ENGLISH STUDIES IN INDIA
MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment July 2021 & Jan 2022
Q.1. Discuss the various phases that marked the introduction of English Studies in India between independence and today. (1947 – 2020).
Ans. Indian English is a class of varieties of the English language spoken in India, and among the Indian diaspora elsewhere in the world. English is used by the Indian government for some communication as a supplement to Hindi, the country’s “official language of the Union”, enshrined in the Constitution.
English is an official language of 7 states and 5 Union Territories and also additional official language of 7 states and 1 Union Territory, English is also the sole official language of the Judiciary of India, unless a state Governor or legislature mandates the use of regional language, or the President has given approval for the use of regional languages in courts.
The place of the English language in India since Independence has to be seen against the background of developments in the years of British rule.
Education in the English language had been introduced both to provide recruits for the subordinate services and to teach Indians the rudiments of a culture which was commended as superior to their own.
Apart from the question of the impact of foreign influences, the use of the language itself became an issue.
The fact that the nationalist idea was being fostered in India by the use of the English language was sufficient evidence to Imperial apologists that India was not a nation.
For too many theorists of nationalism in Europe in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries language was the crucial test. MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
But to Indians this was a restricted definition based on European experience.
They preferred to think of a nation, in Acton’s phrase, as a moral and political being and, far from regarding expression of their sentiments in the English language as demeaning, saw an advantage in strengthening their case by utilizing the resources which knowledge of English opened up. T
here is no instance in India of such an incident as that of Jean Joseph Rabearivals, the poet of Malagasy, who killed himself in 1937 because he could not reconcile his nationalism with the French language and culture in which he was obliged to work.
Indians, perhaps because for centuries bilingualism had been the accepted norm among the educated, with knowledge of Sanskrit or Persian along with their own mother tongue being expected, in the days of British rule saw no contradiction between commitment to their own country and culture and total ease in a foreign language.
Tagore was primarily a poet in Bengali but himself translated many of his poems into English.
Nehru’s first language policy:
Nehru took trouble to attain sufficient proficiency in Hindi so as to be able to communicate with large numbers of his people; but it was primarily in English that his thoughts were formulated and expressed.
Widely read in English literature, he wrote with tense elegance and control of phrase, was capable on special occasions of superb flights of English prose, and hailed the coming of India’s freedom with a passage that has moved into anthologies of English writing.
Yet Nehru awaited with equanimity what he believed would be the quick and natural decline of the English language in a free India.
Apart from the small Angloindian minority whose mother tongue it was, to all other Indians English was a foreign language which had spread only because the British had made it the medium of instruction. MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
Like Latin in medieval Europe, and Sanskrit and Persian in pre-British India, English had been learnt by a small number in various parts of the country. A new, linguistic caste had evolved, isolated from the millions of ordinary men and women.
New policy guarantees status of English:
So in 1959 Nehru promised that there would be no imposition of any language by decree and English would remain an associate, additional language for an indefinite period.
The final decision on the replacement of English by Hindi would rest with those sections of the Indian people who did not know Hindi.
Four years later this assurance was translated into permissive legislation, providing that English ‘may continue to be used after 1965, in addition to Hindi, for the official purposes of the Union and in Parliament, In 1968, four years after Nehru’s death,
this was further spelt out to stipulate the use of English in addition to Hindi for certain specified official purposes.
No time-limit was placed for the supplanting of English by Hindi and it could be used indefinitely unless the legislatures of all the non-Hindi-speaking states by resolution demanded otherwise.
Nehru had not been willing to provide an explicit commitment that English would continue as an official language for ever. That seemed to him unnecessary and even constitutionally improper; but the supporters of English need have no cause to worry.
A mature people acts by consensus on such issues and no government would be so foolish as to create the problems and difficulties which would follow from seeking to secure the acceptance of Hindi by force. MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
Nor did his functional compromise seem to him weighted against Hindi.
It was only through the Indian languages, which had deep roots in the minds and hearts of the people, that the national awakening which had taken place in the years before 1947 could be consolidated.
