Literary Shelf

A Study on Short Story in Six Languages


The study was taken up to prove with historical facts and truths the true history of the origin of modern short story in our Indian literature. For this purpose, the study of short stories that were written on and in the context of National movements were taken up. Our Janapada literature had the great wealth of short story literature. Our Ancient literature beginning from Rigveda had the great wealth of short story literature. The short story genre was not new to our literature. Then, where was the need to borrow it from the Western short story? Such thoughts arose and led to making the study. In fact, it is a secondary objective. The study of the history of the National movements through Literature is the primary objective to throw light on various minute aspects and details of the movements mainly from the people's side . There were hundreds of short stories written by contemporary writers of those times on different aspects and at different times of the movements in each language and therefore the study of the history of the movements through the study of the short stories was found suitable and the research made. The study was made on the basis of six research articles written particularly for this study by six writers in six languages, namely, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu and English.

Key Words: Modernity, Rise of modernity in India, National movements, Social reforms, freedom from British, Study of History through Literature.

1: Rise and Progress of Modernity and Modern Short Story in India:

The modernity in India arose as transformation from the past primarily for two causes. Firstly, it was under British rule and secondly that India believed from the ancient times that in the past, there existed not only the rusted pieces of iron, but also diamonds and pearls which should be protected and preserved as culture wealth of the India, that is Bharat.

It arose as transformation under the influence of the National movements for social reforms for enlightened social living freed from blind beliefs and social inequalities for the people on one hand and on the other hand freedom from the British rule.

Modernity arose and progressed in the light and under the influence of the following people's historical movements for social reforms and freedom from the British.

The people's Cultural movement to protect Indian culture from the onslaught of Christianity that entered India, that is Bharat, with the British Act of 1813 allowing Christianity to operate in India.

The second movement was the armed war of 1857 for freedom from the British.

The Third movement was formation of Indian National Congress in 1885.

The fourth movement was formation of All India Congress Committee in 1920 to run the freedom movement under the leadership of the Gandhi.

The modern short story came up as an integral part of modernity. The Janapada story and ancient story were modified and modernized and transformed as modern short story to create awareness among the people on the National movements and make them participate voluntarily in the movements.

The modern short story thus came up and played an effective role in the movements.

2: Strategy for freedom movement:

India suffered from foreign rule from 8th century on wards to 20th century in one way or other in parts or wholly for over 12 centuries. It built many diversities and rivalries amongst the people. There were rivalries between the British rulers and Indian people, between the Indian kings and the British rulers, between the different religions, between the different languages, between the different regions, between the different cultures, between the urban people and the village people, between money lenders and borrowers, between the Indian businessmen and the British businessmen and between different castes and many such diversities and rivalries.

How the movement for freedom from British rule and self rule could be made successful? It was the great challenge before the Indian leadership. The leadership under Gandhi worked out a strategy. Gandhi assessed the situation correctly. The first thing is that armed struggles would not be successful to have freedom from the British. The failure, bloodshed and the cruel torture of the 1857,the first armed war of 1857 for freedom was before the eyes of the leadership and the people. If it were an armed war, what would it be? The British would make it a war between the Indian army run by the British and the Indian people. The Indian blood only flows from both the sides! Then, what would be the alternative? Keeping all that in mind, Gandhi worked a strategy

3: Strategy of unity building:

While the Gandhi was in South Africa, he wrote in 1909- Hind Swaraj- Indian Self Rule. He mentioned Ahimsa ( non- violence ) as Strategy. Satyagraha as technique or medium. Where do you have moral authority and legality to rule India? Questioning the British on these lines and exhibition of non violent Satyagraha becomes the people's movement. Violation of specific unjust laws comes under peoples non violent Satyagraha. In such violations, voluntary intention or imposition of self imprisonment comes under the peoples Satyagraha. Simple rural or village lifestyle should be implemented. The goods made by Indian villages and the people should be used by the people in the place of industrial products.(swadeshi goods). The British should be made to declare freedom and independence for India bowing its head before the peoples non violent Satyagrha movements.

The strategy was historic, but how to achieve it?! The Gandhi and the Gandhian leaders worked it out! 

