A Rebel and Her Cause: The Life and Work of Rashid Jahan


Rakhshanda Jalil

Paperback    9788188965861


Despite a brief and slender literary career, Rashid Jahan blazed like a meteor in the progressive firmament of pre-and post-Independence India. Doctor, writer, political activist, crusading member of the Communist Party of India, Rashid Jahan was radical in a way that defied all expectations — from her social class, her comrades, her peers and colleagues.



A Rebel and Her Cause is a remarkably perceptive, and richly detailed account of this pioneering woman.  Rakhshanda Jalil offers readers an unusual document: a warm and informed biography – based on archival material, extensive interviews and critical commentaries – together with fine translations of Rashid Jahan’s best known stories and plays.


Through a subtle couterpointing of Rashid Jahan’s political purpose with her literary and professional skills and sensibility, Jalil paints an arresting portrait of a woman deeply and passionately engaged with the great debates of her time: fascism, imperialism, nationalism, socialism and feminism. This intense engagement is reflected in every facet of her life and literature, as they unfold here in vivid and compelling prose.


Rakhshanda Jalil is a writer, critic and literary historian. She is also a well-known translator, with eight published translations including works by Premchand, Manto and Renu. She runs an organisation called Hindustani Awaaz, devoted to the popularisation of Hindi-Urdu literature and culture. Her debut collection of fiction, Release and Other Stories, was published in 2011.



Additional information


B.R. Ambedkar, with an introduction by Arundhati Roy

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