Sunday, February 21, 2010

A date with Urdu litterateurs

Women litterateurs of Urdu have been a neglected lot. Arjuman Taraqqi Urdu (Hindi) has tried to make up for this lapse by coming out with a new year calendar extolling their achievements “in what can prove to be a collector's item,” says Khaliq Anjum, editor of the calendar. The calendar starts off with a quotation from Justice Anand Narain Milla, “I can change my religion but not my mother tongue Urdu.”

This shows how much the adherents of the language love it no matter which religion they belong to. The focus then shifts to Nawab Sultan Jahan Begum of Bhopal, who was born in 1858, one year after the outbreak of the Mutiny and died in 1930 when Mahatma Gandhi was negotiating with the British on early steps to usher in self-rule. The British Govt had granted an annual jagir of Rs.75,472 to her, which was a very big amount those days.

On June 30, 1901 the begum was made ruler of Bhopal State. Besides ruling Bhopal she also turned her attention to the literary field and got a number of books translated into Urdu from English and also wrote articles in several magazines, including the one brought out by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

Full report here Hindu

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