Rita Shahani’s – The Critic


Renowned Indian Sindhi author and critic Rita Shahani has passed away, which is a great loss of Sindhi Language and Literature, felt equally on both sides of the border. She was one of those female writers, who wrote extensively in different genres, having to her credit more than thirty five books. But at the same time due to non availability of her books here in Pakistan, she is less known as compared to Sundri Utamchandani, Popati Hiranandani or Kala Parkash. Rita Shahani was basically a prose writer and most of her articles have a touch of analytical criticism of selected persons and their writings. In this article I have chosen to write on Rita Shahani as a literary critic. Although she belonged to the generation of writers who had spent their childhood here in Sindh, yet her language shows strong influence of Hindi and Sanskrit. While reading her books, one needs a dictionary to understand certain expressions. However as a critic she shows a great talent in several articles, scattered in her anthologies. Her book “Akash Ganga”, published in 2012, is a collection of articles on the literary contribution of Prof. Mangharam Malkani, Popati Hiranandani, Gobind Malhi, Waliram Walabh, Hari Dilgir, Dr. Parso Gidwani, Dr. Motilal Jotwani, Dr. Narain Bharati, Laal Pushp, Hiro Shevkani from India and Shaikh Ayaz, Mehtab Mehboob, Atya Dawood, Murad Ali Mirza, Hamid Sindhi and Qazi Khadim from this side of the border. Her critical study of poets is quite impressive and shows her thorough knowledge of literary traditions of Sindh and Hind.

Fahmida Hussain