Welcome to Peter Harrington Books

129785 129785_1 129785_2 129785_3

Jai Hind....

The Diary of a Rebel Daughter of India with the Rani of Jhansi Regiment.

Availability: In stock

Published: Bombay Janmabhoomi Prakashan Mandir, 1945

Stock Code: 129785

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


First edition, scarce with only 3 locations in Copac (Oxford, Sussex and Cardiff; BL has a second printing). A fascinating and melodramatic text, now considered to be the fictionalised journal of a female Indian soldier fighting for the anti-British, Indian National Army during World War Two written by Captain Lakshmi (Sahgal), leader of the army's Rani of Jhansi Regiment, "the first all-female infantry fighting unit in military history" (Hildebrand).

Named after the warrior Queen of Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, who had fought the British in 1857, this unit was formed by Subhas Chandra Bose, leader of Azad Hind (Free India) state, based in Singapore from 1943 to 1945, in order to promote the full participation of women in the Indian Independence movement. The author stresses the willingness of Indian women to sacrifice their lives to bring about the creation of an free India. "It is the snobbishness of the orthodox male that makes him take this supercilious attitude to us, women soldiers... Just give us a little time, and we shall prove to you that we can make really tough soldiers. You shall know that the timid wife who shrieked at the presence of a tiny cockroach or a rat, has changed into a Rani of Jhansi, who will not shrink from killing because her country, her patriotism, demands it" (p. 70). The precise nature of the text is still debated. A loosely inserted publicity slip claims that it is was "no idle journal of an arm-chair egotist, the vapourings of a society doll, nor the swoops of a well-trained news hound. It is the straighforward, first-hand, matter-of-fact account by an Indian Woman Revolutionary, who took up the gun to fight with the Rani of Jhansi Regiment". However, it is now generally believed that it was, in fact, a novelisation of the events written by Captain Lakshmi, the woman appointed by Bose as commander of the Regiment and his minister for women's affairs. "Captain Lakshmi was the perfect model for the new Indian woman: independent, intelligent, well educated and beautiful" (Hildebrand, p. 109). She later became one of India's most prominent communists and represented the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the Indian parliament.

"The manuscript was secretly brought out of Rangoon by an Indian journalist Amritlal Seth who published it anonymously for her in India in 1945" (Hildebrand, p.195). It was released on 5th November to coincide with the beginning of the trial of three members of the INA for treason, an event which became a central rallying point for post-war Indian independence activists. Subsequently, the book has been treated by many as a genuine historical account of the events of 1943 to 1945, rather than what it is: an expression of the hopes and ambitions of a pioneering Indian feminist leader.

Confused? Read our glossary


Ocatvo. Original publisher's boards, title and INA device in black to front cover. With the dust jacket. Housed in tricolour cloth solander box, the colours of the INA flag with spinning wheel device in blue, INA gilt to spine.


11 doubled sided plates with half-tone photographs.


Boards a little rubbed and foxed, text block mildly toned. A very good copy in a very good dust jacket, with a little rubbing and very light chipping.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200. View Full Details


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book

Peter Harrington Limited. Registered office: WSM Services Limited, Connect House, 133-137 Alexandra Road, Wimbledon, LONDON SW19 7JY.
Registered in England and Wales No:3609982 Copyright © 2018, Peter Harrington. All rights reserved.

credit cards logo