Remembering Faiz’s Poetry in the Age of Bulldozer Governance and Right-wing Brigade Weapons Training Camps

What if Razia Sultan was still ruling Delhi!

Read, rather reread, verse after verse on the former ruler of Delhi, Razia Sultan, against the background of bulldozers circulating in the various localities and mohallas of Delhi. What if she still reigned here, in the capital? Would she have sat in one of these offices and not moved to protect her citizens?

She would be out there, fighting for the rights of her citizens! Yes, she was a brave and courageous ruler who ruled Delhi centuries ago, but to this day she is remembered!

In fact, today’s modern poets have written line after line about her, about her courage and brilliant movements. Here I quote verses about her from the anthology edited by Bushra Alvi Razzack – ‘Dilliwali – Celebrating The Woman Of Delhi Through Poetry – A Multilingual Anthology’:

These lines of Aabha Vatsa, taken from his poem – Mallika Delhi: Razia Sultan –

“Razia Sultan, the darling daughter/

Of Iltutmish, the Sultan of Delhi/

Was born with a meteoric fate /

It set medieval India ablaze. /

His reign of less than four years/

A torchbearer/

Not just for women in the contemporary world/

But as long as life exists/

Razia/

No Sultana/

But the Supreme Sultan herself/

Grew up like a princess/

Majestic and beautiful/

Totally aware of fate/

That Allah had granted him…”

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