Abadi Bano Begum: The forgotten ‘Mother India’.
The dry pen of history has written the names of several outstanding personalities as those who contributed immensely to the cause of their motherland and left their indelible stamp on the firmament of Indian glory. A string of such names pass before our eyes when we read through the collection of memories, in our school text books of history pen down such names introducing them to the mainstream where as leaving few unrecognized.
In this article i would like my readers to draw their attention towards other personalities whose contributions are equally appreciated as those into mainstream history, one of the most influential name is of Abadi bano Begum commonly know as Bi Amman, whose selfless services, huges sacrifices towards her nation shouldn’t be ignored.
Abadi Bano Begum , mother of Mohammad Ali and Shaukat Ali who were also part of the indian national movement had a very important role in the movement as her contemporaries like Sarojini Naidu, Kamaladevi Chottopadaya, Annie Besant and the list goes on.
Abadi Bano Begum coming from a humble muslim family of Rampur, was a farsighted and a progressive lady, she discarded the shackles of a secluded life to come forward and attempt to free their motherland from the forieng rule. She did away with the Purdah and left her imprint on the masses, she had a rudimentary knowledge of Persian, Arabic and Urdu. A lady of multi dimensional qualities, she became ‘Bi Amman’ for everyone .
Abadi Bano Begum participated in the Non-coorperaton movement. The traditionally home centred women of the urban middle classes joined processions and picketing.
Addressing a meeting she said the Indians have committed two follies during the last 150 years, it was they who sided with the British which brought about the capture of their own king and secondly, they helped the English during the outbreak of 1857.
“If Indians had not done so, there was no possiblity of these merchants getting supremacy in India and shackling Indians in the fetters of serfdom. Be man and carry out the determination you have formed.”
During the non cooperation movement , Bi Amma quoted :
“Hone wali baat jo hai wo to ho hi jaigi.
Zulm karte karte zalim khud ba khud thak jaiga.”
Bi amma with her powerful speeches generated the sense of oneness, unity and awakend the national consciousness among the indians. Hindus and Muslims saw each other as one nation, fighting for one cause against the imperial rule , this was not an easy task to win the trust of own people and encouraging them to come forward and participate in the struggle, Abadi Bano Begum did this by travelling around india touching the interior parts as well.
One of her visit to Bihar in 1922 has been recorded, where she moved from various places like Arah, Gaya, mongyr, Patna participated in public meetings along with personalities like Mr. Mazharul haqq, Dr Mahmood, Abdul Hakim Vakil etc.
I would like to conclude , saying : It is the need of an hour to bring out such personalities into the mainstream history and introduce them and their contribution in the making of today’s India , apart from Abadi Bano Begum there were many other women whose struggles are worth knowing , such as Aruna Asif ali , Sarala Devi, Susheela Nair etc .
“You don’t need to be a historian for knowing a nations history “. : Sufia fatima