Shall we thank Congress and its white-skin-worshipping slaves for this state of affairs? Indians have paid a heavy price for preferring so-called secular liberals over nationalists to govern them after independence.
It would be hard to accuse India of being a country that doesn’t care about its past, when in everyday conversation—and even judicial cases —people here reference Hindu epics, Urdu poets and events from across millennia of history.
But Sheldon Pollock, the renowned scholar of Sanskrit and Indian literary history, warned that in literary terms, India is on the verge of becoming a country as brand-new as America. He gave the keynote speech opening the Jaipur Literature Festival Friday morning.
“It is now entirely legitimate to ask, if dismaying and disturbing, if within two generations there will be anyone in India who will have the capacity of reading Indian literature produced before 1800,” he said. “I have a feeling that that number is slowly approaching a statistical zero.”
There is a lot of anxiety around writing in India’s languages other than English and whether authors in those languages are getting their due.
Mr. Pollock’s concern is over the loss of the treasury of literature that already exists and has been preserved over thousands of years, in part, he said, through literary festivals like Jaipur that took place several hundred years ago.