The slumdog princess: How the descendant of the Indian Moghul rulers who built the Taj Mahal now liv

Geek

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
The slumdog princess: How the descendant of the Indian Moghul rulers who built the Taj Mahal now lives in desperate poverty




  • Sultana Begum, 60, married the great-grandson of Bahadur Shah Zafar
  • After ruling India for 300 years, he was overthrown by Britain in 1857
  • Descendants of the last Mughal emperor survive on a pension of 60
  • Their home is a two-room hut in a bleak shantytown in Kolkatta







Her ancestors would have lived in luxurious palaces while they ruled over a vast and wealthy empire.


But Sultana Begum's lifestyle is a far cry from the conditions enjoyed by the rulers of the Mughal empire.


She is confined to life in a slum on the outskirts of Kolkatta (once known as Calcutta).


The 60-year-old is the great grand daughter-in-law of the last emperor of India, Bahadur Shah Zafar, and struggles to make ends meet on a basic pension, despite her royal heritage.


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Destitute: Her relatives once ruled over a mighty empire, but now she barely has enough money to look after her family of her six children, five daughters and one son


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Family: Sultana Begum is seen with her Grandson Muhammed Jejan in West Bengal, India. She receives a sultry 60 a month as part of a pension


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Filthy: Sultana Begum walks along the corridors of her tiny two-room home (left) and walks along the dirt-ridden streets in the slums outside Kolkata (right)




Ever since the death of her husband Prince Mirza Bedar Bukht in 1980, Sultana has descended into a life of poverty.



The Mughal heiress is forced to live in a tiny two-room hut in Howrah, a slum area of Kolkatta. She shares a kitchen with her neighbours and washes in the street using water from public taps.



Despite evidence that she is related to the 19th century royal family, Sultana goes about her daily life on a basic pension of just 60 a month.
Sultana, who lives with her only unmarried daughter, Madhu Begum, said: 'We have been living, but God knows how.



'My other daughters and their husbands are poor people, they barely survive themselves so cannot help us.'



She receives 60 (6,000 rupees) a month as part of her pension, which covers herself and her six children, five daughters and one son.
In recent years her plight has been highlighted by a number of campaigners, who lobbied authorities to provide more care for India's royal descendants, many of whom were left with nothing after British rule ended the Mughal dynasty.



The Mughal dynasty from which Sultana is descended contributed a vast architectural legacy to the Indian sub-continent throughout the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.



The Taj Mahal is one of the finest examples of monuments built by the Muslim emperors but the Mughals also built the Red Fort, the Agra Fort and the Lahore Shalimar Gardens most of which are now UNESCO world heritage sites.



But Sultana has spent years petitioning central and state governments to help her with basic living arrangements and a pension.


To date the government has provided a job for her grand-daughter Roshan Ara, who receives a salary of 150.



But many other family members, who are illiterate, failed basic government tests when offered jobs.



Instead, Sultana spent years running a small tea hut, before it was shut down and she turned her attentions to producing ladies clothing.
Sultana added: 'I am grateful there are some who have come forward to help me.



'My husband, the late Muhammad Bedar Bakht who was the son of Jamshid Bakht and grandson of Jawan Bakht, used to tell me that we come from respectable royal families who never begged for a living.



'I have always asked governments to provide me what my family deserves.'



Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, the great-grandfather of Sultana's husband, was placed on the throne in 1837. He was the last of the Mughal emperors who ruled India for three centuries.



In 1857, when Indian soldiers unified and mutinied against their British masters, Bahadur Shah Zafar was declared their commander-in-chief.
But when the uprising was crushed by the British in 1858, he was exiled to Rangoon, where he lived for five years until his death at at the age of 87.




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Poverty: Sultana Begum, the great grand daughter-in-law of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, is living in a tiny, two-room home in Howrah, India.




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Slum: Sultana Begum washes dishes outside her tiny two-bedroom home while Parbant Singh Maihari is seen taking a stand-up bath in West Bengal, India


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Profits: Sultana Begum tried to raise her income by running a tea stall and selling traditional female garments such as Salwar suits


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Career: Sultana Begum is pictured (right) hanging onto a tree at the side of the busy Howrah Road where she used have a tea stall and (left) she is sewing Indian dresses to earn extra income
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Zafar was accompanied into exile by his wife, Zeenat Mahal, and some of the remaining members of the family.


He died in exile on 7 November 1862 in Rangoon, which is now Yangon, the capital of Burma. and was buried at the site that later became known as Bahadur Shah Zafar Dargah.

In 1991, during a restoration exercise the original brick-lined grave was discovered and he was honoured as a saint by local Burmese Muslims.

His wife Zeenat Mahal, who died in 1886, and granddaughter Raunaq Zamani are buried alongside him.


Although many of Bahadur Shah's children and grandchildren were killed in the aftermath of the failed Indian Rebellion of 1857, descendants of his surviving children live in Detroit Michigan in the United States as well as in various locations in India and Pakistan.


