Reading Literature in a Multicultural Situation: Some Possibilities in the Indian Context
The article tries to problematize the way literature is read in India and offers suggestions for reading it in a more inclusive manner, a manner that is sensitive to the multicultural democracy of India. . It argues that the Indian plurality inheres in its comparative but compatible and even more significantly, complementary cultural modes. Any cultural production – be it literature, cinema, or art – on closer examination bears witness to this fact. If the premise is tenable, it can be used as an empowering and equivocal, egalitarian and symbiotic reading practice with a potential to usher in an enabling critical perspective to approach and comprehend linguistically diverse literature. In such an interfacial convergence and critique of diverse literary productions, each participating text complements and enhances the potential of the other, thus enriching one another by mutual reflection and refraction. Such a study will not only broaden the critical scope of the works read against, in tandem, along and through each other, but would also be an improvement over the comparatist paradigm as we understand and deploy it. The inter-textual echoes, gleaned through this reading, would cut across and foreground each other for each text would act as an analytic and contextual reference for the other.
Keywords: Multiculturalism, Interfacial Praxis, Colonialism, Post-Colonialism, Comparative Ethos, Indian Writing in English
Prof. Anup Beniwal
Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Education, Department of English., GGS IP University