Of Societal Struggles
Kishwar Zafir
SELECTED SHORT STORIES AND PLAYS by Rashid Jahan The Female Education Society. Aligarh, 2011, 317 pp., price not stated
April 2011, volume 35, No 4

Selected Short Stories and Plays portrays an era when Indian society was coming to terms with the idea of independence and democracy. It comprises sixteen short stories and seven plays, each depicting the struggle of the characters within, in the scheme of circumstances being paved for development in the modern age. The book includes an enriched glossary explaining terms that have been left unchanged in the original language.

This collection gives an insight into the socioeconomic conditions and milieu of pre and postIndependent India. Dr Rashid Jahans stories and plays treat the subject of womanhood from every possible angle. Other important issues like communalism, national integration, secularism have all been treated in this collection. Also, intercaste and child marriages, corruption and degenerated social values are the points focused on in some of the stories and plays.

She (Woh) is the reflection of a societys vision and thoughts for a woman who is an outcaste. Presumed to be a prostitute, this unknown, unnamed woman is the centre of everyones abhorrence. The inability of this depraved woman to find respect even in the eyes of an ayah or maid in the school that she has taken to frequent invokes sympathy in the reader.

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