But the regional languages, with their limited provenance, would have a restrictive effect.
The promotion of Hindi was part of the effort of building the nation, and the life of the nation was much longer than one or two generations.
So Hindi could afford to wait. The result has been that, while Hindi has waited, the number of Indians with a knowledge of English has expanded and amounts to over four per cent of the total population.
It is now reckoned that about 35 million Indians speak and write English of some type or other. This English-speaking population is spread across the whole country.
So English, besides being an associate official language everywhere and the dominant language in the north-eastern states of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram, may be described as the only non-regional language in India.
It is a link language in more than an administrative sense, in that it counters blinkered provincialism.
Though there are at least twenty regional variations of English in India, those who speak and write in these slightly different ways can understand each other and form a cultural constituency of their own. MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
It is the language of communication of the civil services, of the managers and senior employees of the public and private sectors of the economy, and of the professions.
A uniform law for the country means that it will continue indefinitely, given the state of development of Hindi, in the High Courts and the Supreme Court.
The need to avoid intellectual isolation within India as well as from the rest of the world obliges its retention by the academic community.
Q. 2. Discuss the contribution of Raja Ram Mohan Roy to the promotion of Indian English writers.
Ans. Raja Ram Mohan Roy (22 May 1772 – 27 September 1833) was an Indian reformer who was one of the founders of the Brahmo Sabha, the precursor of the Brahmo Samaj, a social-religious reform movement in the Indian subcontinent.
He was given the title of Raja by Akbar II, the Mughal emperor.
His influence was apparent in the fields of politics, public administration, education and religion.
He was known for his efforts to abolish the practices of sati and child marriage. Raja Ram Mohan Roy is considered to be the “Father of the Bengal Renaissance” by many historians.
Ram Mohan Roy was born in Radhanagar, Hooghly District, Bengal Presidency. His great grandfather Krishnakanta Bandyopadhyay was a Rarhi Kulin (noble) Brahmin.
Among Kulin Brahmins – descendants of the six families of Brahmins imported from Kanauj by Ballal Sen in the 12th century – those from the Rarhi district of West Bengal were notorious in the 19th century for living off dowries by marrying several women.
Kulinism was a synonym for polygamy and the dowry system, both of which Rammohan campaigned against. His father, Ramkanta, was a Vaishnavite, while his mother, Tarini Devi, was from a Shaivite family.MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
He was a great scholar of Sanskrit, Persian and English languages and also knew Arabic, Latin and Greek.
One parent prepared him for the occupation of a scholar, the Shastri, while the other secured for him all the worldly advantages needed to launch a career in the laukik or worldly sphere of public administration.
[citation needed) Torn between these two parental ideals from early childhood, Ram Mohan vacillated between the two for the rest of his life.
Ram Mohan Roy was married three times. His first wife died early. He had two sons, Radhaprasad in 1800, and Ramaprasad in 1812 with his second wife, who died in 1824. Roy’s third wife outlived him.
The nature and content of Ram Mohan Roy’s early education is disputed. One view is that “Ram Mohan started his formal education in the village pathshala where he learned Bengali and some Sanskrit and Persian.
Later he is said to have studied Persian and Arabic in a madrasa in Patna and after that he was sent to Benares to learn the intricacies of Sanskrit and Hindu scripture, including the Vedas and Upanishads.
The dates of his time in both these places are uncertain. However, it is believed that he was sent to Patna when he was nine years old and two years later he went to Benares.”
The Persian and Arabic studies influenced his thinking about One God more than studies of European deism, which he didn’t know at least while writing his first scriptures because at that stage he couldn’t speak or understand English.
Ram Mohan Roy’s impact on modern Indian history was his revival of the pure and ethical principles of the Vedanta school of philosophy as found in the Upanishads.
He preached the unity of God, made early translations of Vedic scriptures into English, co-founded the Calcutta Unitarian Society and founded the Brahma Samaj.
The Brahma Samaj played a major role in reforming and modernizing the Indian society. He successfully campaigned against sati, the practice of burning widows. He sought to integrate Western culture with the best features of his own country’s traditions.
