Literature is an important part of any society, anywhere in the world. Moreover, this is the most essential part when we talk in terms of any curriculum or a study syllabus. Right from the beginning, we have to take care that our children who begin study get the right kind of literature to kickstart their journey into the world of emotions, abstract and imagination which becomes, most of the times, a base to make rational, scientific and most drastic decisions in their lives. I still remember the days when Panchtantra, Sankshipt Ramayana, Mahabharata in brief and various and many episodes from our ancient epics, scriptures and literature used to form a part of children’s syllabus at different stages. Even in the higher academic courses, we had beautiful, motivational and morally-charged literature in the years before the 2010s. However, because of some reasons, the recent years have seen a surprising fall in the inclusion of the best possible literature in our academic courses and this, for sure, is one of the reasons that Indian youth are facing many issues in their life just after the academic life gets over. Why?
Since the beginning, if you analyse, literature has been playing a very important role in human life. Psychological development, moral progress, philosophical stabilisation and so on… the role of good quality literature cannot be denied. And, be careful, I am not bracketing literature within any specific language zones. Be it Hindi literature, English literature or Sanskrit, Greek and Persian, it has always been a valued entity which helped civilisations evolve and thrive. The literature that is being produced today is not up to the mark. It’s degenerating at a speed that it might the bottom any day, sooner rather than later. Our contemporary lot of Indian authors look at the only thing, money. The same is true about the poets to a great extent. And this continuous trend has established in the minds of the readers that they cannot get anything better to read than what they have been getting from the authors these days. Therefore, upon analysis, one can conclude that the standards of literature have been pushed down with a systematic subversion of literary taste and opinions in the country, and in the world as well. Is it good for society?
This is a long debate about whether there is an existence of bad literature at all. People generally tend to skip such questions, be it authors, readers or critics. Nobody wants to enter into a zone where people discuss with spirits the quality of literature. However, to be honest to oneself, one has to realise that the existence of good literature or the so-called classics makes it imperative that there is the existence of bad literature and it should be acknowledged rather than being denied. How long can we delude ourselves? And the time demands that inclusion in the courses of study, when it comes to literature, should be done on the merits of the book and authors as well as the quality of that particular piece. It will make sure that the readers, in fact, students, get the stuff right and they read things which will be contributing to their development rather than ambiguity and confusion in their life.
by a contributor to Intellectual Reader