Have We Forgotten Razia Sultan?

The tomb of Razia Sultan, India’s first female Muslim ruler lies in ruins in Kaithal, Haryana.

Raiza Sultan was the Sultan of Delhi from 1236 to 1240. One of the few female sovereigns of the Islamic civilization, she was also a wise ruler, and would have been of one the most powerful Sultans had she not encountered tremendous resistance from the nobility. Aware of the power she held, and opposed to the patriarchal traditions of the court, Razia insisted on being addressed as a Sultan and not as a Sultana, which referred to the wife or the mistress of a Sultan. Razia Sultan was killed in 1240 and supposedly buried in Kaithal, Haryana. But today, the tomb of this great figure of Indian history is forgotten and dilapidated.

Kumar Mukesh, our Community Correspondent in Haryana, is very familiar with the area, and thus knows about the existence of the site. But in Kaithal very few are still aware of the presence of this piece of heritage on the outskirts of the city. The tomb, that used to be a place for worship and prayers, is now in disrepair and ignored by the residents.

The appalling state of the tomb is largely due to the negligence of the government. As with many sites in India, the grave was owned by a Muslim before Partition, and was handed over to the Indian Government at the time of Independence.  But no investments have been made to maintain and beautify the site, which has resulted in the lack of tourists. Thus, the site is slowly abandoned and falling in ruins.

Kumar has already written to the government officials, requesting them to take action to renovate the site. Because he received no reply and did not see any signs of improvement, Kumar now wishes that his video helps the change to happen, and sparks citizens’ will to preserve their heritage.

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