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Volume 1 Issue 5

October 2014

Indian English Short Story: A Reassessment
Dr. Md. Equebal Hussain , 
Associate Professor & Head, 
Department of English, 
M.S. College, 
Motihari, Bihar, India
Notwithstanding the ancient Indian tradition of story-telling as reflected in Katha Sarit Sagar, the Brihad Katha Manjari or the Panchtantra and the Jatak Tales, the short story as a distinct literary form is largely the product of the 20th century, particularly in India. Modern short story, like lyric on its small canvas, has its focus more intense than that of the novel. As a critic says, it is “the most sensitive literary barometer that registers every shade of social change” (Mehrotra190). Beginning with R.K. Narayan, M.R. Anand, Khushwant Singh, K.A. Abbas and Anita Desai to present day writers like Shashi Deshpande, Vikram Chandra and Shiv. K. Kumar, the English story writers in India have faithfully recorded the contemporary Indian life and society and caught the rhythm of the post independent India prone to quick changes on all fronts — social, economic, political, scientific. This paper seeks to make a quick survey of how Indian English short story has honestly portrayed the contemporary life and why in spite of its forward march, both quantitatively and qualitatively this genre seems to be lagging behind the great stride it has made in the native Indian languages like Urdu, Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi etc. Urdu alone has given us a large number of powerful short story writers like Prem Chand, Manto, Ismat Chugtai, Krishn Chandra, Qur-ratul-ain Haidar, Intizar Hussain to name a few.
Indian English Short Story; Reassessment; Post independent India.
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