As this Times of India report makes clear, the problems of the balkanization of "literary" and "commercial" fiction is hardly unique to the US.
When asked whether the onslaught of cable TV has marginalised literature, Prof Narang, noted Urdu critic and writer in his own right, said, "The IT boom has affected everything, including literature. But the problem is with the media. A culture that ignores its own roots of creativity works against itself.
There's been (and will no doubt continue to be) a good deal of commentary on this question lately, some of it quite sensible, some of it less so. (The Times of India piece is particularly helpful in undercutting such propositions as "... but in fact it is the relativism, "multicuturalism" and rabid egalitarianism of the left that has undermined culture." Setting aside for a moment that it always amuses me to see the alleged power that leftist academics wield without being able to, oh, seat a president or a congress for example, it seems unlikely that tenured Berkeley profs have extended their influence all the way to India.)
Full disclosure - Kevin Holtsberry, who hosts Collected Miscellany, e-mailed me and a number of other litbloggers to point this item out; but he is much closer to the truth when he says "Many on the left love to blame the right for the consumerism and lowest common denominator culture ... " even if he goes on to dismiss that very point. Visit Nathalie's well-linked Swan posting for a case in point. Kevin's post is, with due respect to the author, a classic case of the problems that arise when literary criticism is stuffed through a narrow political agenda.