Monday, January 11, 2010

हमारा महानगर says

Monday, January 4, 2010

बहादुर शाह जफर के वंशजों की मदद के लिए पत्रकार की पहल

नई दिल्ली, 4 जनवरी (आईएएनएस)। अंतिम मुगल शासक बहादुर शाह जफर की पौत्रवधू सुल्ताना बेगम आजाद हिन्दुस्तान में आर्थिक तंगी के चलते पश्चिम बंगाल में चाय बेचकर जीवन यापन करने को मजबूर हैं। अभी तक इनकी सुध लेने वाला कोई नहीं था लेकिन अब एक पत्रकार ने इनकी मदद के लिए एक अनोखी पहल की है।

पत्रकार शिवनाथ झा और उनकी शिक्षिका पत्नी नीना झा देश को गौरवान्वित करने वाली महान हस्तियों के वंशजों को समाज में यथोचित स्थान दिलाने के लिए 'आंदोलन एक पुस्तक से' के नाम से आंदोलन चला रहे हैं। इसी श्रृंखला में फिलहाल वे मुगल शासक बहादुर शाह जफर की पौत्रवधू सुल्ताना बेगम को गुमनामी से बाहर निकालने के लिए अभियान चला रहे हैं।

अखबार बेचकर करियर की शुरुआत करने वाले वरिष्ठ पत्रकार झा 'द प्राइम मिनिस्टर्स ऑफ इंडिया-1947-2009: भारत भाग्य विधाता' नामक कॉफी टेबल बुक के जरिए सुल्ताना बेगम के लिए धन इकट्ठा कर रहे हैं ताकि देश के अंतिम मुगल बादशाह के वंशजों को गुमनामी के अंधेरे से बाहर निकाला जा सके।

सुल्ताना बेगम फिलहाल कोलकाता के हावड़ा ेकी एक झुग्गी-बस्ती में चाय दुकान चलाती हैं। झा ने आईएएनएस से कहा, "जब मैं वर्ष 2008 में कोलकाता गया था तो मैंने सुल्ताना बेगम को वहां एक झुग्गी बस्ती में चाय बेचते देखा। जिसके वंशज देश पर राज करते थे उसकी मौजूदा हालात को देखकर मैं अचंभित हो गया। सुल्ताना बेगम के पास कुछ भी नहीं है।"

झा ने कहा, "सुल्ताना बेगम की सहायता के लिए मैंने अब तक पांच लाख रुपये इकट्ठा कर लिए हैं और उन्हें बैंक में जमा कर दिया है। कोलकाता स्थित एक विद्यालय ने भी उन्हें नौकरी देने का वादा किया है। वहीं एक कंपनी के मालिक ने उनके लिए घर देने का भी वादा किया है।"

झा ने कहा कि सुल्ताना बेगम की छोटी बेटी की शादी मार्च में होगी, जिसमे ं'आंदोलन एक पुस्तक से' आर्थिक सहायता करेगा।

'द प्राइम मिनिस्टर्स ऑफ इंडिया-1947-2009: भारत भाग्य विधाता' पुस्तक में प्रथम प्रधानमंत्री पंडित जवाहर लाल नेहरू से लेकर वर्तमान प्रधानमंत्री मनमोहन सिंह तक की उपलब्धियों का जिक्र किया गया है। पुस्तक में कई यादगार तस्वीरों और स्केच को शामिल किया गया है।

झा इससे पहले 'आंदोलन एक पुस्तक से' के जरिए 1857 की क्रांति के क्रांतिवीर तात्या टोपे के परपौत्र का पुनर्वास करा चुके हैं। उन्होंने अमर शहनाई वादक बिस्मिल्लाह खां की सहायता कर 'आंदोलन एक पुस्तक से' की शुरुआत की थी।

इंडो-एशियन न्यूज सर्विस।

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A coffee table book in aid of Bahadur Shah Zafar's descendants

NEW DELHI, Jan 4 (IANS): Sultana Begum, the great granddaughter of the last Mughal emperor of India, Bahadur Shah Zafar, has found an unusual saviour - a coffee table book on the former prime ministers of India.

The book, 'The Prime Ministers of India - 1947-2009' has been compiled by journalist Shivnath Jha and his teacher wife Neena Jha to raise money for Sultana Begum's rehabilitation. Sultana Begum, a poor widow with four daughters, sells tea in a kiosk in Shibpur, a semi-urban township, 80 km southwest of Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal.

