We started SCILET in the early 1980’s in order to show how important Indian Literature in English had already become. ‘English Literature’ no longer means just the literature of England. New literatures in English have sprung up in many parts of the world, and India is one of the major places where this is happening. Our main goal has been to acquaint Indian teachers and students with the wealth of good literature in English produced by their fellow citizens, both resident and expatriate. We hoped in this way that school and college syllabi for literature in English could begin to include more Indian writing so that the study of literature in English would become more relevant to the surroundings in which we live.
A second goal of our Centre has been to acquaint readers of the many different regions of our country with each other, since given our linguistic diversity English is perhaps the only language commonly known by at least some people in such far-from-each-other regions as Bengal, Kerala, Orissa or Punjab. And a third objective for SCILET has been to further a sense of national pride within India, since the achievements of our talented English medium writers are already being celebrated in many other parts of the world.
SCILET has therefore attempted during the last two decades to develop a library which includes the best English poetry, drama, fiction and prose produced by Indian authors, together with English medium journals and important critical books from our country and overseas which analyse this literature.
SCILET also sponsors activities such as lectures, seminars and poetry readings that present some of the best of these writers in person, enabling teachers, students and the research community to interact and become acquainted with them. And to further the cause of Indian literature in English SCILET has developed several publications, the best known of which is its annual poetry journal, Kavya Bharati, which includes in equal amount the work of established Indian poets and promising new voices.
Since its inception SCILET has been a self-sustaining enterprise, operated by the funds accruing from its services and supported by both individual and group donors.