Though I did not like reading the casual Indian fiction in English very much because of the lame content that the authors of young age generate to lure teenagers and school kids into reading their works, at times there are novelists who can weave magic out of the past, our mythology and our great Indian history. In such authors, you can always name, any day, the novelists like Ashwin Sanghi who has made a name for himself by writing many novels that bring inspiration and ideas from the past to add them to the present and aid to their fiction as well as to the pleasure of the readers. Well, in short, I do admire a novelist like Ashwin!
Ashwin is a master of the art that was spun, to an extent, by Amish first of all. Amish Tripathi began with Shiva and he brought the assumption and fantasy research inputs to the world of Indian English fiction and became immensely famous for his works. Ashwin Sanghi took that legacy ahead and he ventured into a very different kind of writing space with his fantasy that was able to somehow connect the past with the present and offer the readers something which is entertaining, exciting and also spiritual to an extent. The readers, fortunately, have something more than Chetan and Durjoy…
Mythological fiction is good. Compared to romantic fiction and sensual writings by the writers like Preeti Shenoy and Savi Sharma, the novels by these authors who bring mythology to the rescue are certainly more worth it. However, there are human errors in both the format. Though we cannot compare the two in all the ways possible, we can still come to the conclusion that both the formats of writing are made for instant fame and success among the young readers. Though there are the critics who can claim, and they have done in the past as well, that the authors like Sanghi and Tripathi are proposing the wrong versions of history and scriptures to the readers. In a way, yes, they are doing it. One big fat example is the literature produced by Anand Neelakantan and you cannot put your eyes away from the works like Asura: Tale of the Vanquished in which he has glorified Ravan, the Asura King of Lanka who is nothing lesser than an embodiment of evil who was a rapist, killer, psychopath and Adharmi. However, for Neelakantan, this Asura was the hero of the epic Ramayana and Ram was the monstrous prince usurped, with the help of Devtas and Brahmins, the kingdom and the territory. What the hell!
So, while we appreciate the works by these authors who bring mythology to the young audience in various ways, we have to be careful in promoting the right kind of literature. In a country like India, where we grow up reading Ramayan and Mahabharat, we just cannot digest the things like Ravan being called a hero or a champion of Dalit causes… So, the authors need to come up with the works which are more than propaganda and actually bring the things of past with modern connotations but within the limits, ethical limits, of fiction that modern and young audience can digest.