Sahitya Akademi Awardee

Sahitya Akademi Awardee

Rahman Abbas Shows a World of Patriarchy, Caste Prejudice and Religious Intolerance

Sahitya Akademi Awardee, Rahman Abbas’s New Novel Unfolds a World of Patriarchy, Caste Prejudice, Religious Intolerance and Exploitation in the Name of Faith

On the Other Side by Rahman Abbas covers the psychological dilemmas of an enlightened, eccentric and liberal man from Mumbai living in an orthodox Muslim society.

In the novel, Abdus-Salam Kalshekar’s only aspiration was to publish his Dastan-e-Ishq, a seven-volume ‘Saga of Passion’, before his death. While Salam could only complete three volumes, an author sets out to write a novel about Salam, unveiling the fifty-three diaries about the latter’s past amours that consume the saga. It also reveals a certain beloved whom Salam could never bring himself to write about.

While Salam’s life unfolds a world that is riddled with patriarchy, caste prejudice, religious intolerance and exploitation in the name of faith, the deeper conflicts of love and abandonment are revealed in this expertly crafted narrative, now available in an English translation.

An existential novel set in the context of Indian society, it raises questions not only about our lives but also about the form of the novel itself. It exposes the process of Islamization in Indian Muslim society in a unique way with undertones of both seriousness as well as humor.

This book has received the Maharashtra State Urdu Akademi Award for the year 2011. Now translated to English, it is currently on pre-order and scheduled to release across the country on 30th June, 2024.

About the author

Rahman Abbas

Rahman Abbas won India’s highest literary award, the Sahitya Akademi Award, in 2018 for his fourth Urdu novel Rohzin. He has also won four state Sahitya Akademi awards. Rahman writes in Urdu and English. When his first novel was published, Islamists had accused him of spreading obscenity through his work and had filed a case against his novel. He was forced to resign from his job, as he was teaching at a Muslim institution. Rahman fought a court trial for over ten years and was acquitted in 2016 of obscenity charges. Rohzin has been translated into German, English and Hindi, and has received the prestigious LitProm Grant managed by the Swiss and German governments. Rahman lives in Mumbai.

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