Despite and amongst many diversities and rivalries, freedom from the British should be made the only objective and target for all the people of India. It would be possible because all the people want it. The unity should be built amongst all the people for achieving the objective and the target. It should grow as the people's movement of UNITY first, then only it would become the people's movements for freedom from the British and the self rule. For building the unity, awareness should be created amongst all the people about the objective and the actions planned for achieving the objective. The fruits of the freedom and democracy would become enjoyable EQUALLY by all the people of India. It should be assured to the people for building UNITY.

The Muslims in India are Indians only. They are converts only. The Christians in India are Indians only. They are converts only. Thus, the faiths might be different, but they are all Indians only. All Indians would enjoy the fruits of freedom and democracy EQUALLY. The secular principles and policies were worked out for building UNITY under the leadership of the Gandhi.

Social reforms are used as part of the movement for building UNITY. Eradication of untouchability from Casteism was given top priority. The Gandhi learnt from Ramayana that there was NO concept of Untouchability in Hinduism. He said" In my opinion, Untouchability is a blot on humanity and therefore upon Hinduism. It can not stand the test of reason. It is in conflict with the fundamental perspectives of Hinduism." He said" He who demands Swaraj must give Swaraj to others. It is a principle in Law that he who seeks justice should render it to others. He made the movement of Untouchability as integral part of National movements of Unity building, Social reforms and Independence.

The Ambedkar said" Social democracy is even more important than the freedom from foreign rule" and wanted eradication of caste system. The Gandhi did not agree with him as it would destroy the movement of UNITY building for freedom from the British rule.

4: Beginning of Gandhian movement:

The first satyagraha movement under the Gandhi leadership took place against the British Rowlatt act of 1919, 6th, February permitting arrest of suspects without trial. It was followed by the movements of 1921, 1922 and 1928. The full pledged, committed and dedicated movement began in 1930. It is civil disobedience movement. The Gandhi said" Salt tax was a perfect symbol of imperialist exploitation of mankind's neediest." and began the movement on 1930, 6th, April. It was followed by many movements till the British declared Independence in 1947.

5: Study of short stories in six languages- Salient features and aspects:

i) Hindi: written by Prof.S.Sesharatnam ( M.A; M.Phil; Ph.D; D.Lit ), Andhra University, Visakhapatnm. Andhra Pradesh. She renders services to Union public service commission, some State public service commissions, Kendra sahitya academy and foundation for Jnanapith awards:

Bharatendu Haritshandra was regarded as the First prose writer and also as First short story writer in Hindi in the beginning days of the 20th century.

Some well-known writers wrote some short stories during the period 1900- 1910 and made a good beginning for short story writing. To name some, they are Radhacharan Goswami, Kishorilal Goswami, Keshavprasad Simh, Ramachandra Shukla,Karthikprasad Khatri, Girijadatt Vajpai, Lala parvatinandan, Bhagavan das, Bangmahila( Rajendra Bala ghosh ), Brindavanlal Varma, Mahaveerprasad Dwivedi.

The short story written by Madhavrao Safre with the title YEK CHOKARIBHAR MITTI was considered as one of the First Modern Short Stories which fulfilled all the qualities of a modern short story both in content and style. It is on questioning the suppression and looting of the poor in the Jamindari social system

The short stories portrayed social ills and evils of those times from which people were suffering such as caste system, blind beliefs, blind practices, issues of joint family system, male domination on women and also on Nationalism. Some short stories suggested and welcomed social reforms such as lnterreligion and intercaste marriages based on pure love, women education, advancement of women and eradication of untouchability and such social reforms.

The short story written by Bangamahila with the title- Dulayivali- was also considered as the First modern short story. Some stories appeared as influenced by Bengali short story.

The contents of the short stories were in the light of the National movement for social reforms and were modern. But, some stories lacked modernity in the style of presentation and qualities.

Though the modern short story came during the period 1900- 1910, it's real advancement both in content and style with the modern qualities and organizing principles began and developed during the period 1911- 1936. This era of short story was regarded as Jayashankar Prasad- Premchand era. Jayashankar Prasad was known for his social idealism while Premchand was known for his social progressivism.

