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A GREAT INDIAN QUEEN

THE BEGUM OF BHOPAL. Probably it is because tho Englishwoman knows so little of tho history of India that tlioeo who talk of feminine equality do not hold up the State of Bhopal a* a shining example of what women can ao in government. For it has had a succession cf three remarkably able ©••men at tho head of its affairs, and oven before that time, Kudrin Eegum, wile of tho lost male ruler of the btate, oa his death, assumed tho regency and retained it for 18 years, until sh« abdicated in favor of her daughter. She, too, was an exceptional woman, to whom Queen Victoria and tho Indian Government accorded repeated marks of favor in t..e seclusion in which she spent her latter years. Among all the rulers of the native ■States of India, there is no one else who stands out in commanding personality os does tho Nawah Mu tan jahan Bcgam cl Bhopal- him iias distinctions unique- in many directions. No other woman at this moment tills, or anpec.rs likely to fill, an Imli an throne. >he alone of her sex, with the exception of the Queen-Empress, wears the mantle and insignia of tho Grand Cross of the Order of tho Star of India, and is quite alone in tho corresponding exalted rank of the Order of tho Indian Empire. To these she adds the Crown of India in unique combination. X’o other woman up and down that great land receives a salute of 10 guns on all occasions of State ceremony. -She is a ■brilliant E;.v!irii and Persian scholar, she lias travel 101 l widely, she enjoys equally the confidence of tnoa Herne and Indian G'fvcrnnii-nte. and of hosts of native and English friends. —Called to Rule.— It was no easy position in which Sultan Jahan found herself when she was called bo rule the State in June, 1901. It is a. large territory, covering over 8.2C0 square miles, and-in the last decade it has made sready advance in all directions. Hero it is jvrhaps hardly necessary to recount in detail hew the native military force has been brought up to the standard of Im-

perial service, nor need one give elaborate particulars of the improvements introduced by her into the hospitals, into tho system of maternity nursing, and as regards sanitation. Railways have beep extended; no Indian State' has a better water supply. Moreover, the State revenues are again upon a safe and euro foundation. Medical aid for the women and children was provided in Phopal as early as anywhere in India, and as far bade as 1890 there was a zenana hospital under the care of a qualified medical woman. Later on a better one' was built and named after the Marchioness o£ Lansclowne. Tho Begum has always given un- ( qualified support to this movement. —Practical Education.— In regard to general education, too, she took steps to amend matters. On her accession, the State, in spite of earlier efforts, had become decidedly backward in this dircticu, and though" them were schools, few of the lads had profited by them. Example, she thought, would be better than precept, and she decided not only to found a school, which wa<s named | after Queen Alexandra, but to send her i own youngest son to it. Tho result has | been encouraging, anil those of good posi- | tion and holding tho more important offi- | rial posts are now sending their- boys to receive an education likely to bo of pracj t-irnl use to them in later life. ! Altogether, one. of the inert remarkable i women of this or any ether period is t Nawab Sultan Jahan Regum, and the Bri- ! tish Rni in India has no wiser or more j loyal supporter. •

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141211.2.59

Bibliographic details

A GREAT INDIAN QUEEN, Issue 15673, 11 December 1914

Word Count
628

A GREAT INDIAN QUEEN Issue 15673, 11 December 1914

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