Hindi Detective Pulp Fiction

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    In this paper, I begin by establishing the relationship between earlier Western detective fiction, other Asian detective fictions, and Hindi detective fiction. I then explore how the Hindi-Urdu works of Ibne Safi (1928-1980) revolutionized this genre during the period from 1950 to 1980. In particular, I look at how the plots of some of these detective novels suggest ways in which authors and readers engaged with modernity through exploring the role that the supernatural plays in the contemporary world. I then shift to examining how certain writers in the city of Meerut near Delhi, such as 0m Prakash Sharma (1924—1998), came to prominence in the 1980s during the period of rapid growth in the circulation and readership of Hindi detective fiction. Through examining some of their plots, I also suggest that a prominent focus in these novels was the fictionalised accounts of current affairs. In particular, I chart the rise of the patriotic female detective superspy as an embodiment of India in its struggles with terrorism and its territorial opponents. I then question why it was that at the beginning of the twenty—first century, sales of printed pulp fiction began to decline, linking this to the arrival of the mobile phone and the Internet in In conclusion, I argue that notonly does older Hindi detective fiction now live on in an afterlife on the Internet, but that there are signs that the growing use of the Internet with Indian languages may lead to new possibilities for Hindi detective fiction in the futltre.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-47
    JournalSituations: Cultural Studies in the Asian Context
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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