Department of English
Aligarh Muslim University
Rasheed Jahan, a founder member of Progressive Writers’ Movement in India, was a writer by choice, doctor by profession and communist by ideology. She is known as the earliest female voice to talk about myriad problems of community like sexual harassment, birth control, pregnancy, abortion, women’s health etc. which are still treated as taboo in amongst illiterate and rural areas. She found herself thinking about the relationship between modern breed of women to which she belonged and the common women continuously being suppressed and oppressed in the community and society in general.
Her sparse Plays and stories explicitly foreground the wretched condition of Muslim women, especially which she experienced first-hand as a doctor. She was a staunch realistic. Despite being well versed in English she realised the importance of vernacular language. Elite and English educated Muslim was less in number so she chose Urdu as the medium of her works, so that the common people can understand. Muslims in U.P generally speak Urdu. Her attempt to search Muslim women’s identity, voicing against the fundamentalist, step to uplift Muslim woman, gained her as ‘Angarewali’ and ‘Bad Girl’ of Urdu Literature.
This paper proposes to analyse and decode Rasheed Jahan’s concern for Muslim women of a particular class belonging mainly to Urdu speaking region through her language, dialects or words. Though at the end it seems she is still relevant, timeless and beyond boundaries.
Keywords: FEMINISM, COMMUNITY, CULTURE, LANGUAGE, REGION.
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