Re-inventing Hindi Literature

Manoj Sharma writes about young turks who are re-inventing Hindi literature.

A new breed of writers in Hindi, many of them IIT-IIM graduates, are seeking to become the agents of a new revolution in Hindi literature. Their protagonists represent the young, resurgent India and its problems as well as dreams. 

The idea was to make the book look cool,” says Dubey. He belongs to a new line of authors in Hindi who are rewriting the rules of the game. Their aim is to take their books to a whole new generation of Hindi readers. Dubey aspires to be a Chetan Bhagat of Indian writing in Hindi as far as accessibility and entertainment value of his books are concerned. 

“The reason why Hindi does not have new, popular bestsellers like those in English, is because most of those writing in Hindi are stuck in a time warp, telling stories that aspirational youth of today cannot relate to. My stories in Hindi tackle subjects that the youth can immediately identify with,” says Dubey, 32, an engineer and MBA by education, who presently works as a marketing manager with a leading cellular company in Mumbai. 

“I could have easily written my book in English, but I thought my stories will be better told in Hindi. There is a wrong notion in Hindi literary world that only those who are MA and PhD in Hindi can write books in the language. Writers like me are trying to change that perception,” says Sachan, who works with an MNC in Gurgaon as a consultant. 

“These writers are not only choosing their topics wisely but also know how to promote their books. The success of Hindi translations of the books of writers such as Chetan Bhagat and Ravinder Singh are a testimony to the fact that if Hindi publishers had promoted these writers they could also have scripted similar success stories,” says Prabhat Ranjan, a Hindi writer who has translated works of many well-known English writers such as Vikram Chandra, Mohsin Hamid and Khushwant Singh. 

Shailesh Bharatwasi, 30, an engineer by education who founded a Hindi publishing house by the name of Hind Yugm in 2010, says that he is trying to do what most established publishers should have done long back. “Instead of finding new, young writers in Hindi who wish to experiment with themes, plots and language they are only re-printing classics. They are not willing to take risks,” says Bharatwasi.


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