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Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain Essay, Research Paper

Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain was born into a Bengali Muslim upper-class household in the little small town of Pairaband in the territory of Rangpur, North of present twenty-four hours Bangladesh, so a portion of the colonial British state of Bengal Presidency ( Hossain 37 ) . The exact day of the month of her birth is still unknown since no particular records have been kept. Her female parent was Rahatunnessa Sabera Chowdhurani, the first of four married womans that her Rokeya s male parent had. Not much is known of her except for the memory of a stiff conformance to purdah. Her male parent Zahiruddin Mohammad Abu Ali Saber, a knowing, influential big landholder otherwise known as a zemindar & # 8212 ; whose monolithic estate was a fastness for the traditional manner of life ( Hossain 37 ) . He has besides been understood to hold learned and known seven different linguistic communications. Rokeya besides had two brothers and two sisters.

Bing male childs, her brothers were foremost educated at place ( as was the tradition ) so sent to St. Xavier & # 8217 ; s, one of Calcutta & # 8217 ; s most esteemed colleges. Rokeya and her sisters merely received traditional instructions at place. As it was the tradition in high-class Muslim households, misss learned to read Arabic ( so as to be able to read the Koran ) and Urdu ( in order to read the popular books on & # 8220 ; feminine & # 8221 ; behavior ) . Girls were kept from larning Bengali and English exactly because they were spoken by non-Muslims every bit good. Traveling against the grain, though, Rokeya & # 8217 ; s oldest brother, who was exposed to Western instruction, was in favour of educating adult females. He in secret taught Rokeya English and Bengali at place. Throughout her life, it was the waste of human potency that haunted Rokeya, and it strengthened her to contend against the unsighted observation of imposts she considered absurd ( Hossain 38 ) .

In 1896, Ibrahim was instrumental in the household get marrieding off Rokeya at age 16 to a widowman in his late 30 & # 8217 ; s, Syed Sakhawat Hossain, who was so a territory magistrate in the Bihar part of Bengal Presidency. Ibrahim was impressed with Syed & # 8217 ; s open-mindedness. Syed was educated both locally and in London. Rokeya and her hubby settled in Bhagalpur, Bihar. They had two girls, though none of the kids lived they both died in babyhood.

Syed, who was convinced that the instruction of adult females was the best manner to bring around the ailments of his society, encouraged his all-too-willing married woman to compose. It was to Sakhawat s great recognition that he encouraged his married woman to joint unconventional ideas in authorship and to print them ( Hossain 40 ) . He set aside money to get down a school for Muslim adult females. In 1909, 11 old ages after they had been married, Syed died and Rokeya instantly started the school in Bhagalpur in his memory.

In 1910, a feud over household belongings with her stepdaughter & # 8217 ; s hubby and caused her to shut down the school in Bhagalpur, abandon her house, and travel to Calcutta where she re-opened the Sakhawat Memorial Girls & # 8217 ; School. The figure of pupils went from 8 in 1911 to 84 in 1915 ( Hossain 41 ) . In 1917, the school was inspected by Lady Chelmsford, married woman of the Governor General and Vicerory of India. After that, outstanding people began to back up the school. By 1930, the school had evolved into a high school ( 10 classs ) where Bengali and English were regular classs.

In Calcutta, she became really involved in civil personal businesss. In 1916, she founded the Anjuman-e-Khawatin-e-Islam, Bangla ( Bengali Muslim Women & # 8217 ; s Association ) . In 1926, Rokeya presided over the Bengal Women & # 8217 ; s Education Conference held in Calcutta. She was active in arguments and conferences refering the promotion of adult females until her decease in December of 1932, shortly after presiding over a session during the Indian Women & # 8217 ; s Conference in Aligarh. Many male a

nd female Hindu and Muslim militants, including pedagogues every bit good as broad leaders of her state, grieved her decease.

Her bequest is that of a Muslim adult female who was born and raised in solitude. Yet, she was able to lift beyond the restrictions that her society placed upon her. With the aid of her & # 8220 ; broad & # 8221 ; brother and hubby, she was non merely able to compose ( in Bengali and English ) but took important stairss to educate the adult females in her state.

As antecedently stated, it was to Sakhawat s great recognition that he encouraged his married woman, Rokeya, to joint unconventional ideas in authorship and to print them. She was the first and first women’s rightist of the Bengali Muslim Society. Rokeya published her narrative called Sultana s Dream in 1905 in the Indian Ladies Magazine. Sultana s Dream is a narrative of pleasant phantasy that adult females may possess modules and endowments tantamount to or greater than work forces that they are capable of developing themselves to a phase where they may achieve complete command over nature without any aid from work forces and make a new universe of perfect beauty, great wealth and goodness ( Hossain 2 ) . Sultana s Dream was one of many narratives in her womb-to-tomb and grim holy war waged against some of the basic rules of her society. Rokeya marshaled her ideas and statements in order to oppugn the bing order of things, to raise uncertainties about apparently recognized facts, and to actuate people to take the necessary actions to alter imposts she considered evil and unfair ( Hossain 3 ) solitude.

In mention to purdah the act of veiling Rokeya did non reject veiling wholly as she herself wore a head covering. She advocated modestness and said that veiling should non be in a mode that would impede instruction for adult females. Her primary concern was the formal instruction of adult females. For Rokeya, adult females ( veiled or unveiled ) need to be self-sufficing. And in order to acquire support from work forces in her state, she argued that adult females become better & # 8220 ; home-managers & # 8221 ; when educated. However, her ultimate end was that adult females, and peculiarly Muslim adult females in her state, would make their fullest potencies as human existences, would be able to prosecute their ain involvements instead than trusting on the work forces in their lives for their wellbeing. Likewise with the idea, pattern, and thought of privacy.

All over India the act of privacy is observed, non merely against work forces but besides against adult females outside one s ain household. No adult female, except the closest dealingss and maidservants, are allowed to see an single miss ( Hossain 24 ) . Rokeya wrote a figure or studies titled The Secluded Ones where she gave narratives and facts where she explains cases where privacy and the act of solitude took topographic point. In general summarisation, her short studies continuously pick apart the Acts of the Apostless of adult females and work forces, and so go on to give side kicks & # 8212 ; her beliefs and feelings & # 8212 ; about each single state of affairs. The studies are mini sarcasms in themselves that depict life and how she feels about it, which is what she was seeking to accomplish and accomplished at making so.

Feminism is said to be the theory of the political, economic, and societal equality of the sexes, and organized activity on behalf of adult females & # 8217 ; s rights and involvements. As stated before, throughout her life the waste of human potency haunted Rokeya from what she witnessed the act of privacy and solitude. Therefore, it strengthened her to contend against the unsighted observation of imposts she considered absurd ( Hossain 38 ) i.e. the creative activity of her schools for adult females that grew enormously over clip. In my sentiment Begum Rokeya was genuinely a women’s rightist.


Hossain, Rokeya Sakhawat. Sultana s Dream. New York: Markus The Feminist Press at The City University of New York, 1988