The common man and the exploited man became the contents for the short story. The social reforms had their due place in the literature.

Freedom from the British rule and Independence became the top priority.

Progressive short story based on Marxist philosophy took its roots . This trend continued till we got Independence in 1947. After Independence, the short story began to play its role towards improving democracy so that the fruits of democracy reach the mouths of all the people with equality and dignity.

Many stories are coming since 1911on other themes such as on psychology and scientific and technological advancements with enlightenment on their good and bad effects and also on globalization exploitation in the recent times.

The revolutionary short story in the light of Maoist thoughts for armed war did not find due place in the Hindi short story.

Prof. Sesharatnam furnished the list of reference books which she consulted for writing the article at the end of the article.

ii) Tamil: Written by Prof. Sripada Jayaprakash : M.A; Ph.D. Professor( Telugu) Madurai Kamaraj University,Madurai, Tamilnadu.( retired ) Published about 40 books and presented over 200 papers at National and International seminars. He translated some books of historical importance from one language to other in Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam and renders translations to Kendra Sahitya Academy and other Academies. He is a visiting professor for Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Va.Ve.Su.Iyer was considered as the First writer who gave birth to the short story in Tamil. He was well versed in English and had knowledge on Short Story and was familiar with Tagore's short stories and also translated a few short stories from english, but he wrote in full Tamilness in such a way that the readers should feel that they were reading the Tamil story only. He wrote a few original short stories enlightening on Tamil social living of those days and on Tamil culture and traditions.

Kalki( Ra. Krishnamurthy-1899- 1954) is the writer who wrote short stories in people's spoken language and developed it as common man's interesting and awareness reading. He wrote short stories for 30 years on all national and Tamil issues and problems mainly on politics, economics and social issues of those times. He was the editor of Anandavikatan and later established and managed the magazine KALKI very ably enlightening the people on the social and political movements with Gandhian movement of satyagraha for freedom from the British.He laid path for impressive and impactive technique of writing a short story.

Pudumypithan (Vruddachalam) was born in 1906. He wrote short stories only and enriched Tamil literature from 1930 onwards through his short stories. He wrote in daily spoken language of the downtrodden and the exploited class of people with local accent of Tirunalveli, but he followed the Tamil traditional style of writing.

He believed strongly that the Gandhian political movement for Independence from the British would be successful as it was the need of all the people irrespective of and amidst many diversities and rivalries and wrote powerful and stimulating short stories creating awareness and awakening amongst the people to become participants in the movement.

At the same time, he was of the opinion that the movement of social reforms would remain as idealistic only and would fail as all people would not accept them. The people irrespective of their social and economic conditions and positions would not accept eradication of caste systems, widow marriages, intercaste and interreligion marriages and economic equalities and many such reforms and criticised the movement severely.

His short stories portrayed the social and political realities of those times and was the first writer who introduced stream of consciousness style . Many writers namely Rajagopalan,Rajaji, Mouni and many others wrote short stories before Independence.

TAMIL short story after Independence : The political unity built during the political movement for Independence was destroyed after Independence by some political leaders and parties on the basis of Regionalism and Regional Languagism and Casteism. Periyar Ramasamy Nayakar made a beginning in the name of ' Self - Respect' movement and all genres of literature were used for strengthening the movement. That trend still continues in Tamil literature in one way or other modified to the needs of the contemporary times.

On the other side, progressive literature came up after 1953, analysing the root causes of social conflicts and the class conflicts on economic basis in India while condemning the philosophy of self respect movement. It had no connections with any communist parties and uses Marxist philosophy for analysis.Jayakanthan laid the path and enriched Tamil short story both in content and style of writing followed by many writers.This trend also continues modified to the needs of the present day times. Feminist literature also came up after 1970 criticising male domination in all walks of life.

iii) Kannada: Written by Dr.Malleshappa and Kasarla SrinivasaRao: Guidance by Professor Dr. K. Sharada, Kannada and translation studies, Dravidian University, Kuppam,Andhra Pradesh. ( M.A; M.Phil;Ph.D.) She has published over 21 books and many research papers. She renders translations in Kannada,Telugu,Hindi and English to Kendra Sahitya Academy and many other Academies:

Manavi Veerappa published a short story collection in 1851with 40 stories with the title Kathasagara which resembled the Janapada (folklore )stories and lacked modernity both in content and style. However, it was regarded as a worthy introduction of short story in the Kannada Language.

