Ismat Chughtai (1712 words)


An iconoclastic figure, Ismat Chughtai (1915-1991) emerged from the ranks of India’s Progressive Writers Movement (PWM, 1935) as one of its most widely read female writers. Born in the North Indian province of Utter Pradesh, in the eastern city of Badayun, the family moved because of her father’s posting in Jodhpur, in the western state of Gujarat. It was in the northern regions of the subcontinent that an Urdu speaking elite intellectual population would emerge and engage in Muslim literature and identity politics, amongst which Chughtai would establish her own presence as a adult. Instead of focusing on “colonial masters”, Chughtai challenged traditional views in short stories focused on life within upper-class Muslim …

Citation: Rajakumar, Mohanalakshmi. "Ismat Chughtai". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 September 2008 [, accessed 19 September 2020.]

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