A Contemplation on ‘Sultana’s Dream

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Priyanka Chakrabarty


Sultana’s Dream is a piece written by the most prolific Muslim woman intellectual Begum Rokeya Shekhawat, published in the Ladies Magazine in 1905, from Madras. She spoke against patriarchy in Muslim community. Her Sultana’s Dream depicts a dream sequence but it is not simply a sequence for entert ainment. It rather speaks for a transformation in society to bring women out of the boundaries of four walls of home and to work in the public sphere without interference of men at all. Through a dream, she challenges the dogmas, associated with Muslim women. Her own life is an example of many such practices, like confinement in a j
enana system, etc. This piece attempts to review as to how beautifully the text is written and how radically forceful it is that encourages the readers to think of the degraded condition of women and how women particularly, never question the same. She brings about certain unbelievable sequences of those days
through her writing. At that time, women’s education itself was a taboo. However, some consensus were developed by the reformers in both Hindu and Muslim communities—for them education for women was essential so that she become a good companion for her husband and a good mother. An idea that women need education for her individual growth was very rare. In spite of living and growing in such a society, it is contemplative as to how Begum Rokeya Shekhawat could manage to be so radical in her thoughts to challenge the patriarchal culture itself. She had managed to bring women into politics and scientific world, both traditionally male-dominated bastions. She had pronounced certain scientific marvels, which is relevant even today. Her idea of women’s’ participation in politics is simply ahead of her time but relevant in contemporary Indian politics. Here, an attempt has been made to review her pioneering work. Towards the end, there is
also an effort to see the condition of Muslim women in contemporary India.



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How to Cite
Chakrabarty, P. (2014). A Contemplation on ‘Sultana’s Dream. Space and Culture, India, 2(1), 33-39. https://doi.org/10.20896/saci.v2i1.57
Received 2014-04-11
Accepted 2014-06-29
Published 2014-06-29


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