He established a number of schools to popularize a modern system of education in India. He promoted a rational, ethical, non-authoritarian, this-worldly, and social-reform Hinduism. His writings also sparked interest among British and American Unitarians.
“Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the envoy of new age”, “morning star of Indian Renaissance”.
Every one of these designations establish the unique spot involved by Raja Ram Mohan Roy in the Indian social history as he stands in the bleeding edge of track towards improving the Hindu society.MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
In spite of the fact that Ram Mohan Roy was a man of adaptable genius, the administering energy of his life was religious change.
During a period when the Bengal youth, under the influ-ence of Western learning, was floating towards Christianity, Ram Mohan Roy ended up being the champion of Hinduism.
He likewise tried to cleanse Hinduism of the misuse that had crawled into it. At 15 years old he examined heathen worship and upheld his perspective by quota-tions from the Vedas.
He reinterpreted Hindu teachings and discovered adequate otherworldly premise for his humanity in the Upanishads. He began a battle for the abolition of Sati, criticized polygamy, criticized casteism, and pushed the privilege of Hindu widows to remarry.
He dismisses Christianity, precluded the godliness from securing Jesus Christ, and however acknowledged the humanism of Europe. He tried to impact a social combination between the East and the West. MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
He is supposed as the forerunner of advanced India and an awesome path-finder of his times as he characterized the new soul of question, hunger for learning, wide humanity all to be accomplished in the Indian setting.
Roy’s importance in modern Indian history rests partly upon the broad scope of his social vision and the striking modernity of his thought. He was a tireless social reformer, yet he also revived interest in the ethical principles of the Vedanta school as a counterpoise to the Western assault on Indian culture.
In his textbooks and treatises he contributed to the popularization of the Bengali language, while at the same time he was the first Indian to apply to the Indian environment the fundamental social and political ideas of the French and American revolutions.
Q. 3. Is Matangini’s involvement outside of marriage justified in the novel, ‘Rajmohan’s wife’ or do you see some contradictory signals in the text? Discuss.
Ans. Bankim can be seen as one of the creators of Indian nationalism, who used devises such as allegory and personification extensively to convey his ideas.
Sri Aurobindo praised Bankim for trying to create what was nothing short of “a language, a literature and a nation”.MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
He also claimed that Bankim “will rank among the Makers of Modern India”.
Sri Aurobindo claimed that Bankim not only fashioned a new language which could “combine the strength, dignity or soft beauty of Sanskrit with the nerve and vigour of the vernacular,” but, what was more important, practically invented “the religion of patriotism”.
Bankim was able to do this by giving the country “the vision of our Mother”:
He had the gift and the foresight in those times, to envision the Modern India that we live in today and and reveal it to others through his profound and purposeful allegorical writing. This revelation found its beginnings in Rajmohan’s Wife.
Rajmohan’s Wife is infact argued to be an allegory of modern India, of the kind of society that can rise out of the debris of an older, broken social order and of the new, albeit stunted, possibilities available to it under colonialism.
To explicate this allegory, Rajmohun’s Wife provides a backdrop a traditional Indian society and all its complex ideological, political, social, and cultural aspects.
He then places the protagonist of the story, Matangini, who is the flesh and blood equivalent of Bankim’s vision of Modern India in her courage, strength, spirit and righteousness, against the limiting, unjust and socially judgmental society of old India.
This contrast beautifully illustrates the differences between confining, patriarchal Indian society of that day and age and the newly emergent, liberating Modern Indian society of the kind that Bankim envisionsMEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
Each character is much more than the portrayal or representation of an individual. That the characters are individuals cannot be disputed, but their collective features and how these features reflect the spirit of their age and society will be more important.
Viewed in this light, the characters become embodiments of social conditions and ideological configurations. They are not merely individual moral agents, but carriers of larger socio-cultural thematic baggage.
The time in which this novel was set in was characterized by its struggle for national existence which sets culture moving and opens to it the doors of creation.
That much of Bankim’s life and certainly most of his writing was employed in the creation of such a national culture is now hard to dispute.