When I came across her in 2008, the 56-year-old woman who lives in a slum of gold panners - an impoverished community from Bihar which sifts waste water used by the goldsmiths to produce traces of the metal - looked like just another squatter, Jha told IANS.

Her 8 ft by 8 ft dwelling in the slums of Cowies Ghat belied the fact that her forefathers once ruled the subcontinent. She had nothing left. I decided to help her make a better life, Jha said.

The journalist and his wife, who had earlier helped raise funds for shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan and legendary Maratha freedom fighter Tantiya Tope's descendants Vinayak Rao Tope, hit upon the idea to profile the prime ministers of India with a group of like-minded friends and politicians.

I intend to raise Rs.500,000 for her and deposit it in a bank so that she has a steady income. A school in Kolkata has also agreed to give her a job and the owner of a pharmaceutical company will donate an apartment to Sultana Begum, Jha said.

Her youngest daughter will be married in March with the money raised by the benefactors.

The book chronicles regimes of Indian prime ministers, including Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, V.P. Singh, Chandra Shekhar, P.V. Narasimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, H.D. Deve Gowda, I.K. Gujral and Manmohan Singh, through texts and photographs.

The text throws light on the personalities of the prime ministers, their achievements and political developments during their rule.

The photographs were shot by Vijender Tyagi and several other photographers.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Prime Ministers of India

A 448-page hard bond (12” x 12” size) pictorial coffee-table book, first of its kind, is dedicated to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, world’s second and India’s first PM late Smt. Indira Gandhi, India’s youngest and dynamic PM late Sri Rajiv Gandhi who laid their lives for the sovereignty and integrity of the country and victims of terrorists attack in India in the post-independence era, more importantly in Mumbai
Why This Book?
The first time that I came to know about Sultana Begum and met her in real pitiable conditions in Howrah was in January 2007. I was on an official visit to West Bengal to report the violent protests against the setting up of a car manufacturing unit in Nandigram, about 80 km southwest of Kolkata in Purba Medinipur district of West Bengal. At least 14 villagers had been gunned down by the state police there in the first week of January 2007.

After covering the tragedy, as I moved to Kolkata, I came across Sultana Begum – the 56 year old woman – who could easily pass off as just another slum dweller who runs a tea-stall to earn a living. Yet, she was not just another person.

Sultana Begum is the great great granddaughter (from Howrah line) of the last Mughal emperor and the hero of the 1857 mutiny – Bahadur Shah Zafar. Her 8ft X 8ft dwelling in the slums of Cowies Ghat at Foreshao Road (Shibpur) shockingly belied the fact that her family once ruled Indian sub-continent for over three centuries from the rampart of the Red Fort, and that Taj Mahal was erected as a mausoleum for one of her great great aunts, the astonishing beauty - Mumtaz Mahal.

Today there was absolutely nothing in the room in the name of her household goods. She had lost her husband Mirza Bedar Bakht in 1980. He was the son of Jamshid Bakht and grandson of Jawan Bakht. He had died in penury. After his death, the West Bengal government provided an accommodation for the family. It was near the Red Light District. Little wonder therefore that soon thereafter the local goons forcibly occupied the house by throwing a hapless Sultana Begum and her children out of the house.

Her misery brought tears to my eyes. Coming back to Delhi, I discussed her condition with my wife Neena, a teacher in St. Thomas School, Indirapuram and 12-year-old son Aakash and decided to visit her again to chalk out a rehabilitation plan for her. It was at this point that we decided to compile and edit a pictorial coffee-table book on the makers of India’s destiny, the Prime Ministers, to provide her a dignified life and perform marriage of her 33-year-old daughter Madhu from the proceeds of Prime Ministers of India:Bharat Bhaagya Vidhaata-1947-2009.

Only this could have been a way to express our humble tribute to Bahadur Shah Zafar – the last great Moghul and a prominent architect of India’s destiny and promote secular philosophy of Shehnai maestro Bharat Ratna late Ustad Bismillah Khan.

Bahadur Shah Zafar, was born in 1775 at Delhi and placed on the throne in 1837. He was last in the lineage of Mughal emperors. During Zafar’s emperorship the first War of Independence (1857 mutiny) was fought. Zafar was the Commander-in-Chief in the fight against the British. He was exiled to Rangoon (now known as Yangon in present day Myanmar) in 1858 where he lived his last five years and died in 1862 at the age of 87.