‘The Great War: Literary Responses in Prose and Poetry to the First World War’ by Dr Rakhshanda Jalil

“The Great War, or Jang-e-Azeem as the First World War was referred to, saw the service of over 1.3 million Indians of whom 74,000 never made it back home. For their families, the war was something they could never fathom. Soldiers from the Indian sub-continent won over 12,908 awards for bravery, including 11 Victoria Crosses. Yet this unprecedented show of valour remains largely unsung and unrecognised – particularly in India. The Indian response to the War was, and continued to be, complex and varied. The talk hopes to shed some light on that ambiguity and the range of voices and concerns.” – Dr. Rakhshanda Jalil for Sarmaya Talks.

Dr. Jalil is a multi-award winning translator, writer, and literary historian. She has published over 25 books and written over 50 academic papers and essays. Some of her books include: Liking Progress, Loving Change: A Literary History of the Progressive Writers Movement in Urdu (OUP, 2014); a biography of Urdu feminist writer Dr Rashid Jahan: A Rebel and her Cause (Women Unlimited, 2014); a translation of The Sea Lies Ahead, Intizar Husain’s seminal novel on Karachi (Harper Collins, 2015) and Krishan Chandar’s partition novel Ghaddar (Westland, 2017), among others. She runs an organization called Hindustani Awaaz, devoted to the popularization of Hindi-Urdu literature and culture. She is the Editor of the Taj magazine.

This event took place on 17th November, 2023, at Durbar Hall, The Asiatic Society of Mumbai.