Chapter : 5. Novels, Society & History

The Novel Comes to India

The Novel Comes to India
(i) Stories in prose were not new to India. Banabhatta's "Kadambari" and Vishnudatta's "Panchatantra" are good examples. There was also a long tradition of prose tales of adventure and heroism in Persian and Urdu, known as Dastan.
(ii) The modern novel form developed in India in the nineteenth century. The development of the vernaculars, print and a reading public helped in this process. Some of the earliest Indian novels were written in Bengali and Marathi. The earliest novel in Marathi was Baba Padmanji's, "Yamuna Paryatan" (1857), was followed by Lakshman Moreshwar Halbe's "Muktamala" (1861).
(iii) Leading novelist of the nineteenth century wrote for a cause. Indian novelist wrote to develop a modern literature of the country that could produce a sense of national belonging and cultural equality with their colonial masters.
(iv) Translations of novels into different regional languages helped to spread the popularity of the novel and stimulated the growth of the novel in new areas.
(a) The Novel in South India :
(b) The Novel in Hindi
(c) Novels in Bengal

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