Film on Begum brings Avadh’s queen to life


It will be a royal evening for Lucknow coming Monday when in the company of the last Queen of Awadh, Begum Hazrat Mahal, the city will come face to face with its past. In the 137th death anniversary year of the Queen, an unsung hero of the first war of Independence of 1857, a documentary on her will be screened on May 30.

Claimed to be the first ever film on the Queen, the 26-minute documentary has been directed by national award-winning director Mohi-ud-Din Mirza. Commissioned by the Films Division, the film will be screened by the Lucknow Expressions Society along with the UP Tourism department. Prince Kaukab Qader Meerza, great grandson of the Queen, will also be coming to Lucknow from Kolkata for the day.

The screening comes with an aim to enlighten people about the sacrifices of the freedom fighter for the motherland. Documenting the history of Begum Hazrat Mahal as also including her direct descendants, it shows the Queen in her role as one of the first women revolutionaries in India’s independence struggle.

“It is for the first time that a film has been made on my great great grandmother who is someone that we have grown looking up to,” said Manzilat Khan, a direct descendant of King Wajid Ali Shah and Begum Hazrat Mahal. Khan will also be in the city on the day. It was after King Wajid Ali Shah was exiled to Matiaburj in Kolkata that the Queen fought valiantly against the British troops annexing Awadh, defeating them in Alambagh. She later took refuge in Nepal where she died on April 7, 1879.

“At the time when the independence of women was just a notion, she had a vision for the country’s freedom from the British. She chose to fight and take it on herself. Not many know about her struggle and the film will rightfully do that,” added Khan.

source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Lucknow / TNN / May 26th, 2016

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