Nandana Menon- Modern Indian Literature in English

Mukherjee, Sujit. “Modern Indian Literature in English Transaltion.” Indian Literature 15.3 (1972): 45-51. Jstor. Web. 16 June 2016.

In this article, the author points out the limitations of English translations of Indian texts. he says that there is a clear void in the area where not enough translations are being made. He looks at the sad state where enough translations are available for non-Indian texts but not our own texts. While he says that certain translations are being published most of them are not of “literary standard” and “cannot be used in serious critical discussions”.

His main argument in this essay is the need for a “master-plan of translation”. He says that this plan should involve every form literature in all the Indian languages. Pointing at the limitations of Indian translations according to Mukherjee are by fiat to appeal to regional aspirations, to inducement for financial reasons and self-aggrandisement. The need for the day is to look out for translators are intentions are ideally to contribute to the literary sphere.

He backs his argument by saying that Sahitya Academi had an active role to play in this “master-plan”by co-ordinating with the state academies and concentrating on areas that are not being covered by the state academies. They must also make sure that translations that are good in quality must be printed, as no translator would want to put in so much of effort if his/her work is not being printed. The educational market should open up towards Indian translation instead of teaching only texts like The Guide, Shakunthalam, Kanthapura etc. Learning process of Indian texts must be diversified and new texts and authors must be promoted, says Mukherjee.

The limitation of the article would be that it has not done a thorough job at studying the available translations of Indian texts. But it is step in the right direction for Indian texts which is struggling to be recognised at a mainstream level.

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