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Struggling: Ever since the death of her husband, Prince Mirza Bedar Bukht, Sultana has struggled to make ends meet


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Nostalgia An illustration the last emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II alongside a photo in the Begum household (left) while an old picture of Sultana Begum is held up


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Funeral: Muhammed Bedar Bukht, husband of Sultana Begum and the grandson of Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar being buried after his death in West Bengal, India

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The Mughal Empire originated in Persia and was the dominant power in the Indian subcontinent between the mid-16th century and the early 18th century.


At its highest point, it ruled around a quarter of the world's population.


The Indian economy remained prosperous under the Mughals, because of the creation of a road system and a uniform currency, together with the unification of the country.



Cities and towns boomed under the Mughals; however, for the most part, they were military and political centres, not dedicated to commerce or industry.

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Palace: The stunning interior (left) of Zafar Mahal where the last emperor of India would have lived before he was exiled and the exterior (right) which has now been surrounded by Delhi


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Architecture: The Mosque built next to the Zafar Mahal in Delhi which Mughal emperors used for private prayer


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Remains: The rooftops of the Zafar Mahal in Delhi which would have housed emperor who ruled the Mughal dynasty


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...et-struggles-feed-children.html#ixzz2fZpg4GOZ
 
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Vitamin_C

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
Mughals represent a large portion of civilized Indian history. That woman should be brought to Pakistan and treated like a civilized country treats royalty.
Had the last emperor not been loyal to India and helped the British with their enslavement of India he would have still been the Sultan and Delhi.
 

JojoBubble

MPA (400+ posts)
We should bring them to Pakistan and give them royal treatment and massive coverage on media, if for nothing else ,than atleast to piss india and Brits off.
 

farooqak

Minister (2k+ posts)
This family at least deserves a royalty fee from the Taj Mahal. After all, it is her family ancestors who made it. They had so many palaces, at least the government of India could give them 1 small house.

I don't agree that they would be better off in Pakistan. We also a have a history of being unfaithful and have been ruled by tyrants. There is no guarantee their life would be better in Pakistan. People like Zardari would even take 10% from her small pension
 

ali-raj

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
The Reaping.

She is reaping what her ancestors sow earlier. They were negligent to their duties, which destroyed whole subcontinent.
By the way, Lot of people are living in India just like that, what makes her so special to have better treatment? That she is some emperors blood line. I think Indians should put her in trial against the crimes committed by her ancestors.

Just saying. being someones relative doesn't give you an automatic right to better treatment.
 

zahidsaleem

MPA (400+ posts)
If instead of building Taj Mhal, he would have builded universities and had done some welfare for the popes ( which he did not ) we whould have thought th other way...
Oxford University was built on this same era when he was wasting money on Taj Mahal...
 

ASQR1

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
If instead of building Taj Mhal, he would have builded universities and had done some welfare for the popes ( which he did not ) we whould have thought th other way...
Oxford University was built on this same era when he was wasting money on Taj Mahal...

Please do not judge him by the standard of today, he was a ruler In the years 1700s, after him English ruled for 200 years, had he been here in the last 100 years or so he would have built the universities, but than what are TODAY'S Muslims RULERS DOING, IT IS APPALLING THAT THEY SPEND PEANUTS ON EDUCATION BUT MILLIONS ON THEIR UPKEEP. it is not acceptable in Islam to bad mouth dead.
 

modern.fakir

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
This is irrelevant. Then going by those standards todays muslims havent done anything ! ...Why isnt zardari, nawaz or any other political personality or party building universities !

These guys still had alot more self respect than all our leaders combined today ! ..To build an empire that controls 25 % of the worlds population and then a powerfull military and to bring 550 independant states under one rule in a place as diverse as India is a herculean task !

66 years have gone by in modern India and their are 25 large independance movements going on.

The mughals did a lot of good BUT yes they made some mistakes and Allah swt punished them for this.

If instead of building Taj Mhal, he would have builded universities and had done some welfare for the popes ( which he did not ) we whould have thought th other way...
Oxford University was built on this same era when he was wasting money on Taj Mahal...
 

Humi

Prime Minister (20k+ posts)
All that rises must fall! this is something that the oppressing leaders and nations of today have forgotten!
 

Pakistani1947

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)

Mir Jafar (left) and his eldest son, Mir Miran (right).
Reign17571760 and 1763-1765
Full nameMir Muhammed Jafar Ali Khan Bahadaur
TitlesNawab Nazim of Bengal, Biharand Orissa (Nawab of Bengal)
Born1691
DiedJanuary 17, 1765
BuriedJafarganj Cemetery,Murshidabad
PredecessorSiraj ud-Daulah
SuccessorMir Qasim (after 1760) andNajimuddin Ali Khan (after 1765)
WivesShah Khanum Sahiba (m. 1727, d. August 1779)
Babbu Begum (d. 1809)
Rahat-un-nisa Begum (Mut'ahwife)
IssueSadiq Ali Khan Bahadur (Mir Miran)
Najimuddin Ali Khan Bahadur
Najabut Ali Khan Bahadur (Mir Phulwari)
Ashraf Ali Khan Bahadur
Mubaraq Ali Khan Bahadur
Hadi Ali Khan Bahadur
Fatima Begum Sahiba
Misri Begum
Roshan-un-nisa Begum Sahiba (Nishani Begum)

