Literature is as old as human culture and civilization. Its beginnings go back to the
primeval human desire to make sense of and reproduce the meanings and sounds of
the external universe and those in the internal universe, for example, what our Rishi-s
did in the Rigveda. Every new genre of literature is borne out of an attempt to organize
or reform human societies such as the fables of the Buddha in the Jatakas, or the odes
of Confucius in the Shijing. Three acts of literature, firstly narration as in Homer’s Iliad,
secondly enactment as in Bharata’s Natyashashtra, and thirdly song and dance as in
the Chinese opera Zaju or the Baiga dance-song of the Baiga tribes of Madhya Pradesh
have been the dominant modes of literary expression across the world cultures.