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At this congress IPWA speakers confronted the task of defining what it might mean to be a "progressive" Indian writer in the second half of the 1930s.
The speech he delivered to the Second Congress of the IPWA, held in Calcutta in December 1938, is a curious document in that in it one can see how he tries to maneuver among the various possible orientations of the association (the earlier, First Congress had been hastily called, and the speeches made to it are considered less canonical).
There were fierce rivalries among the various literatures, and especially between the Hindi and Bengali traditions (the IPWA had its greatest success among intellectuals of Northern India and was somewhat scantily represented in the South).
In reality the IPWA "failed to attract a substantial membership of Anglophone writers," and in time most of its London-based founding members, such as Zaheer and Anand, drifted away from it.
During these early years of the IPWA, Anand published four of his most famous novels: Untouchable (1935, the first), Coolie (1936), Two Leaves and a Bud (1937), and The Village (1939).