Matangini’s carefully drawn portrait is a unique contribution of the traditional and the radically new. It uses several elements from both classical and folk forms. Several of the images used are taken from long-standing literary conventions.
The description of Matangini may be typical in certain respects, but her actions are not. She’s an entirely new kind of heroine, someone who is not timid and weak, but strong and spirited.
She carries the plot forward with her own kinetic energy and though thwarted, does not end up entirely defeated.
Matangini is not just Rajmohan’s wife, but the “spirit” or personification of modern India itself. This is an emergent, hesitant, yet strong-willed and attractive India. It is not the India of villages or the old India of feudal times. MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
This India has been born near the capital, Calcutta, and is full of new possibilities. But, this beautiful and powerfully drawn image of India is also shown as burdened by sorrow and anxiety.
It is neither free nor happy, but its energies and powers are under the control of an unworthy husband. No wonder, the very first chapter begins with a temptation and a transgression.
Matangini, who has been forbidden from going to fetch water from the river, is cajoled by Kanak into doing so. Matangini, thus, crosses the threshold, thereby exposing herself to Madhav, her brother-in-law, and setting the plot in motion.
Once Matangini has stepped “over the bar,” she can never return to her “designated first world” but must make the “irretrievable choice of making the other world [her) permanent home”.
The defining features of modern India are thus its energy, its adventurousness, its unwillingness to be confined by tradition, and its desire to break free.
The restlessness, vitality, charm, and drive of an emerging society are thus embodied in Matangini.
Q.4. What are the issues and problems in the construction of a feminist canon of Indian English Writing?
Ans. Feminism in India is a set of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and opportunities for women in India. It is the pursuit of women’s rights within the society of India.
Like their feminist counterparts all over the world, feminists in India seek gender equality: the right to work for equal wages, the right to equal access to health and education, and equal political rights. MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
Indian feminists also have fought against culture-specific issues within India’s patriarchal society, such as inheritance laws.
The history of feminism in India can be divided into three phases: the first phase, beginning in the mid-19th century, initiated when reformists began to speak in favour of women rights by making reforms in education, customs involving women; the second phase, from 1915 to Indian independence,
when Gandhi incorporated women’s movements into the Quit India movement and independent women’s organisations began to emerge; and finally, the third phase, post-independence,
which has focused on fair treatment of women at home after marriage, in the work force, and right to political parity.
Despite the progress made by Indian feminist movements, women living in modern India still face many issues of discrimination. India’s patriarchal culture has made the process of gaining land-ownership rights and access to education challenging.
In the past two decades, there has also emerged a trend of sex-selective abortion. To Indian feminists, these are seen as injustices worth struggling against and feminism is often misunderstood by Indians as female domination rather than equality.
As in the West, there has been some criticism of feminist movements in India. They have especially been criticised for focusing too much on privileged women, and neglecting the needs and representation of poorer or lower caste women.
This has led to the creation of caste-specific feminist organisations and movements.
Women’s role in pre-colonial social structures reveals that feminism was theorised differently in India than in the West. MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
In India, women’s issues first began to be addressed when the state commissioned a report on the status of women(clarification needed) to a group of feminist researchers and activists.
The report recognised the fact that in India, women were oppressed under a system of structural hierarchies and injustices. During this period, Indian feminists were influenced by the Western debates being conducted about violence against women.
However, due to the difference in the historical and social culture of India, the debate in favour of Indian women had to be conducted creatively, and certain Western ideas had to be rejected.
Women’s issues began to gain an international prominence when the decade of 1975-1985 was declared the United Nations Decade for Women.
Indian feminists face certain obstacles in Indian society that are not present or as prevalent in Western society. While Indian feminists have the same ultimate goal as their Western counterparts,
their version of feminism can differ in many ways in order to tackle the kind of issues and circumstances they face in the modern-day patriarchal society of India. Indian feminists attempt to challenge the patriarchal structure of their society in a variety of ways.
Sampat Pal Devi is a former government worker and mother of five, who noticed domestic abuse and violence within her own community as she grew up in India.
