Why Indian Literary Fiction in English will continue to Boom
Readers pick up novels and story collections for more reasons than just passing their time. Somewhere deep within the consciousness, lies a latent desire that a novel will help in exploring new experience, new lands, a new lot of people, and whatever is not part of their everyday life. India is a region where there has been and still continues, a new upsurge in the number of readers of fiction in English. The biggest publishers are rushing to India to set up business here. India is emerging as the destination of the near future.
The Western world is increasingly moving into a no-adventure safe zone where everything is already there for virtually everyone with little chance of risk. Governments provide everyone with everything that people normally seek. Insurance and EMIs do the rest. There is little chance of loss and therefore minimal anxiety in people. They feel secure economically. But what Shakespeare felt must never be forgotten. He said, “Security is mortal’s chiefest enemy.” Economic security can mean spiritual poverty. Once secure, people begin to get restless for adventure, variation and spiritual yearning. The security of the Western world is great but the human mind wants some change. This is why countries of the West have now and again hungered to colonize Eastern countries. For the Western imagination, India has tended to be either a golden bird or the destination for peace and mystical experience. It has often become a holiday resort, spiritual haven or magical domain. No wonder so many Indian novels have received the Booker prize and one, the Booker of Bookers. The Indian novel in English introduces the reader to the peace that can be found in the remoter parts of India, There is always a risk, E M Forster pointed out, in seeking this kind of peace. But the inquisitive mind wants to see and the Indian novelist makes that possible for the seeker, in the comfort of the Western home. Indian literary fiction will continue to provide solutions for what the mind wants to escape: monotony, homogeneity, and boredom.