Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Saturday, February 23, 2019 01:32:43 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter
BREAKING NEWS:

Educationist, litterateur Begum Rokeya

photo by

By
07th-Dec-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Shahida Akhter :
Roquiah Sakhawat Hossain (1880-1932), litterateur, educationist, social reformer, played a pioneering role in awakening Muslim women. She was born on 9 December 1880 into a landed family of Pairaband in Rangpur. Zahiruddin Abu Ali Haider Saber was her father and Rahatunnesa Chowdhury, her mother. Her ancestors served in military and judiciary departments during the Mughal regime. Named Roquiah Khatun, she is commonly known as Begum Rokeya. She came to be known as Roquiah Sakhawat Hossain after her marriage. In the literary circle, she was commonly known as Mrs RS Hossain. Roquiah’s father was a multi-lingual intellectual and was versed in Arabic, Urdu, Persian, Bangla, Hindi and English. But yet, he could not transcend the spirit of the time about women education. Like the rest of the society, Saber was also of the opinion that women should not receive education beyond the bounds of home.
Thus, while Saber sent Roquiah’s elder brothers, Mohammad Ibrahim Abul Asad Saber and Abu Zaigam Khalilur Rahman Saber, to Saint Xavier’s College, Kolkata, Roquiah and her elder sister, Karimunnessa, were not sent to school. Though Roquiah was not allowed to receive formal education, she learnt both Bangla and English at home with the help of her brothers. Roquiah’s elder brothers and sister not only contributed to educating Roquiah, but also inspired her in writing.
In 1898, Roquiah was married to Syed Sakhawat Hossain, an Urdu-speaking man from Bhagalpur in Bihar. A Deputy Magistrate, Sakhawat Hossain was liberal and progressive, and encouraged his wife to study both Bangla and English and also inspired her to read literary works from home and abroad and she took the fullest advantage of the liberality of her husband. Besides reading the existing literature in Bangla very extensively, she also took to writing at the same time. Unfortunately, Roquiah had a short conjugal life. Her husband died on 3 May 1909. She had two daughters, but they died in infancy.
Despite her personal grief, Roquiah did not surrender to fate. Roquiah realised that women could be freed from their shackles only if they were educated and became independent economically. On 1 October 1909, she started a school for Muslim girls at Bhagalpur with only five students, naming it after her husband, Sakhawat Memorial Girls’ School. However, she could not continue at Bhagalpur for domestic reasons and decided to move to Kolkata.
At Kolkata, she set up Sakhawat Memorial Girls’ School in a house at 13, Waliullah Lane on 16 March 1911 with eight students. The school was upgraded to Middle English Girls’ School in 1917 and to High English Girls’ School in 1931, and all through the untiring efforts of Roquiah. As the school was growing through increase of students, it became difficult to accommodate them in the small campus. In search of a permanent campus, the school was shifted from place to place. In 1931, it was at 13, European Asylum Lane; in 1932, at 162, Lower Circular Road and in 1938, at 17, Lord Sinha Road. In spite of all difficulties, Roquiah ran the school for twenty-four years, facing hostile criticism and various social obstacles, and made it one of the best seat of learning available for Muslim girls. At its early stage, mostly non-Bengali girls were admitted to Sakhawat Memorial School, because Bengali guardians seldom chose to send female members of the family to school. Roquiah is said to have gone from house to house, persuading the parents in favour of female education. She assured the guardians that students of her school would be required to maintain purda at her school. Her tireless efforts paid off; girls of the Muslim middle class breaking the taboo against stepping out of the house to study. She also arranged horse-carriages so that girls could go to school and return home in purdah.
Sakhawat Memorial Girls' School gave lessons in Bangla, English, Urdu, Persian, home nursing, first aid, cooking, sewing, physical exercise, music etc. Roquiah used to visit other girls’ schools to see for herself the teaching methods employed there and how the schools were managed. As there were not many competent female teachers at that time in Kolkata, Roquiah herself used to train the teachers. It was at her repeated urgings that the government set up the Muslim Women Training School in Kolkata in 1919. Roquiah’s thought was that social injustices and extreme forms of purdah kept Muslim women backward and helpless. She felt that the attitude of the male society to women education must be changed before women could be emancipated.
Roquiah took to writing with a mission. Her mission was to change the discriminating attitude of men towards women.
She used her pen to change social prejudices, bigotry and ignorance. Roquiah wrote in a number of genres, short stories, poems, essays, novels and satirical writings, developing a distinctive literary style, characterised by creativity, logic and a wry sense of humour. She started writing in the Nabanoor from about 1903, under the name of Mrs RS Hossain. However, there is an opinion that her first published writing Pipasha appeared in the Nabaprabha in 1902.
She wrote regularly for the Saogat,Mohammadi,Nabaprabha, Mahila, Bharatmahila, Al-Eslam, Nawroz, Mahe-nao, Bangiya Mussalman Sahitya Patrika, The Mussalman, Indian Ladies Magazine etc.
Roquiah’s writings called upon women to protest against injustices and break the social barriers that discriminated against them. Oborodhbasini (The Secluded Women, 1931) is a spirited attack on the extreme forms of purdah that endangered women’s lives and thoughts. Her other noted works include Motichur (essays lst vol 1904, 2nd Vol. 1922), Sultana’s Dream (satire, 1908), Podmorag (novel, 1924). Sultana’s Dream, which she later translated into Bangla as Sultanar Swopno, is a satirical piece, set in a place called Lady Land, a world ruled by women. The second volume of Motichur includes stories and fairy tales such as Sourojogot (The Solar System), Delicia Hotya (translation of the Murder of Delicia, by Mary Corelli), Gyan-phol (The Fruit of Knowledge), Nari-Sristi (Creation of Women), Nurse Nelly, Mukti-phal (The Fruit of Emancipation) etc. Roquiah also wrote fine poetry. Her poem titled 'Saogat' was published on the first page of the first issue of the Saogat in Agrahayan, 1325 (1918 AD).
Roquiah Sakhawat Hossain founded an organisation called Anjuman-e-Khawatin-e-Islam, or the Muslim women’s society, in 1916 to make women aware of their rights.
The society was in the forefront of the fight for women’s education, employment and their legal and political rights.
The organisation defrayed the cost of education for a large number of girls and arranged marriages for many poor girls. It gave shelter to orphans and the destitute and extended financial help to widows. It also established some businesses for women to earn economic independence. Roquiah died in Kolkata on 9 December 1932. n

