nerally, Modern English period is said to have started in 1453 A.D. The East India Company set up in 1600 A.D, began to show its armed victories with the battle of Plassey in1757.  It resulted in the inevitable introduction of numerous East Indian words into English.  English has also borrowed words from Dutch, German, Russian, Turkish and Hungarian, besides many of its colonies.

  The English Language arrived in America along with the colonists from England.  Therefore it became the language of the settlers like Shakespeare, Milton and John Bunyan.  In the Present Scenario speaking in English has grown enormously because of the scientific conventions during the last few decades.Indian writing in English is a part of the literatures in India.  It is now free from the fetter of the British hangover and it is now the expression of a distinct and fairly identifiable Indian sensibility.  English has been domesticated and nativized in India and it is one of the Indian national languages.  We find the sharply defined Indianness in the writing of Tagore, Aurobindo, Sarojini Naidu, Kamala Das and others.  Indian writers are creative and original.

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  The period between 1820 and 1900 is called the Indian Renaissance.  Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Ramesh Chandra Dutt, Manmohan Ghose, Swami Vivekananda, Edward Ghose, Toru Dutt are prominent literary figures who participated in their contribution to Indian English Literature with Indian themes, mysticism and philosophy.It is in fiction that the Indian writers have made their mark in poetry, then the development of the Indian English was gradual. The novel as a form was new to India.   The earliest works of Indian fiction were translated works.  Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the forerunner of the Indian Renaissance wrote fine prose but no fiction.  After few decades, the novel in India had its rise in Bengal.

  Bankim Chatterjee became the first Indian writer of a novel in English.The development of Indian novel in Indian English Literature can be divided into four phases.  The early phase is “The Phase of Imitation”. The second phase “Indianisation”.  The third phase is “Increasing Indianisation” and the fourth phase “Experimentation and Individual Talent”.  Indian English novel began to appear in nineteen twenties and gathered tenacity in the following two decades.The Indo-Anglican fiction can be categorized into two groups.

  The Pre and Post Independence group of writers.  The growth of schools, colleges and universities and English as a medium of instruction, attracted a lot of writers to experiment in different genres of Literature.  Rabindra Nath Tagore, Mulk Raj Anand, Arun Joshi, Salman Rushdie have successfully written novels and had made a unique place in the Indian fiction world.  In India as well we have extraordinary story tellers who recite story naturally including a set of women co writers who have maintained their own ‘Tradition’ through their efforts in Indian fiction.  The leading women novelists of that period were R.P.Jhabvala, Kamala Markandaya, Anita Desai and Nayantara Sahgal.

  There are detective novels and novels using the technique of consciousness.  Virginia Woolf is the prominent figure using this technique very skilfully.  In the context of this new technique, Kamala Markandaya is not afar. Anita Desai has used this technique in her novel Cry, the Peacock. Women in modern India have not only shared the exiting and dangerous roles in the struggle for Independence but have also articulated the national aspirations and the consciousness of cultural changes in the realm of literature.Women novelists have made a significant contribution to the English fiction.  Kamala Markandaya, Anita Desai, Kiran Desai, Jhabrala, Attia Hussain and Arundhati Roy have presented the world of woman very poignantly.

  They developed their individual styles of writing.  They voice the feministic concerns objectively and very appealingly.Writers like Anita Desai and Kamala Markandaya go behind feministic concerns and portray it in wider context using themes like alienation in the modern urban city, tradition, east-west encounter and social conflicts.  Like the women poets of the Post-Independence period, the women novelists too form a sizeable and significant impact.  Important examples of the latest novelists are Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, Namita Gokhle’s Paro: Dreams of Passions, Brinda Mukherjee’s The Forth Profile, Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies and Namesake.  Shakuntala Srinagesh’s The Little Black Box is an interesting experiment in psychological fiction.Every artist depicts the picture of life.  Painters with brush, Musician with his instruments and Novelist with his/her Pen.

