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MEG-14: Contemporary Indian Literature in English Translation

MEG-14: Contemporary Indian Literature in English Translation

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for MEG-14 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Contemporary Indian Literature in English Translation, you have come to the right place. MEG-14 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in MEG, PGDWI, PGDWM courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: MEG-14 / TMA / 2022 -23

Course Code: MEG-14

Assignment Name: Contemporary Indian Literature in English Translation

Year: 2022 - 2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Attempt any five of the following. All question carry equal marks.


Q 1. What do you understand by ‘Idea of India’ as a ‘Nation’? 20

Ans) The "Idea of India" is a constitutionally enshrined concept of a united nation with a diverse, plural, secular, democratic, and inclusive republic. It envisions a strong, united India that includes all social sects in its development and progress.


It embodies the hopes and dreams of those who built this modern, democratic, and, above all, secular state. This India Idea rejects the concept of a theocratic state ruled by a religious majority.

As the foundation of the new India, it includes a united India with a scientific temper.

It is a welfare state that actively works to develop the country for the benefit of its people; the state has been given a significant role.


The concept envisions a modern, educated, democratic, secular, technologically sophisticated society with equality of opportunity and gender equality, where people live in comfort and health. It provided not only religious freedom, but also equal respect for all religions.

India's perspective on the government's recent actions in Jammu and Kashmir: Recently, the Indian government repealed Article 370 and divided Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh into two union territories. This action would enhance Idea of India as:


Economic opportunities: Between January 2016 and July 2019, Jammu and Kashmir had the highest monthly average unemployment rate of 15% among all states. This government action will increase investment and job opportunities in Jammu and Kashmir. The significant move creates new opportunities for development-led economic growth in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. This will contribute to a more inclusive India, with development spreading even to J&K.


Harmony: With the government's actions in J&K, separatist tendencies will be reduced, posing a threat to India's idea. It will also ensure that the valley remains welcoming to all religions and sects. This will promote harmony among the region's various sects.


Education: These actions would result in the establishment of institutions of national importance such as IITs and IIMs in the valley. Professors who were hesitant to relocate because their children were denied admission to schools will do so. This will aid in the education of youth and prevent them from being brainwashed by anti-social elements. The concept of India inherently includes an educated society, particularly youth.


Security: By acting quickly and decisively, it will increase security in the valley. By increasing its presence in the valley, National Intelligence would be strengthened in its fight against terrorism. This, however, will take some time. Furthermore, because the state has been designated as a union territory, the state's police will not be accountable to Kashmir-based politicians. The police will instead report to the central command. This action will help the central government better control the violence in Kashmir. This will help to reduce the role of external actors in India while also promoting peace, security, and social cohesion. The concept of a united India is inextricably linked to the concept of India.


Corruption: The concept of India is a corrupt free society with transparent governance. Previously, many of India's anti-corruption laws did not apply in Kashmir. It is widely acknowledged that political actors in the state have long been on the payroll of all parties, allowing them to amass vast fortunes. The central government can now effectively combat corruption, paving the way for regional development.


Better Rights: India cannot progress unless its citizens have access to basic human rights. Article 370 had numerous negative consequences. Many of modern India's benefits were denied to the people of Kashmir. For example, it hampered the valley's implementation of the Right to Education. It also denied residents of former Kashmir the benefits of the reservation system enjoyed by other disadvantaged caste communities. All of these rights are now available to the people of J&K.

Although the government's actions in J&K will have many short-term consequences, they will lead to J&K's integration into the Indian concept of development and inclusion in the country's progress. What is required is the active participation of all stakeholders, not only in J&K but also in other regions, in order for the society to grow together while maintaining peace and cohesion.

Q 3. What are the thematic preoccupations of the writer in Samskara? Discuss. 20

Ans) Samskara is a multifaceted text that has received a variety of interpretations from critics.


The most obvious theme appears to be a search for the right moral decision. The protagonist is an ascetic Pranesacharya who also serves as the spiritual leader of a small Brahmin community. Initially, he is faced with a situation in which he must decide what to do about the cremation of a heretic Brahmin named Naranappa, who is a pleasure seeker. Naranappa did not have any children of his own. As a result, someone else would have to take on the task. Later, he meets and falls in love with Naranappa's mistress, Chandri.