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Cricket »

BD lose to NZ in third ODI


Sports Reporter :Despite Sabbir Rahman's century Bangladesh lost to New Zealand by 88 runs in the third and last One Day International (ODI) match at Dunedin in New Zealand on Wednesday. New Zealand clinched the ODI series 3-0.Sabbir hit a marvelous 102. His 110-ball innings was laced with 12 fours ...

Editorial »

True spirit of Ekushey must be reflected everywhere


THE nation solemnly remembers the supreme sacrifice of the valiant souls who laid down their lives to establish the right of our mother tongue Bangla as the state language of Pakistan on this day in 1952. As the pioneering movement that led to our ultimate independence, Ekushey invokes the emotional ...

International »

Palestinian President rejects tax money from Israel


Reuters, Ramallah, West Bank :The Palestinian Authority (PA) will no longer accept tax revenues collected on its behalf by Israel following its decision to trim the sum over the PA's financial support of militants' families, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said.The cash-strapped Palestinian Authority, an interim self-government body set up following ...

City »

President of Bangladesh Diploma Student Nurses Union Sadia Akhter speaking at a press conference in DRU auditorium on Wednesday demanding Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's intervention in resisting conspiracy to ruin nursing education.


.

Entertainment »

Strong and confident female characters attract Kriti Sanon


Actress Kriti Sanon is all set for a superb 2019 with Luka Chuppi, Arjun Patiala, Housefull 4 and Panipat. The characters the actress is essaying are strong-minded and confident as she is drawn towards such empowered characters. Kriti’s role in Bareilly Ki Barfi as Bitti was that of an independent ...

Editorial »

Prevent gas cylinder and pipeline explosions


GAS explosion has become very common in the country nowadays. Even if someone escapes death, the victim has to suffer burn injury or loss of valuable organs. The authorities concerned still did not take any effective step to control such incidents. In the latest incident, seven people including a couple ...

Entertainment »

Malaika Arora opens up about her divorce with Arbaaz Khan


Malaika Arora, who is recently making headlines for her relationship with Arjun Kapoor and the couples social PDA, recently opened up about her divorce with Arbaaz Khan on a radio show. Talking about her divorce she revealed that it was a mutual decision to part ways so that they could ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Dr. Khondkar Mosharraf Hossain, among others, at a discussion organised by Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Muktijoddha Dal at the Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday demanding release of BNP Chief Begum Khaleda Zia.


.

International »

Pakistan PM urges talks on Kashmir blast, warns India against attack


Reuters, Islamabad :Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday Pakistan was ready to cooperate with India in its investigation of a deadly bombing in the disputed Kashmir region last week, which India blamed on Pakistan, but warned of retaliation if attacked.Tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors has risen sharply over the ...

Sports »

Al Amin Zumar and Mukhtar Hossain of Daffodil International University receiving the championship trophy of the Inter-University Badminton Tournament and a cheque of Taka 15,000 from Dr Mohammed Farashuddin, Chairman, Board of Trustees of East West University, at the playground of East West University in the city on Monday.


.

Editorial »

Not memorization, students need analytical involvement


ABOUT one lakh students have applied to the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) of the Primary and Mass Education Ministry for reexamination of their results, claiming that justice will be established if the authorities work properly. Some of students who failed in the examination alleged that they did not get ...

International »

`Crime may have been committed` by Trump: Ex-FBI official


AP, Washington :Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said in an interview that aired Sunday that a "crime may have been committed" when President Donald Trump fired the head of the FBI and tried to publicly undermine an investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia. McCabe also said in the ...

Entertainment »

Moury Salim prefers challenging roles


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Actress of present generation Moury Salim has been engaged with acting for many days. Though she has been busy with acting for long time but could not get the opportunity to work in challenging roles properly or the directors did not utilise her acting quality appropriately. On ...

Cricket »

Girona beat Real Madrid


BBC Online :Real Madrid missed the chance to go second in La Liga as Girona came from behind to record a surprise away win on Sunday.Casemiro powerfully headed in from Toni Kroos' deep cross from the right wing to give the hosts a first-half lead.Cristhian Stuani's penalty made it 1-1 ...

City »

Director General of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute Dr. Abul Kalam Azad speaking at the inaugural ceremony of a training programme on 'Marker Assisted Selection' at its seminar room in Gazipur on Monday.


.

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news