As a result, she decided to start a vigilant group known as the ‘Gulabi Gang’ who track down abusers and beat them with bamboo sticks until it is believed that they have repented and victims have been sufficiently avenged. MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
In the area of religion, Indian feminists draw attention to the powerful image of female Goddesses in Hinduism.
They also point out the matriarchal pre-history of Indian society and emphasise on the fact that there have been periods of Indian history that were not patriarchal and communities that were largely female-orientated and matriarchal, existed.
The eighteenth century was an age of anarchy from a political point of view, torn as it was by wars, conquests and annexations.
The character of Indian novel is bound to vary from language to language and is bound to be conditioned by the regional, linguistic and cultural peculiarities characteristic of the writer and his environment.
But the Indian novel, whether in English or in any other Indian languages, has an individual quality, a distinctiveness which calls for serious critical attention and the Indian novel in English has this distinctiveness much more than the novels in other languages of the country, a distinctiveness which transcends all the peculiarities characteristics of different linguistic and cultural milieus.
Though this would mean our accepting the Indianness of the Indian novel in English as one of the important frames of reference in all critical studies of the genre, one has to guard oneself at the same time, MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
against the danger of the Indianness’ becoming, with the writer and the critic alike, an obsession, an unhealthy pre-occupation with “orientalism, lush scene painting and with a desire to “pander to the national self esteem of the Indians or gullibility of European intellectuals.”
A novel written by an Indian writer will certainly be Indian without any conscious effort on the part of the writer to the extent to which it depicts Indian life and culture,
reflects faithfully the life and spirit of the Indian ethos and grapples with the problems and tensions generated by the rather unique way in which an individual’s life and character are determined by home, family and society in the Indian social milieu.
It can be peculiarly Indian in respect of its form, narrative techniques employed and the manner in which it adapts the English language to the native sensibility.
It can be much more characteristically Indian in its moral and spiritual content and in the values and ideals it upholds and it may even show another worldliness,
a predilection for myth and fantasy, a tendency to turn one’s back on the here and now and show “a basic hunger for the unseen- all deriving from the Indian writer’s unconscious affiliation with the world of legends, MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
fables and puranas Indian fiction in English has emerged as a separate entity for the study of the rapid change and development in social, economic, political and psychological facets of Indian society.
Q. 5. Compare Premchand’s writing with that of Mulk Raj Anand and investigate the ways in which the two represent social issues.
Ans. Mulk Raj Anand, whom we may justifiably describe as the grand old man of Indo Anglian fiction and Munshi Premchand who is deemed to be the father of Hindi novel, are two prominent writers of pre-independent India.
Their fiction reflects the poverty of rural India and the social evils prevalent in the early decades of the twentieth century.
They felt inspired to combat the injustice and oppression to which certain individual and segments of society were subjected in this respect and oppression to which certain individual and segments of society were subjected in this respect they have strong affinity with Charles Dickens. MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
What Charles dickens did in English fiction, Mulk Raj did in Indo-Anglian fiction and Munshi Premchand in Hindi fiction.
They were the angry young men who were not satisfied with the social conditions of their times. Before Mulk Raj Anand and Munshi Premchand started
writing, novel was romantic in mode and it catered to individual tastes and needs. They were the firm believers in ‘Art for Life’s Sake’.
They introduced the elements of realism and favoured the kind of literature which is capable of doing the welfare of the individual and the society as well.
They wrote novels and short stories with a reformative purpose. In their novels their main focus has been on the problems of women, farmers, labourers. When Anand took to the pen Indian life was seeing with unrest.
The Punjab was the vortex of nationalistic activities and in that province, when he was a boy of eleven, was perpetrated the Jalliawala massacre,
the ghastliest act of British repression his originally consults in the urgency with which he reacted to the problems facing the Indian society Anand writes with great gusto and exuberance and his writing quivers with an outraged social conscience tenderness and pity that is something new in the modern sociological novel.
