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Dada Comrade

Dada Comrade

Yashpal
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‘This fine translation has once again returned Yashpal’s story to that fraught arena where every warrior appears exhausted today’-Ravish Kumar

‘A daring and unusual novel’-Vasudha Dalmia

‘A remarkable contribution to literary translation in English’-Apoorvanand

Harish, a young revolutionary in pre-Independence Lahore, upsets his party by questioning its credo of underground armed resistance. Escaping the party’s wrath, he becomes a labour activist, but is soon framed by the British government. Meanwhile, Shailbala, his comrade and lover, must take a decision about her pregnancy. As she courageously defies social norms and stands up to her influential father, can she find an ally within the revolutionary party-with Dada–Harish’s erstwhile mentor and antagonist–as its autocratic leader?

Yashpal’s first and semi-autobiographical novel, Dada Comrade is considered the pioneering political novel of Hindi literature. It raises questions about freedom and equality, as well as about sexuality and marriage-subjects as urgent today as in those times. In this first-ever English translation, Simona Sawhney brilliantly captures the force and intensity of the original, which had heralded the arrival of a literary genius.

Imprint: India Penguin Modern Classics

Published: Jan/2022

ISBN: 9780143455127

Length : 272 Pages

MRP : ₹399.00

Dada Comrade

Yashpal

‘This fine translation has once again returned Yashpal’s story to that fraught arena where every warrior appears exhausted today’-Ravish Kumar

‘A daring and unusual novel’-Vasudha Dalmia

‘A remarkable contribution to literary translation in English’-Apoorvanand

Harish, a young revolutionary in pre-Independence Lahore, upsets his party by questioning its credo of underground armed resistance. Escaping the party’s wrath, he becomes a labour activist, but is soon framed by the British government. Meanwhile, Shailbala, his comrade and lover, must take a decision about her pregnancy. As she courageously defies social norms and stands up to her influential father, can she find an ally within the revolutionary party-with Dada–Harish’s erstwhile mentor and antagonist–as its autocratic leader?

Yashpal’s first and semi-autobiographical novel, Dada Comrade is considered the pioneering political novel of Hindi literature. It raises questions about freedom and equality, as well as about sexuality and marriage-subjects as urgent today as in those times. In this first-ever English translation, Simona Sawhney brilliantly captures the force and intensity of the original, which had heralded the arrival of a literary genius.

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Yashpal

Yashpal (1903-1976) was one of the most prolific and unusual Hindi writers of the post-Premchand generation. Yashpal studied at the National College, Lahore, where he joined the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). He began to write while serving a life sentence for his participation, as a comrade of Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad, in the armed struggle for India's independence. What he wrote formed his first collection of short stories, Pinjare ki Udan, published in 1938. After his release Yashpal dazzled Hindi readers with the political journal, Viplava, which he founded and published with the help of Prakashvati, a revolutionary, whom he later married in prison. He wrote more than fifty books including collections of short stories, novels, essays, a play and memoirs of his revolutionary days.

His two-volume magnum opus, Jhootha Sach (1958 and 1960), translated into English as This Is Not That Dawn, is widely considered to be one of the most penetrating narratives on the partition of India. His novel Meri, Teri, Uski Baat won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1976, and he was also a recipient of the Padma Bhushan.

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