  Every writer is the product of the age in which he/she writes and Kamala Markandaya is no exception.  In the realm of literature, she is one of the most famous of the modern Indian writers.Kamala Markandaya (1924) was born in Mysore and studied at the University of Madras.  She married Bertrand Taylor an Englishman.  From 1940 to 1947, she worked as a journalist.  She passed away on 18th May 2004.  She is known as an Indo-British novelist, one of the finest post-Internationally known as a writer of Nectar in a Sieve.

If Mulk Raj Anand, Raja-Rao and R.K. Narayanan from the ‘Big three’ of the Indo-Anglian novel, she can safely be placed next to him.  Kamala Markandaya is not a powerful novelist like Mulk Raj Anand but she is an outstanding Indian woman novelist.

  Kamala Markandaya’s novels are chiefly concerned with human relationship and woman’s predicament.  Her themes are not generally new in the context of European and American fiction,  The themes of ever present poverty and hunger tradition versus modernity, East-West encounter etc, are themes of Mulk Raj Anand and Jhabvala but these themes have been explored by Markandaya with a degree of newness.  In the Post-Independence Period, most of the novelists create a scene of urban and rural folk but Kamala Markandaya is the finest exponent of the rural society.  She is concerned with the plight, status and attitude of economical, modern, spiritual and political forces.  She tries to awake the consciousness of Indian Woman against the traditional society and communicates the real existence of woman.  She is the most outstanding modern novelist who is mine concerned with “Feminism”.India is a male dominating country and women are regarded as inferior in mind and superior in heart.

  Indian women are mostly traditional believing in Indian culture, tradition, customs and trends.  In ancient times women had and honourable position in society.  They were equal partners of men in all walks of life.

  During the Muslim rule, they lost their position, honour and right of equality.  Even in the British rule their position remained unchanged.Markandaya is a post-independence novelist who portrays the picture of women in the Indian society.  She portrayed the women of 20th century.

  During this period they progressed in every fields of life.  She tried to show plight of woman with her greatness and her valour and tried to portray the struggle of the women between tradition and modernism.  Markandaya has tried to raise the condition of woman in rural Indian society. She tries to draw her characters from every class of the society but it is clear that her women characters are more powerful than her male characters. Rukmani, Ira, Mira, Sarojini, Caroline, Jaya, Nalini, and Saroja are some of the immortal women characters in Indo-English fiction. She is such a novelist, who has portrayed in her novels different categories of woman in India and England.  Each novel presents a different figure of women as peasants, traditional, lustful, spiritual, westernized and motherly woman.  She is a typical representation of feminine sensibility.

  Compared to the other novelists, she is the most gifted person and portrays the most vivid characterisation of woman.Markandaya’s keen observation on the society combined with her feminine sensibility brought her International fame in her very first novel, Nectar in a Sieve.  Her other novels are, Some Inner Fury 1955, A Silence of Desire 1960, Possession 1963, A Handful of Rice 1966, The Coffer Dams 1969, The Nowhere Man 1972, Two Virgins 1973, The Golden Honeycomb 1977 and Pleasure City 1982.Markandaya has written ten novels and all her novels reveal her deep fixation with the changing Indian social and political scene and her skilful use of the English language for creative purpose.

The purpose of the study is to—————— and it has been divided into three chapters each concentrating on a specific problem.The Maternal Instinct is a feeling of a mother that can be seen in all the female characters of Markandaya especially in her first published novel Nectar in a Sieve, the Maternity Instinct is perfectly portrayed through the characters. The maternal instinct is perfectly portrayed through the character of Rukmani. It is a tale that depicts the hardships and joys of a woman’s life in rural India.  It is a restrained as well as touching account of the life of an Indian Peasant woman, Rukmani and her struggle for survival and her abiding love for her husband and children.Rukmani in Nectar in a Sieve is a perfect example of an Indian woman and Indian mother.

  Rukmani has six children and she suffers all difficulties and problems related to social, economical and individual for the sake of her own children.  She teaches them, nourishes them by providing all essential facilities as a mother.  Markandaya’s motherly feeling is well expressed in this novel. She is very near to Indian tradition and feelings while living abroad.  She has tried to reveal the positive and negative attitude of a mother towards her child through her novels.

A.V.Krishna Rao points out, “Rukmani and Nathan, the peasant couple in a south Indian village are the victims of two evils, the zamindari system and the industrial economy”.