Masti Venkatesh Iyengar made a beginning of a true modern short story fulfilling all the qualities and requirements of a modern short story both in content and style in 1911 and brought out a short story collection in 1920 which was the First short story collection in Kannada Language.

His stories portrayed the Bharatiyata, the Indian culture with its values of social living of those times, which may be called as Vedic social values of social living. This is followed by many well-known writers thereafter timelessly.

The First modern short story writer was Panje Mangesarayalu. The First modern short story written by him was published in the magazine SUVASINI with the title NANNA CHIKKU TAYI in 1900. His First short story collection was published in 1933 with the title KAMANA BILLU. His short stories portrayed enlightening the people on social realities of those times and the Gandhian thoughts and Gandhian National movement for freedom from the British and social reforms such as eradication of Untouchability and caste system. His short stories had the power of stimulating people to participate in the movements.

In 1934- 1935, a collection 25 short stories written by 25 writers including 5 women writers was published with the title MADHUVANA.K. Honnaya shetty and Venkataramanacharya brought out the collection. In 1939, a collection of ten short stories was brought out by BHARATI GRANDHAMALE with the title CHIGURU. All those short stories focussed on creating awareness and awakening on the issues of the Gandhian National movements for freedom and social reforms and making people to participate in the movements voluntarily.

A new stream and wave of progressive short story arose in the year 1940 under the guidance of Aa.Na. Krishnaraya wth the concepts of Marxist philosophy followed by well-known known writers which portrayed class conflicts and class exploitation with realistic approach with the objective of social equality. It enriched Kannada short story to the great heights.

Dalit short story arose as new stream and wave from 1970 onwards focussing the realities of the social living of the downtrodden people with the objective of social equality on caste criterion. It grew as intolerant movement and hence rejected by the people. 

With the concepts of market economy and globalization economy, all the genres of literature based on ideologies and philosophies were buried and a state of literary silence made a beginning in Kannada also as in all regional languages.

16 reference books have been cited at the end of the article.


iv) Malayalam: Written by L.R. Swamy : M.Sc; M.B.A. Retired in a senior position in a Processing Industry. Author and translator in Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil and English. Translated several books for Kendra Sahitya Academy and other Academies and of some authors. He chairs and speaks on programmes conducted by Kendra Sahitya Academy and other several Academies. He is presently the president of a literary organisation SAHRUDAYA SAHITI:

Modern Short Story: 1891- 1924:

The First short story written by Vengayil Kunhiraman Nayanar was published in 1891 with the title VASANA VIKRUTI in the magazine Vidya Vinodini  run by C.P. Achutamenon. There were several well- known writers who wrote short stories during the period. They portrayed throwing light on social issues and joint family systems and also on cultural values and emerging modernity of those times. We do not find the influence of western short story either in content or in style of writing the short story. We find Malayalamness only in them.

Modern Short Story: 1925 - 1944:

National Independence movement:

The Gandhian thoughts and movements for freedom and Independence moved the people and lakhs of people participated actively in the movements. But, it appears that the short story did not play an active role in the movements while the poetry played an effective role. The short story portrayed the sufferings of the people from hunger, suppressions and miserable living conditions during the period. They portrayed throwing light on high social values of life with in-depth study of psyche and enriched the short story to be called as golden era of modern short story.

Karoor Neelakanta Pillai, P. Keshavdev, Vaikom Muhammed Basheer and many others wrote on various aspects of true humanity. They directed human life to be truly humane. They wrote in aesthetic style enriching the content and message.

Social Reforms Movements: 1925 - 1944 :

Karoor Neelakanta Pillai( 1894 - 1938 ) was a school teacher who did not learn English. He wrote about 500 short stories on social issues such as poverty and hunger portraying the sufferings of the people on realistic approach particularly of the school teachers.

