History of Modern Indian Nepali Literature

Saturday, May 30, 2020 15:15 [IST]

Last Update: Saturday, May 30, 2020 09:48 [IST]

History of Modern Indian Nepali Literature


Name of the Book: History of Modern Indian Nepali Literature.
Author: JiwanNamdung
Publisher: SahityaAkademi, New Delhi.
Genre: History (in English)
Year of Publication: 2019
Price: Rs. 150/-
About the author:
Dr. Namdung was born on 8th September 1951 at Sonada in the district of Darjeeling (W.B.). Dr.Namdung; is a versatile writer of contemporary Indian Nepali literature who excels in Nepali and English language. He is popularly known as a critic, poet, translator and an essayist.He has more than fifty valuable books to his credit including edited and translated works. Some of his famous books include ‘Nepali SahityakaBhounpwalharu’ (criticism, 1978), ‘Jaydev’ (Translation from English to Nepali, 1984), ‘Jay Shankar Prasad’ (Translation from Hindi to Nepali, 1984), ‘JiwanNamdungkaKavitaharu’ (1986), ‘SamayaChupchaapBolcha’ (1991), ‘Paryavekshan’ (criticism, 1992), ‘Mahamanav’ (KhandaKabya, 2000), ‘Samakalin Nepali Samalochana’ (criticism, 2000/2005), ‘Agam Singh Girikakavitaka Adhyayan raAdhar’ (Research work, 2000), ‘Ullekh’ (criticism, 2006), ‘Outstanding Dreams of a Disposed Hill’ (Anthology, 2008) etc. Dr. JiwanNamdung was conferred withprestigious SahityaAkademi award for his master piece on criticism ‘Paryavekshan’ in 1994. Presently, Dr. Namdung has been serving as a convener of SahityaAkademi in Nepali language.
SahityaAkademi publishes books of different variety and genre on Indian languages since its inception. ‘History of Modern Indian Nepali Literature’ is a book of that kind which has been published in 2019 by the literary organization. Dr. Namdung has compiled the book in the English language.
    This said book tries to highlight the dividing lines between the Indian Nepali Literature and Nepali Literature from Nepal. The book contains three major heads as content along with an appendix of bibliography.
At the very beginning, the author clears his stand that this book is not a comprehensive history but a supplementary chapter to the modern history of Indian Nepali Literature. The author has made a humble attempt to setup a separate trend of writing literary history of this land.He did not forget to recall the contribution Dr. Kumar Pradhan in the first sub section of first chapter who attempted this trend in 1984 by publishing ‘A History of Nepali Literature’ but was not free from the influence Nepali literature of Nepal.The second sub section highlights the literature of ‘pre-Independence History of Indian Nepali Literature,(1893-1990). Here the author states that Tulachan Ale’s Manipur koladaikoSawai(1893)is the first published literature of Indian soil. The trend of Sawai (heroic ballad) writing, Lahari writing flourished in the later periods. Like way the publication of ‘GorkhayKhabarKagat’ by Padre Ganga Prasad Pradhan (editor) paved the way to this field.
The second chapter consists of three sub sections. The first section includes a period from 1900 to 1925. In this period News papers and periodicals like Chandra, Gorkhali, Chandrika had been published. And authors like Jnandil Das, Hajirman Rai, MitrasenThapa, Thakur Chandan Singh, ManisinghGurungflourished in this period.
The second section includes a period from 1925 to 1950. Newspapers and periodicals had played a distinguished role during this period. GorkhaSevak, GorkhaSansar,Prabhat, Himadri,Kathakusum, Chandrika, Udaya, Diyalo, Gorkha played a major role in creating a favorable environment for enhancement of Nepali literature. The first Nepali novel Bhramar(1936) and the first collection of short-stories Kathakusum(1938) were distinguishedresults of this period.
The third section covers a period from 1950 to 1975. This was highly potential period for Nepali language and literature as well. In 1956, Anand Singh Thapafrom Dehradun submitted a memorandum to the President of India demanding constitutional recognition of Nepali language.Numerous literary books were published during this period which includes Shiva Kumar Rai’s Frontier and Dak Bangla, Laina Singh Bangdel’sLangadakoSathi, Achha Rai Rasik’sLagan, Lil Bahadur Kshatri’sBasainand more.
In the third Chapter, Namdung has made an elaborate study of modern Indian Nepali Literature genre wise in a systematic waylike 1.Modern Nepali Poetry, 2.Modern Nepali Short Story, 3.Modern Nepali Novel, 4.Modern Nepali Drama, 5.Modern Nepali Essay, 6.Modern Nepali Criticism, 7.Modern Nepali Biography and Travelogue, 8.Modern Nepali Translation, Children’s Literature. This chapter is very important in the sense that it covers a wide range. The Modern Nepali Literature has been covered in this section.In the earlier chapters the origin and development of Indian Nepali Literature have been discussed. But in the third chapter, the author is seen very specific and rigid in finding out the modernize elements of literature to be counted and figured as modern literature in Indian context. He has clearly pointed out the literary publications of every genre viz; poetry, novel, drama, essay etc. that have brought modernism in the arena of Nepali literature. Suppose, Nepali poetry gains modernity with the publication of Ekanta, an anthology of two poets, Birendra and Daniel Khaling in 1950. Like way, ParivartanofRupnarayan Singh is the first modern short story of Nepali literature. At the same time Bhramar of RupnarayanSingha as the first modern Nepali novel and JiwanLeelaNatak (1931) of Indraman Rai has been marked as the first modern Nepali play.
Dr. JiwanNamdung has done a praiseworthy work by meeting a long pending demandof separate history of Nepali Literature purely on National context. In this grand mission he has focused on the literature of the North-East region including Sikkim.
In my view this is an important book which everybody must read. This book may be used as a ready reckoning, hand book, especially for those who are not familiar with Nepali language but are interested about its history. Non native readers, scholars and researchers of the Nepali language may use this book as a reference book. It will definitely guide them and help them in acquiring composite knowledge about the history of Indian Nepali literature separately.
The language of the book is very simple and easy. A reader of who can read English can easily understand the text here. The book contains a bibliography containing a list of 142 books; journals; periodicals etc. Researchers may refer to these books enlisted as appendix for further studies.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi