Rahman Abbas

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Rahman Abbas (born 30 January 1972) is an Indian fiction writer. He writes in Urdu and English.[1] Abbas has master's degrees in Urdu and English literature from Mumbai University.[2] His novels deal with themes of forbidden politics and love.[3] In the twenty first century Indian Urdu fiction, Rahman has emerged as the finest story teller with great human sensibilities and seriousness. Eminent scholar and former President of Sahitya Academy-New Delhi, Prof Gopichand Narang has said that Rahman's fourth novel 'Rohzin', is a turning point in the history of Urdu novels.[4]],[5]],[6]],[7]]]

Abbas's first Urdu novel, Nakhalistan Ki Talash (2004), written when he was 24, but published after a few years and had invited a lot of criticism. The Islamist had alleged that novel is obscene. After ten long years of legal battle a court in Mumbai has dropped the charges in 2016 and cleared the novel of obscenity allegations. Rahman had said in his interview that he had written this novel soon after finishing University but it took him years to publish it.[8]], [[[9]]] [clarification needed]. Publication of 'Nakhlistan Ki Talash' had created a storm in conservative Urdu literary circles, and protests by religious conservatives forced him to resign from his post as lecturer in a junior college in the heart of Mumbai.[10] The novel tells the story of a young educated Muslim man whose increasing alienation in a post-1992 Mumbai leads him to a Kashmiri terrorist organization. He finds his cultural identity blurred during the rise of right-wing and hate-filled politics in India at the turn of the 21st century. He tries to demonstrate his identity and historic self, ultimately leading to his tragic and mysterious end.[11] Abbas was arrested on charges of obscenity following the publication of this novel.[10]

In his collection of literary essays, Ekkiswin Sadi Men Urdu Novel aur Digar Mazameen (Urdu Novel in Twenty-First Century and Other Essay)[12] he stated that as a young boy, he was influenced by the Modernist movement and wrote a few short stories which were published in the literary magazine Shabkhoon. Later, reading Latin American, Western, and African novels, especially the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, George Orwell, Victor Hugo, Milan Kundera, and Ben Okri, played a significant role in his formation as a novelist. He has discussed how this transformation took place in detail in debates about two of his novels, Ek Mamnua Muhabbat Ki Kahani and Khuda Ke Saaye Mein Ankh Micholi, held on Canada's Urdu TV channel, Rawal TV.[citation needed] He won the state Sahitya Akademi Award in 2011 for his third didactic novel Khuda Ke Saaye Mein Ankh Micholi. He returned his State Academy Award four years later along with Nayantara Sahgal, Ashok Vajpeyi, Uday Prakash and other writers against the wave of intolerance in Indian society which was triggered by right wing politics.[13]

"Rohzin" (The Melancholy of Soul) is the fourth novel of Rahman Abbas which was published on 14 February 2016 at Rekhta Festival in New Delhi.,[14][15] This novel has been a massive success both in India and Pakistan. 'The Hindu' stated that Rehman Abbas raises the art of story-telling to a new level.[16] Famous critic Shafey Kidwai writes that Rehman Abbas has an uncanny way of subverting what people generally believe. Depicting a much longed- for meeting of the lovers, the narrator tells that both took pains to conceal their intimate feelings. Similarly, the novelist has a great power of recording of action in words – dialogue- and he uses dialogues to explore emotional, physical and semantic spaces through the prism of individual sensibility of the characters.[16] Whereas critic Nizam Siddique has said that 'Rohzin' is a major novel and one of the most controversial because of its theme and capacity to subvert the concept of classical morality. 'Rohzin' is said to be the ultimate masterpiece of Rahman Abbas.[17][18]


  • Nakhalistan Ki Talash [The Search of an Oasis], (Novel-2004)
  • Ek Mamnua Muhabbat Ki Kahani [A Forbidden Love Story], (Novel-2009)
  • Khuda Ke Saaye Mein Ankh Micholi [Hide and Seek in the Shadow of God] (Novel-2011)
  • "Rohzin [The Melancholy of Soul], (Novel-2016)

A trilogy of his early writing, entitled Teen Novels (ISBN 978-93-81029-29-9), was published in 2013 by Arshia Publication.