Re-presenting An Icon
Amar Farooqui
THE RANI OF JHANSI: GENDER, HISTORY AND FABLE IN INDIA by Harleen Singh Cambridge University Press, New Delhi, 2015, 189 pp., 645
May 2015, volume 39, No 5

Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi is perhapsthe most prominent of the iconic figures of the revolt of 1857. Her outstanding heroism became the subject of alarge number of literary productions fromthe late nineteenth century onwards. It is atheme that continues to interest novelists,producers of comic-books, and film-makersdown to the present day. Lakshmi Bai’s pres-ence in literature (and since the 1950s incinema and the visual media) has reinforcedher iconic status. Harleen Singh’s study ex-amines the ways in which the Rani has beenrepresented in literature (novels, poetry,drama), mainly focussing on colonial andnationalist representations. She also devotessome space to Sohrab Modi’s 1953 filmJhansi ki Rani. Finally there is a discussionon the questioning of the Rani’s valour insome of the writings of recent years that haveattempted to present narratives of the revoltfrom a dalit perspective.

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