This experience turns all of his ascetic and brahminical beliefs on their heads, and he is forced to confront new and larger moral questions about himself and his relationship with Chandri and his former Brahminal followers. As a result, he is faced with the challenge of creating a new identity for himself.


The theme of asceticism and eroticism is an ancient one in Indian mythology and thought. As well-known anthropologist T.N. Madan writes in his book Non-Renunciation: Themes and Interpretations of Hindu Culture (1987; 2001), "this struggle [between asceticism and eroticism] is one of the enduring themes of Hindu classical literature, as it is of living folklore." It is also the stuff of daily life.


The novel's central theme is the search for one's identity. Pranesacharya, the novel's central character, is this quester. This search for identity takes the form of a journey, one of self-discovery.


It is hardly necessary to emphasise the theme of asceticism and eroticism to emphasise that Hindus believe in four ashramas or distinct stages of life: that of the student, the householder, the hermit, and the ascetic. The four ends (pursharthas) of life are related: dharma or righteousness, duty or virtue, artha or material gain, kama, love or pleasure, and finally moksha, liberation from worldly life. Clearly, asceticism is only one stage of life, and sexual pleasure is an important goal. However, asceticism, otherworldliness, and a life-denying ethic have been exaggerated in popular imagination. Witness the adoration that ascetics once received in everyday life as well as in kings' courts. Samskara represents a - society in which asceticism is prioritised and valorized above and beyond what is due to it, and where pleasure is opposed.


Another important thematic strand in the novel is brahminism and anti-brahminism. Anantha Murthy is a Madhava Brahmin who was raised in an agrahara. The writer's portrayal of brahminism as decadent is almost savage. The Brahmins are greedy and gluttons who live a parasitic lifestyle. They are illiterate and extremely superstitious. Pranesacharya is the sole exception. Naranappa is a lapsed Brahmin who is aware of the various sins committed by Brahmins and brazenly indulges in all that the Brahmins hold sacred.

Q 5. Discuss the various symbols and motifs used in the play ‘Tughlaq.’ 20

Ans) The use of various symbols in Tughlaq by Kamad is part of a dramatic technique in which he attempts to explore the "inner landscape of the dramatic persona." In this context, Aziz and Aazam, chess, pythons, prayer, and, finally, vultures are all powerful symbols.


Aziz and Aazam

These two characters represent opportunists and men without principles. Under cover, they deceive others, including the Sultan, and take unfair advantage of Muhammad's liberal, democratic, and secular policies. Surprisingly, the playwright achieves his satiric goal through them. Aziz Kamad's goal is to justify the statement that politics is the last refuge of scoundrels.



Chess represents the political game that is going on throughout the kingdom. As he does on the chessboard, Muhammad uses his brain to checkmate others in dealing with revolts and enemies. He uses chess to solve complex political problems and moves. "Kamad has highlighted Muhammad's manipulative skills in dealing with his adversaries through chess." He uses them as political pawns to achieve his goals."



In Scene Eight, the Old Man (the guard) refers to a long passage within the Daultabad fort with the word Python. When asked about it by a young man (another guard), the old man replies, "yes, it's a long, big passage, coiled like an enormous hollow python inside the fort's belly." And we'll be much happier when that python erupts and devours everything in sight — every man, woman, child, and beast." The old man uses the python symbol to suggest that the fort is no longer a safe haven due to the Sultan's cruel, savage, and tyrannical behaviour.


The atmosphere within and outside the fort had become hellish and chaotic, with people dying for no fault of their own due to starvation and a lack of medical care. Because of the Sultan's bad policies, the country's economy had gone to the dogs. Food riots had shaken the fort's foundation, as reported near the end of the play. The Old Man also represents the destructive attitude of the Sultan, who had become a savage, a tyrant, and thus every man, woman, and child were in danger of being swallowed by the Python. What a decline in Muhammad's personality!