(8)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The next chapter “Urban influences” deals with the rural and urban problems and difficulties related to that area where Markandaya lined before marriage.  She was the victim of all these difficulties faced by the peasants and other people.  Markandaya shows her own anguish of rural India that is suffering from social, economical, political and individual problems even after the independence and economic development.  She depicts the true picture of urban in rural areas of south India and evaluates the aspect of suffering of peasant woman who struggles alone and succeeds to win over all difficulties.  The main focus of Markandaya is to show the image of modern India under the impact of various political, social, economical, intellectual and cultural changes.

“The East-West Conflict”, the major theme in the novels of post-independence novels.  Kamala Markandaya herself shows this conflict through her novels.  She was born in the East and settled in the West.  She is able to understand the difficulties and racial conflicts that is faced in the alien country.  Her chief purpose is to express the feeling of the people in alien country and her novels deal with the astriction between the two races and two countries.Chapter III “Feminine Superiority” deals with the superiority of a woman over a man.  Today’s women are very unique and they have been challenging in every walks of life.

  They are independent both individually as well as economically.  Being a woman novelist, Markandaya expresses her own views about women as they progress in every aspects.  She advises women to go ahead and achieve in all fields.A woman plays various roles in her life as wife, mother and sister.  This role of a woman as a wife and mother is directed toward the devotion to their family, submissive to her husband, attachment to children and an efficient manager of the household.  Markandaya, as a mother and wife, was successful to the aim to be the greatest novelist and her concern with the Indian woman to achieve those aims they want to achieve.  Her characters Rukmani, Lalitha and Sarojini are successful in reaching and attaining their fulfilment, facing difficulties without any discouragements.

Markandaya is very close to her characters.  Her novels deal with all these chapters.  Her first novel Nectar in a Sieve treats the theme of hunger and starvation in Indian villages.  It shows the difficulties, suffering, disasters, desolation and problem of Indian peasants. Nectar in a sieve is about Rukmani an Indian peasant girl who at the age of twelve gets married to a landless farmer and when their family starts to grow so do their challenges.  It is a heart touching tragic novel, and a realistic portrayal of Rukmani’s family in particular and the sufferings of peasants in colonial India in general.  This novel depicts the maternal love of an Indian woman Rukmani who bore six sons and one daughter.

  Her daughter Ira, resorts to prostitution to save the family from hunger.  Kuti, the youngest child of Rukmani dies of starvation.  Her two sons Arjun and Thambi leave for Ceylon for work, and Raja, the third son, dies in a quarrel and at last they lost their land.Markandaya’s second novel Some Inner Fury is entirely different from Nectar in a Sieve.  K.

R.Srinivasa Iyengar remarks that”If Nectar in a Sieve recalls Venkataraman’s Murugan the filler, Markandaya’s Some Inner Fury recalls his Kandan the patriot.In Some Inner Fury, for the first time, Markandaya dramatises the East-West conflict.  It is a novel of violence and destruction.

  Essentially it is a political novel.  It is also a tragic novel like Nectar in a Sieve.  The novel deals with political passions prevailing over love and justice.

  The clash between patriotism and passion is presented in the novel.The third novel A Silence of Desire explores the theme of the clash between traditionalism and modernism, faith and reason.  This novel depicts the east-west encounter in the form of a conflict between the Indian Spiritualism and the western modernism and her fifth novel Handful of Rice is an original product of Markandaya.The Coffer Dams and The Nowhere Man also deals with the conflict of East and West.  Even though both novels carry the same concept The Nowhere Man is the most powerful and a matured novel of Markandaya.Markandaya’s eighth novel Two Virgins has been rated as the weakest of all her novels.  It carries the theme of adolescence and growing up, of love and conflict between parents and children, of contrast between village and city.  The ninth novel The Golden Honeycomb is a momentous historical and an immensely satisfying fictional piece.

Though she believes in the advantages of modernization and globalisation she has a faith in the pathological role of tradition.  Her novels prove that people of a new colonial nation like India are struggling for an identity and her novels also present the aspects of feminism which spread very fast in India after the Independence.