REVOLUTIONARY LIFE: MEMOIRS
OF A POLITICAL ACTIVIST
Rs 250 Hb 1997
1940, Lakshmi Sahgal left for Singapore to work
as a doctor, and came into contact with a group
of expatiate Indians who would form the core of
the future Indian National Army. In July 1943, Netaji
Subhash Chander Bose called upon her to participate
in the formation of the Rani Jhansi Regiment, the
first and only all-woman regiment in modern Indian
history. Trained in warfare and weaponry, this regiment
participated actively in the INA’s struggle
for freedom until 1946, when the INA was disbanded,
only to the remembered as The Forgotton Army.
Here, at last, is Lakshmi Sahgal’s autobiography
in its original form, as she wrote it decades ago.
One of the few first-person accounts of the time,
it is a document of immense political and historical
value, and offers a unique perspective on women
in armed struggle and the freedom movement.
into an highly political family. She had her
early political education at home, when the
family boycotted English goods and spoke only
Malayalm and Tamil. She was politically active
in Madras University and later joined the
INA. After independence she practised as a
gynaecologist in Kanpur and helped the women
in the community who had been repatriated
from Malaya and Singapore when the INA was
disbanded. She was also vice president of
the All India Democratic Women’s Association
and president of the U.P. state unit of the
Janwadi Mahila Samiti.