His novels are deliberately designed to throw the suffering of the peasants and weaker sections of Indian society in the most lurid relief. His first novel ‘Untouchable’ introduces us to the world of outcastes, MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
‘Coolie’ which followed, is a study of a village lad who goes ot work first as a servant in a middle class household, then in a medieval pickle factory, them in Bombay cotton mill and finally as Riksha puller in Simla.
The primary half of the twentieth century saw the intensification of the Freedom Movement in India while the literary artists also realized that literature also had a vital task to carry out in it.
Premchand (1880-1936), a famous Hindi and Urdu author and Mulk Raj Anand (1905-2004), a celebrated Indian English novelist are the two journalists whose works faithfully and overwhelmingly exemplify in them the general population’s frame of psyche in the contemporary society as well as speak to the radical changes taking place in the socio-political existence of this nation along with other essayists like Sarat Chandra Chatterjee, Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, R.K. Narayan, Raja Rao, G.V. Desani, Aubrey Men on and others.
Amid the period in which they began their separate literary careers, the Indian culture was reeling under the baneful routine of the British rule which was extremely humiliating, as well as exceptionally merciless. It was an era of significant emergency in each field of life.
Being touchy, they couldn’t remain aloof from the voice their profound anguish. Prior to an analysis of their individual works, MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
it is essential to peep into the social feeling of these scholars as also the status of the general public since they shape the backdrop of their fictional form. K.R. Srinivas (1985)
“Social life in a nation of the span of India is so loaded with vagaries and varieties that the novelist with an observant eye and an understanding heart will locate the material spread out before him to be literally inexhaustible.”
This examination therefore, makes an unassuming attempt to understand the central social factors which had a formative effect on these two literary virtuosos.
To make a legitimate investigation of the contemporary milieu of the two outstanding authors, it will be helpful to partition it into three phases:
The age of Indian Resurgence and Revival (1857-1914); The Post-World War I India and Gandhian waves (1914-1947); and the Post-Independence period (1947 – present occasions).
Hindi fiction was in its infancy when Premchand appeared on the scene. It was mostly concerned with the stories of miraculous happenings. Even the social novels dominated by historical vein which appeared occasionally, had little literary worth.
Through his literary output, Premchand gave to Hindi fiction a new social awareness, a new sense of purpose. He brought Hindi novel very close to life with faithful reflection of reality in it. MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
A celebrated author as he was, Premchand had an uncanny desire to mould life in accordance with his vision.
His sensitivity towards the harsh and ugly truth of life made him a people’s writer who wrote about the life of common folk in a language they could understand well. In the words of a critic:
It is with Premchand and his contemporaries, that literature walked out of the opulence of drawing rooms and the lights of civil lines into the bleakness of village ‘chopals’ and obscurity of small town by lanes.
With him, Urdu-Hindi Fiction became truly declassed thus paving the way for the school of Social-realism’, popularized by the progressive writers’ Association of which he was the first president.MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
In the earlier phase of his vocation as a novelist, Premchand’s main preoccupation was with the social abuses which had so grievously debilitated the Indian society.
His early works were mostly concerned with the conflicts in the ranks of the middle-class society and he stood for the urgent reforms. MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
Premchand was also well aware of the intense, pitiable condition of the poor and the middle class Indian women because of centuries of subjugation to orthodox beliefs and male domination.
Right from the early nineteenth century, the position of Indian women became a matter of main concern for the social reformers, intellectuals and conscious citizens.
Many of Premchand’s novels bring out the glumness that had filled the lives of Indian women subject to the oppression of the ruthless society.
As a keen observer of life, Premchand was mindful of the utter woeful predicament of the Indian women due to some dreadful practices like untouchability, child marriages, dowry and sex-abuse. Therefore, they were subject to intense agony:
During the period when Premchand wrote, the matrimonial system of Hindu society had become so polluted and hopeless that any reform seemed nearly impossible.
Very rarely could parents welcome a daughter, even if she was born after seven sons.
Owing to the increasing hold of dowry, mis-matched marriages were quite common since some parents were compelled to marry their young daughters to old men.
Some were forced to die in agony and desperation as there was no scope of having an equal match, MEG 10 Free Solved Assignment
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