Among the most well-known recent literatures of the Indian area, the one in the Tamil language should be mentioned, started according to legend by the sage Agastya. Its historical origins date back to the first centuries of the Christian era. According to baglib, thousands of praising stanzas by various sovereigns, collected in eight anthologies (Ettuttohai), belong to the most remote phase of this literature. Particularly significant are the epic novels, which have the best known author in Jain Tirutakkatēvar. After a period of Sanskrit influence (10th century), the Middle Tamil (14th-19th century) established itself and also welcomed foreign authors (just remember the Italians Roberto de Nobili, 1577-1656, and Costanzo Giuseppe Beschi, 1680-1746), while Western influence has been increasing recently, especially for theater and fiction. The oldest preserved work of Canarian literature is La via del poeta of Śrīvijaya, court poet of Nrpatunga (9th century). The works of the three greatest Canarian poets (the “three gems”) Pampa, Ponna and Ranna are added almost immediately. This literature develops around religious, hagiographic, didactic, moralizing themes and has only recently been evolving towards social themes. Among the Dravidian languages, certainly the most widespread is Telugu, spoken in central-eastern India, which has its oldest poet in Nannaya Bhaṭṭa (11th century), and which for many centuries was influenced by the Sanskrit culture. Only in the century. XVI with the poet Vemana there is a frank originality which however soon turns to the virtuosity of which Telugu literature will be freed only in the century. XIX, thanks above all to the poet and playwright Rao Bahadur Kandukūri Vireśalingam Pantulu (1858-1919). And’ Adventures of Rāma, dating back to 1300 and attributed to a mahārāja from Kerala. On the other hand, Hindi literature is very rich, which includes all the compositions written in the many dialects of this language and which began to differentiate itself from the Middle-Indian Prakrites around the century. VIII. Hindi literature established itself around 1100 with “bardic poetry”.
Famous among all is Cand Bardāī’s poem The exploits of Pṛthvīrāj, 100,000 stanzas in 69 books, on the loves of King Pṛthvīrāj for Princess Samyogitā. The beginning of the Bhakti period is due to the poet Vidyāpati (ca. 1350-ca. 1450)or of the “devotional poetry” (in the two currents nirguṇa and saguṇa) that developed between the century. XV and XVI, not only in the Hindi area but throughout India, and it is the bhakta poets who collect the legacy of a saint named Rāmānanda to whom the figure of one of the greatest mystics of India and the world is connected, Kabir (first half of the 15th century-around 1518). Hindī literature, which after the great flowering of the various nirguṇa, saguṇa and Krsnabhākti schools, turned in the “rites period” towards the poetry of mannerism (1650-80) and had its last original poet in Padmakar (1753-1833), it declined, but with the Western influence brought about by the English domination, new genres flourished: novel, essay, short story. In the twentieth century the most important figure of Hindī literature, although he wrote his first story in Bengali, is Shivani, whose real name was Gaura Pant (1923-2003), a very popular writer in whose central works was the female figure. The Islamized form of western hindī is the Urdu language, which gave rise to an autonomous literature whose first notable personality is Shamsuddin Waliallah (1667-1707), better known as Valī. The literary decadence resulting from the political events of the mid-century. XIX was then attenuated to find new ferments first with Sayyid Aḥmad (1817-1899), then with Muḥammad Iqbāl (1873 or 1877-1938), fathers of modern Urdu literature. Quite late is also the affirmation of Bengali literature, which has its first manifestations in the sec. IX-X, but whose classical expression goes from the century. XIV onwards and has its first great poet with Caṇdīdās (ca. 1350-ca. 1430) considered the greatest Bengali lyricist. Until the sec. XIX Bengali literature is dominated by religious motifs, heir to the teachings of the reformer Caitanya (1486-1533) who spread a type of cult in Bengal bhakti. The English domination marked the opening to new ideas and constituted a reason for rethinking, giving rise to a modern literature. With Bankim Chandra Chatterji (1838-1881) was born the “father of the Bengali novel” who spread novels like Walter Scott and nationalistic ideas, referring in part to the innovative movement started by Rammohan Roy (1774-1833), which instead found full echo in Dovendra Nāth Thakur (1818-1905), whose son Rabindranāth Thakur, known in the West as Tagore (1861-1941), he proved to be one of the greatest poets of India and the world and the highest mediator between the two civilizations; for his works in 1913 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.
Documents of another, perhaps more remote, literature reach us. This is the one in the marāṭhī language, whose first poetic compositions due to Mukundarāja are from the end of the century. XII. The first great marāṭhī poet is Jñāneśvan or Jñāndev author of the Commentary by Jñāneśvan (1290). Equally well known is Namdev (1270-1350) to whom we owe excellent religious songs, initiator of a current of religious poets, including the greatest marāṭhī poet: Tukārām (1607-1649). Starting from the century. XVII flourished a literature of historical subject, which led in the modern era to the novel and social drama. Even later the testimonies of Assamese literature that begins in the century. XV and that has the greatest impulse with the Visnu religious reformers, first of all Šaṅkaradeva (1449-1568). Numerous works of translation and adaptation of Sanskrit works. A real autonomous literature moves at the beginning of the century. XIX after the Burmese and English occupations. Towards the middle of the century. XV also begins the Oriyā literature which becomes original with Upendra Bhañja (1670-1720), author of 42 works embracing all genres. Similar evolution seems to have had the puñjābī literature which has its oldest monument in the Holy Book of the Sikhs (1604) and that in the same century. XVII had its golden moment with Muslim authors. Everyone remembers ʽAbdullāh (1616-1666). However, puñjābī literature had its greatest author in our times with Pūran Singh (1882-1932), called the Tagore of Punjab. More ancient is the literature of Gujarat, which is usually divided into three periods: ancient until 1450, with works by Jain and Parsi monks; classical, up to the century. XIX, especially valid for devotional poetry; and modern, in which Western genres assert themselves and Gandhi’s writings come to light.