English language originally the most powerful weapon of Colonialization would prove to be equally powerful weapon of decolonization

Mohd Tahir Amin Khan


It is certainly one of the noted paradoxes of history that the English language, originally the most powerful weapon of colonization would prove to be the equally powerful weapon of decolonisation in the hands of a few Indian litterateurs.  It is now a recognized fact that the study of English literature stimulated literary creations in many Indian languages too. Notably in Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Gujarathi.  Even newer literary forms like the novel were incorporated into other regional writings. In a similar manner there was the incorporation of Indian narratives into the English language writings. Most ambitious writers moved from the easily accessible lyrical form into the most complex mahakavyas.  Almost every writer of any consequence has attempted a longer narrative in English.  This however brought in a paradigm shift. The transition from the first docile phase to one of violent nationalism and self-willed individual identity is certainly a shift in sensibilities.  The second discernable phase begins roughly from a point of speculative intersection—a meeting and passing of three phenomenal men of vision— in 1893 Sri Aurobindo set sail for India after his Cambridge exposure, the same year that Vivekananda set forth to preach his gospel of man-making to the Parliament of World’s Religions, and Gandhi set off on his South African journey in pursuit of a career in law. Their vessels might have perhaps crossed. Anyway their destinies most certainly crossed. After the fateful First War of Indian Independence in 1857, Indians were undergoing a period of political and cultural fermentation.  And now a new resurgent nationalism came into being. This forms the hallmark of the second phase of Indian writing in English too. 

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