V.T. Bhatta tirippad,BhavathrathanNamboodiripad and Lalitambika Antharjanam wrote heart breaking short stories on the miserable living conditions of the women in Namboodiri family systems.

Thakazhi Shivashankara Pillai,Nagavalli, M.T.Vasudevan Nayar, Sara Jiseph, N.P. Mohammed and many reputed writers wrote criticizing the blind beliefs, Social evils such as untouchability, man having more than one wife, caste discrimination, Social exploitation of the poor and many social issues with suggestions for eradication of those social evils while suggesting ways and means for social equality and harmonious social living. True humanity is the soul of those short stories.

Political and Social Transformations: 1945 -1957 :

A strong wave of Marxism and Russian literature began to blow around 1945 and it became the main stream of literature including short story. P. Keshavdev, Ponkunnam Varkey, S.K.Pottekkat and many scholarly writers wrote impressive short stories analysing and enlightening in essence as to how the working class and the deprived class are exploited and deprived of the additional value added by them in the production of goods and services. The communist party changed to parliamentary democracy. The communist party won political power on 1957,April 5. Valuable short stories came portraying these political transformations. The trend of Marxist literature appears thereafter modified to suit to the contemporary times in one way or other.

Contemporary short story from 1960 onwards:

It is a period of democracy with innumerable political, Social, economic and cultural transformations taking place from time to time. Many eminent writers wrote on all aspects of these transformations throwing light on what are the good changes that should be followed and what are the bad changes that should be rejected. Some stories point out lapses in the democratic governance.

Dalit short stories with Dalit consciousness began to come up as movement for social equality and social dignity.

Feminist short stories with feminist consciousness also began as a movement for equality and dignity.

After market economy and globalization began to rule the world, literary silence and stillness seems to prevail and persist though some short stories came criticizing them severely.

v) Telugu: Written by Jayanthi Paparao: Author:


Modern short story:

1910 - 1940 : The First modern short story written by Gurajada Venkata Apparao ( 1862 - 1915 ) with the title DIDDUBATU ( correction ) was published in ANDHRA BHARATI in the issue of February, 1910. It was regarded as the First short story as a historical identification of modern short story though many short stories were published in the last two decades of the 18th century. A married man had illegal contact with a prostitute. It is an exploitation of two women and waste of money for vices harmful to his health , to the family and the society. His wife made him to realise it and liberated him from the vice and corrected him in a dramatic manner. The story was written in the daily spoken language of those times with conversations appropriate to the characters in the short story. It excels any international short story of those times both in the contemporary content and style of writing and modernity.

Many prominent writers , Sripada Subrahmanya Sastry, Veluri Sivarama Sastry, Pudipeddi Venkata Ramanayya and many writers wrote on social issues of those times and enriched the modern short story to great heights.

Movement for social reforms :

Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu ( 1848 - 1919 ) made a historic beginning for social reforms. He got 40 widow marriages performed the first one being on 1881, December,11.

Many writers wrote hundreds of short stories on various themes such as on women education, against child marriages, against exploitation of women in sex business and on their liberation from the sex business, untouchability and Casteism, blind beliefs, meaningless rituals and there was no social problem of those times that was not reflected in the short story. They also reflected true social and cultural values of those times. It was a peoples movement with social volunteer workers and implemented and brought into use many reforms and created modern social living.

All people should live with self-esteem, self- trust, proud of being an Indian with humanity and enlightenment of Reason for peaceful and harmonious social living for all equally is the ultimate objective of social reforms.

National movement for freedom :

This short stories enlighten the true glimpses of the strategies and the occurrences of the people's movements from the beginning till we got freedom with the information collected from the writings of the writers who had direct knowledge of the movements. Some salient features are furnished:

The movement political leaders and the Indian Intellectual class made a beginning after 1850 to create awareness and awakening on the true history of India amongst people of India and the world to strenghten the movement for freedom from the British rule.

V.D.Savarkar called the 1857 sepoys rebellion as First Indian war of Independence. S.B. Chaudhari called it a civil rebellion.

