Amish Tripathi and authors like him who fall in the same line have tried to change many things about our history, beliefs and also the idea known as mythology. Well, I have already read a few novels in the mythological line and had my differences drawn against those as well. However, I did not know the levels to which these authors can venture and try to change the established narrative. This is, in a way, a very good thing to do. However, once you analyse the thing objectively, you will come to realise many facts that you may have ignored before and many things that you won’t ignore, any more!
Amish Tripathi is bearable only with many apprehensions. However, if you read authors like Anand Neelakantan, you will not only be shocked but also baffled if you try to understand the logic applied behind such storyline and themes that Anand often uses in his novels. He has gone completely overboard with his hatred for Brahmins, usually regarded high in India because they have been indulged in imparting education to the masses. Anand’s problems are many and his achievements are only limited to knighting the villains with the swords that have been used to highlight the wonders of our heroes.
The problems are there with the novels of Amish Tripathi as well. He has tried to hijack the history of Indian epics and Sanatan ideology with his fancy and imaginative storylines that pass off as usual with the name of fiction wrapped around them. This is good as long as people understand them to be fiction. However, when these authors tout and promote these works by saying that these are inspired by the epics and present a narrative, it becomes problematic and it should not be done at all, at any length.
Moreover, looking beyond the problems and ramifications of these mythological novels in India, we have also to look at the contribution or the impact that these works are making on Indian English literature. How will you judge these works? When you sit to analyse these works critically, you will realise that these works are beyond any critical scale. The authors announce that they are mere writing for entertainment but using the names from the iconic epics because they want to add depth to their fiction. So, is there any space for any literary theory to be applied to the works by such novelists? Sadly, no! Also, when we try to understand these works in the context, we have to understand the original works that date back to pre-history and predates any concept. So, if an author is going back, as back as this, he or she should have a certain degree of responsibility as well; and there, these novelists lack! Lack in abundance!
Even in the case of extracting entertainment from such works, you will be sad to know that these works are loaded more with propaganda than entertainment quotient and you are left with almost nothing when it comes to counting the advantages of wasting your time reading books with more than 500 pages… just for your references, Asura: Tale of the Vanquished by Anand Neelakantan has more than 500 pages! And when you finish the novel, you are only left vanquished within yourself with a question that may shudder you from the inside – why did I read it at all!