Want to read regional Indian classics, but don’t know the language? Don’t worry. You can do so now thanks to the recently launched Indian Novels Collective, an initiative to bring classics of non-English Indian literature to English readers. The core team behind this initiative includes Sangita Jindal, chairperson, JSW Foundation; Amrita Somaiya, owner, Kitab Khana; Ashwani Kumar, poet and professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences; and Anuradha Parikh, founder, G5A Center for Contemporary Culture.
To begin with, the team plans to start with around 100 Indian novels and later move to other genres such as essays, children’s literature, short fiction, plays, etc. “We are driven by the belief that books that have survived the test of time and been loved by generations of readers in their original languages will be equally loved by future generations reading them in English,” say the people behind the collective, which aims to build a community through social media and also rope in cafés and cultural centres to participate in the dialogue. “It will be an open network to connect readers who have shied away from non-English literature,” as per the team.