Prayer is used as a symbol to reveal the 'real' Muhammad, who is not the 'ideal' one. The playwright purposefully creates an ironic situation during prayer when Muhammad Tughlaq is attacked violently by his rebels. Although he was able to avoid the target, he must have been reminded of what he had done during prayer, namely murder his father and brother, as it was the talk of the town. Prayer is the only time when one is unarmed. It is a holy season. It cannot be tainted. Anyone who does it is a sinner.



Last but not least, Muhammad himself used the symbol of vultures to describe his miserable situation. Vultures are the birds of prey represented by his government officers, Amirs, and trusted advisors who had turned hostile. His kingdom has become a "honeycomb of diseases," and Muhammad cannot leave "the patient in the wilderness" alone. His misery is that the birds are very close to him, and he expects a beak to dig into him and tear a muscle out at any moment. All of his hopes, dreams, and ideals have gone up in smoke, and he now resembles a disillusioned romantic. Thus, the vultures represent his spiritual agony and anguish.


As a result, Kamad has used symbols to make the play dramatic and compelling. His symbols have a strong emotional impact. The playwright has adorned his language with symbols, making his expression rich and effective. Tughlaq makes use of this technique as well.


Q 6. Write a critical note on contemporary Indian poetry from the Northeast with special reference to the poems prescribed. 20

Ans) In one of the first major anthologies of North-East poetry, edited by two well-known poets of the region, Kympham Nongkynrih and Robin S. Ngangom, the editorial note highlighted how a poet of the region finds the claustrophobia of menacing corruption and the uneasy spoor of gunpowder in the air as the enduring'banalities' that inescapably resonate in the pages of poetry. However, the unsettling persistence of violence spawned new contexts of possibility. It has not only changed the images, but it has also effectively changed the language of poetry, as poetry dislocates itself into new arenas of meaning that were previously seemingly walled off by the expansive prevalence of interminable silences.


Arunachal Pradesh has always seemed far away. Mamang Dai and Yamlam Tana are two major poets who are frequently featured as the state's two major literary representatives.


For Mamang Dai, the geo-cultural landscape has been a constant inspiration for her writings as in her celebrated novel, Legends of Pensam. In her “River Poems” she traverses the landscape with an acute sense of nostalgia:

We practiced a craft

Leaving imprints

On sky walls

Linking the seasons

Coding the tailing mist

In silent message

Across the vast landscape

                      (“River Poems”)


Yamlan Tana dislocates the myths into meanings of contemporary experience:

He grew nails, he grew claws,

He grew fangs, he grew tail;

And asked me give him a scratch

And my nails marked on his body

The black stripes of a tiger.

                  (The Man and the Tiger)


 Guru Ladakhi of Sikkim, who writes in English also, celebrates his intimacy with the land with similar intensity echoing Auden:


Two clouds walk with moist feet

Over the shoulders of the opposite hill

Picking sunshine from the undergrowth



Poems from Tripura have multi-ethnic layers that address the poets' respective imperatives. Niranjan Chakma attempts to give voice to the voiceless in an ostensibly oppressive regime ruled by communists:


Because they are displaced

From their homeland

By the intruders,

Their dew wet

Courtyard inundated

With tears

Their survival’s tide

Has been seized by

The midnight lamentation

But someday

Their unspoken words

Will be uttered boldly

                    (“Words will be Uttered Boldly” translated from Chakma by Rita Chakma)


Chandrakanta Mura Singh is a well-known poet in Kokborok, the state's original language. Kutungla's wife, Hachukrai, articulates the native souls' deep pathos in his poems:


 Hachukrai, how would you touch the soil

And swear by it?

You don’t have an inch of land left,

                            (“O, Poor Hachukrai” translated from Kokborok by Bamapada Mukherjee)



Kutungla’s wife had assuaged her hunger

With boiled weeds and a marsh frog. She died.

                         (“ Slumber” translated from the Kokborok by Saroj Choudhury)


The Khasis have produced some of the most well-known poets who write in both English and Khasi. Among them are Desmond Kharmawphlang, Esther Syiem, and Kympham Nongkynrih. Desmond draws on memories that constantly remind one of the unease of loss:


The stories burn our memories like

a distant meteor searing

the unnamed gloom, by their light I examine

the great hurt I carry in my soul

for having denied my own.