Dadabhai Nouroji proved that the British draining of India's wealth was the cause for poverty in India.

Romesh Chandra Dutt proved that high incidence of land tax, production of raw materials in India for the British Industries, the consumption of British manufactures in India , heavy home charges and military expenditure created utter poverty, famines, hunger deaths and sufferings of the people for food and destroyed the healthy economic systems of India. Many such writings did a lot in the movement for awareness and awakening. Some writings brought to light the enslavement of Indian people by the British more particularly during their wars.

A Movement occurred in 1902 to stop import of the British goods under the leadership of Arabindo Ghosh, Lala Lajapati Rai and Tilak and it was a stepping stone of mass politics and the people's movement.

Unity building movement took roots in1920 with secular principles under the strategy of the Gandhi.

The Gandhi started Civil Disobedience movement in 1930. The main objective of the British was to loot Indian wealth. The Gandhi assessed it correctly. He said that salt tax was a perfect symbol of imperialist exploitation of mankind's neediest. It was the peoples' movement against looting of Indian wealth by the British through non-violent Satyagraha of the people. It was followed by several movements till we got freedom in 1947. The movements mounted up uncontrollably and the British ultimately came to the conclusion " The British can not afford to spend its money to continue its rule in India as it destroys British Economy" and declared Independence.

Short Story after Independence : 1947 - 2010 :

Short Story : progressive movement : 1940 - 1960 :

Class exploitation and class conflicts in the light of the ideology of Marxism was the main stream of literature during the period. It played an effective role in supporting the working class in its fights for its rights.

Short Story : Revolutionary movement : 1967- 1995 

It is a Naxalite / Maoist movement and people's armed war for New democracy in their ideology. Short Story became the main stream and it enlightened several and various aspects of the movement. It's decay began after 1995 .

Short Story : Indira Gandhi Emergency : June 1975 to January, 1977 

Many writers, journalists and prominent political leaders were arrested and kept in jails. Censorship was implemented. Writers lost the opportunity to write. Literary silence continued till 1980. Some foreign news papers wrote that India began to move towards despotism. Lakhs of people suffered for several and various causes and many were killed. It was assessed that it killed the great democracy of India to perpetuate family rule and political power.

Short Story : Decay of Democracy after 1960 :

The Gandhian concepts, thoughts, Social and all values were buried after 1960. Family rule at the center and states made it a business of votes with money, religion, caste , region, language and culture and killed the unity and created intolerant politics amongst the people to their political advantages. Though severe deterioration began from 1975 onwards it further deepened more severely after market economy and globalization from 1990 onwards. The people are left with nothing in their hands except to vote.

Short Story: globalization : 1991 onwards :

The full history of globalization was outlined enlightening on the decay and deterioration it causes in all social, political, economical and cultural systems of human living and society. It is an economic looting of the poor nations by the rich nations and the poor by the rich. Corporate organizations and their economic looting only run and rule the democracy in the guise of parliamentary democracy. It creates organized enslavement of the people killing their independent professions and independent style of living. It makes the man a commercial commodity. It may lead to indirect foreign rule with their enormous economic power. The economic power has the power of taking all powers into its hands including political, Social and cultural powers.

vi) English: Written by Dr. J. Bhagyalakshmi, formerly of Indian Information Service. Held the post of Director( Media ), Ministry of Rural Development, New Delhi. She published over 50 books. Edited reputed magazines and books. She taught at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi. Author, poet, critic, translator, journalist and media consultant:

The evolution of short fiction in the early 19th century, that is, during the period from 1790 to 1850 , later called as short Story is known as evolution of periodical magazines that published short fiction.

English short story evolved in several countries in the world and hence it had its own different history in each county. The writers of each country had their own definitions and understanding of the short story. The themes selected were different on the living conditions of the people of each country of those times and hence the style of writing also. Yet, we observe a common factor. Man and human life are the sources. Ethics, moral values, Social values, virtues such as kindness, charity, peaceful social living and humanity on one side and on the other side, such as cruelty, inhumanity, greed, hatred, intolerance and jealousy became themes.

