulya Mimansa. Delhi: Sharada Prakashan (Distributors) Maharouli.1985.
  • Shukla, R.L. Adhunik Bharat ka Etihas. Delhi: Hindi Madhyam Karyanvaya Nirdeshalaya, Delhi University, 1998

(A reference exists regarding many authors and creative works. However, the list of authors and creative works is not given for obvious reasons. If any reader wishes to enjoy creative writings of Himachal, he should communicate with the Himachal Academy of Art, Culture and Language, Simla, HP it is suggested).

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Comment Put simply, a novel arises out of a passion in a writer to depict in words a prevailing social reality. As in the case of Dickens, the conditions of society revealed in the fiction are in the sum of the novels no closer to resolving the social problems - this is left to men of action who do not write about the miseries of the poor but bring abouit social reform through empowered action. Gandhi was not a novelist. All a novelist does is observe the social times through a fiction; and all this does is to fulfil a curiosity in the reader, who is more interested in the art and craft of the writer: it is a source of entertainment for those who have time and leisure to read. It is not intended as a bible for the class of people it makes characters of.

29-Jun-2013 21:10 PM

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