Husaini Begum and 2 more daughters.
DynastyNajafi
FatherSayyid Ahmed Najafi (Mirza Mirak)
Religious beliefsShia

Mir Jafar was a puppet of British East India company. After the defeat of Nawab Sirajuddoula the British ruled Bengal for next 200 years. Mir Jafar is widely reviled by the people of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.[SUP][citation needed][/SUP] The word "mirjafar" in Bengali and the phrase "meer jafar" in Urdu, are used much as quisling is used in English, and Jaichand of Kannauj in Indian history. Allama Iqbal, in his poetry wrote about his treachery in these words, "Jaffar az Bengal,Sadiq az Deccan; nang-e-deen, nang-e-millat, nang-e-watan" which mean Jafar(Mir) of Bengal and Sadiq(Mir) of Deccan are a disgrace to the faith, a disgrace to Nation, a disgrace to Country. British with the help of Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq were able to conquer Bengal and kingdom of Mysore (Sultanat-e-Khuda daad). Mir Jafar's great-grandson Iskandar Mirza, was appointed and served as the first President of Pakistan.


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mir_Jafar
 
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ASQR1

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
Pakistan should make her the empress:) lol.
You guys are the most prejudice people, look how you killed Sikhs, for stupid reason, as you killed thousands for one life, you have no respect for the ancestors of your rulers who ruled India for 500 years, so what will one will deduct from all this, that you guys have no class, as a matter of fact you guys are have strange ways, you kill innocents, and insult rulers, your pujaris worship topless, you are living denials, Mr. as per all of your posts you deny every thing and than on top you spin it.
 

taban

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
dil tou khafa howa hay magar mughloon ne bhee ghareeb k liyeh kiya kiya tha unhoon ne siwaey imartain banana k dolat urranay k auratain ch#$@%^nay k is khitay k logon k liyeh kuch nahee kiya be hu haal allah is pe reham karay aur is ki sukhtee muaaf karay.
 

ASQR1

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
dil tou khafa howa hay magar mughloon ne bhee ghareeb k liyeh kiya kiya tha unhoon ne siwaey imartain banana k dolat urranay k auratain ch#$@%^nay k is khitay k logon k liyeh kuch nahee kiya be hu haal allah is pe reham karay aur is ki sukhtee muaaf karay.
did you not read in my posts above that Mughal rule ended in 1700 and in that time things were totally different, Hindus have nothing but insults for Muslims in general as is apparent by killings and are particularly insulted Muslim rulers, had Muslim ruler done what was done to locals in every other continent, there would have been only hand full of Hindus left living in reservations, so get of your high horse and see the facts for what they are. Now these Hindus have no respect for anyone, they insult even in this day and age, Aurangzeb, they insult other ruler by lies about how they built Taj Mahal and shahjahan had the hands of builder cut off. shame, shame, shame.
 
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GreatMirZa

New Member
I have direct Blood linelink with the brother of Siraj u din[Aka buhdar shah Zafar], our Fore father whos named by Qutub u Din the real brother of Siraj u din who were sons of Akbar MirZa ll.



There were 5 sons of Akbar MirZa ll named by Jahangir,Jahan Shah, Bahadur Shah Zafar [Siraj u Din],Salim, Qutub u Din.
and Qutub u Din is the great great great grand father of mine. we can prove with DNA tests. i have complete secret details of our forefathers how they went underground...

We spend our life in misery but never beg for a penny or support by govt.

As many of you know that after the mutiny of 1857 many mughals hide their identity from british & they start living in a misery condition some adopted odd profession to live but they never Beg.


kind regards
MirZa
 

Temojin

Minister (2k+ posts)
I have direct Blood linelink with the brother of Siraj u din[Aka buhdar shah Zafar], our Fore father whos named by Qutub u Din the real brother of Siraj u din who were sons of Akbar MirZa ll.



There were 5 sons of Akbar MirZa ll named by Jahangir,Jahan Shah, Bahadur Shah Zafar [Siraj u Din],Salim, Qutub u Din.
and Qutub u Din is the great great great grand father of mine. we can prove with DNA tests. i have complete secret details of our forefathers how they went underground...

We spend our life in misery but never beg for a penny or support by govt.

As many of you know that after the mutiny of 1857 many mughals hide their identity from british & they start living in a misery condition some adopted odd profession to live but they never Beg.


kind regards
Mir’Za

So happy to see you brother. I'm the descendant of Mirza Sultan. And I don't think we should even try to clarify it by offering DNA tests, who is anyone to even think about testing our bloodline. We are what we are. My great great grandfather fled to Gujrat right after 1857 jang e azadi which everyone calls rebellion or mutiny and then showed their identity while living in kaithal, then migrated to Pakistan.

Again, happy to see you here.