                          (“Letter from Pahambir”)


Kympham is ferocious. Violence becomes a metaphor by default in one of his poems, which has an apparent playful tone:


When Prime Minister Gujral

Planned a visit to the city

Bamboos sprang up from pavements

Like a welcoming committee

But when he came, he was

Only the strident sounds of sirens

Like warnings in war time bombings

he came with twin objectives

a mission for peace and progress

And some say he came

Homing in like a missile

And left flying like an arrow

                       (“When the Prime Minister Visits Shillong, the Bamboos Watch in Silence” translated from Khasi by the poet)


Voices from the new ethnic adjuncts can be heard along the Northeast's mainstream. Bodo, Rabha, Rajbanshi, Garo, Gorkhalis, and other ethnic communities in Assam are rediscovering idioms for poetry in their native languages. The two major ethnic languages in which poetry has proliferated are Hajong and Koch. Each state would discover new poetry in new languages in the coming years. This is the energy of the Northeast. It will always proliferate.

Q 7. Write a critical note on Dalit Literature. 20

Ans) Dalit literature can be defined as literary compositions that are based on the caste system in India and explain the oppression and pain experienced by Dalits; therefore, it would not be incorrect to state that, despite having a history of Dalit literature that can be traced back centuries, Dalit literature was not given its due place in the field of literary production in India, which is also influenced by caste nuance.


In Indian history, the caste system has been a major source of contention. Dalits were considered the lowest caste and untouchables, as well as the socially inferior class, because of their significant belief in religious scripture. They were denied their basic rights and were only assigned to inferior economic activities such as leather work, cleaning streets, removing the carcasses of dead animals, and most importantly, they were not allowed to receive an education. Civilized Hindu society separated and barred such people from participating in social activities and mainstream traditions.


Dalits were denied education and basic necessities due to the caste system, and their history was mostly oral. Dalits lack a written history due to educational constraints. Dr. Bheem Rao Ambedkar emphasised the literary assertion to explain the Dalit struggle against the caste system to the world. As a result, Dalit literature emerged as a movement of Dalits who began writing powerful stories about their experiences. As a result, the poems, stories, biographies, novels, and autobiographies written by Dalit writers formed a new body of literature known as "Dalit Literature."


Dalit literature is generally regarded as a post-independence literary phenomenon. The emergence of Dalit literature is primarily linked to the causes and consequences of a long struggle and oppression. Dalit literature is defined as "one that educates people about the caste system and untouchability in India... It matures from a sociological standpoint and is linked to the principles of negativity, rebellion, and scientific loyalty, ultimately ending as revolutionary."


Dalit literature began in the Marathi language and evolved as a form of social awareness. The main theoretical aspects of Dalit literature include the explanation of suffering, the display of rejection and rebellion, the development of social commitment, the denial of God and the soul, the emphasis on self-realization, the advocacy of independence, equality, and rights, and the opposition to Brahminism and the varna system.


Dalit literary theories are based on various ideologies, including self-image and self-esteem. The literary theory evolved as a result of the Dalits' political consciousness, and it also served as a functional catalyst. The literary theory of Dalit Literature is concerned with shaping Dalit identity. As a result, the question of identity is central to Dalit literature and Dalit literary theory, which upholds the dignity of human life and equality and is based on their visionary transformation of society towards the formation of an egalitarian social system.


Dalit literary criticism has been used as a theoretical tool by Dalit writers. Dalit 'Chetna,' or Dalit consciousness, has also emerged as an emerging theory of Dalit aesthetics. As a result, the theory is founded on a consciousness that has also served as a revolutionary mentality associated with Dalit oppression and struggle. Dalit consciousness is distinct, distinct, and distinct from the consciousness of other writers, and it is because of this consciousness that Dalit literature is distinguished.


Finally, Dalit literature arose from the experiences and struggles of Dalits and Dalit writers, and scholars have concentrated on developing Dalit consciousness. Dalit consciousness is also known as Dalit Chetna, and it promotes Dalit writers' awareness of equality, equal treatment, and rejecting discrimination and inequality based on caste or class. The emergence and development of Dalit literature has been extremely important in drawing the world's attention to the assertion of human dignity and justice.

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