A huge literature came on the short story and it's origin, qualities, characteristics and organising principles. The creative literature needs its own perfect freedom and hence the writers and therefore that literature did not get  due importance. Every writer had his own understanding and purpose of writing the short story and true creativity always adds some thing new to the existing and develops it.

In United kingdom, the first short stories were Gothic Tales written by Richard Cumberland, Sir Walter Scot and Charles Dickens during the period from 1800 to 1850. It was enriched by Rudyard Kipling, Aurthur Conan Doyle ( detective stories) and H,G. Wells ( science) during the period from 1850 to 1900.

In United States of America, during the period 1800 to 1850, Chrles Brockden Brown, Washington Irving, John Neil and Nathaneil Hawthorne made an impressive beginning of short story writing. Edgar AllenPoe wrote between 1832 to 1849 and established short story as a specific genre of literature.

In Russia, Ivan Turgenev,Fyodor Dostoyevski, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekov and Maxim Gorky wrote during the period from 1850 to 1900 on various social issues and ethics. Anton Chekov won great fame for his social and progressive short stories rich in reality, content and style of writing.

In India, during the late 19th century and early 20th century, Rabindranath Tagore published over 150 short stories portraying the lives of the poor and the oppressed in the British rule.

11 references were cited at end of the article.

This article helps in proving that the Indian short story was not borrowed from Western short story.


1:The themes of the short stories are on several and various aspects of the people's non- violent satyagraha movements for social reforms and for political freedom from the British before the Independence in 1947.

After Independence, short stories came on the aspects and the matters of decay in social, political and democratic values with the people's aspirations for better values and true democracy. Impactive short stories came on globalization analysing the ruins it brings on all aspects of peoples' life including enslavement. Impressive short stories came for the progress and equality of the people in the light of the Marxism and later in the light of the Maoist thoughts.

The style of writing short stories are of the heartbeats and voices of the movements and the emotions of the participants in the movement and of the people in the people's daily spoken language.

Many writers who wrote before Independence did not even learn English and the short story magazines and collections were not available for those who learnt English except for a few at Calcutta and Madras. They also did not write under the influence of the Western short story.

All this proves that Indian short story was not at all borrowed from the Western short story. The Indian Janapada story and the ancient story were modified and modernized and transformed as Indian short story.

A deep impression was created that the Indian short story was a new genre borrowed from the Western short story and it was a betrayal of true history.

2: It is NOT merely a study of Indian short story, truly it is the true study of history of India before and after Independence THROUGH LITERATURE.

3: This study throws hopeful rays of sunrise for building TRUE DEMOCRACY in India. All people of India irrespective of religions, castes, regions, languages and cultures want building of true democracy in the place of our decaying democracy. The other favourable situation is that we observe silence and stillness in the society since all the social and political ideologies ended after 1990 slowly. There are now No people's movements based on Ideologies.

Then, what is true democracy? We could learn it from the true spirit of the Constitution of India. The fruits of democracy and National wealth should reach all the hands and mouths of all people in the Nation equally to make them live happily with security and safety and assured peace.

It is the right time for the youth to come together United from the universities and from all professions of mental and physical Labour and from all walks of society to build true democracy following the Gandhian thoughts, strategies and techniques which were enlightened in this study. It is the right time for we are very near to the 75th year of Independence.


[Context: 75 years of Independence ]


More by :  Papa Rao Jayanthi

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Views: 3475      Comments: 2

Comment It has become a " habit" to credit V.V.S Iyer as the First Tamil Short Story Writer. Actually much prior to Iyer, Bharati (Thulasi Baye,1905), Ammanai Ammal ("Sangalpamum Sambavumum" 1913) published short stories. Such earlier ones are arbitrarily rejected as "not having short story elements" or "being probagandist."

"Kulathangarai Arasamaram" ascribed to Iyer, first published in 'Viveka Bhodhini' 1915 under the name of Su.Bhagyalakshmi Ammal ( Iyer's Wife's name?), is clearly probagandist.

Raja Mutthirulandi
12-Jul-2022 23:39 PM

Comment good analysis with deep uderstanding, my dear friend

vvb ramarao
15-Oct-2021 23:28 PM

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