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The Claims of "Begum Vilayat Mahal"
Vilayat Mahal's Claim Challenged


Reproduced from a copy of a letter Dtd 4.4.1975 written by Prince Anjum Quder to
Shri S.P. Malik, M.L.A. Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India


Begum Vilayat Mahal

 

To,
Shri S. P. Malik, M.L.A.
Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha,
Lucknow.

Dated: 4. 4. 1975

We the members of the House of Avadh were surprised to read in a Calcutta news-paper to-day of your adjournment motion in the Vidhan Sabha to sympathize with a lady you named Begum Vilayat Mahal, who seems to claim that she was the great grand daughter of queen Hazrat Mahal, I am constrained to inform you that the claim is a hoax, and the lady is unfortunately impersonating. the educated shia Muslim population of Lucknow and also the Hindu families of old Lucknow know the entire genealogy of Hazrat Mahal's descendants, and a reference to such enlightened people in Lucknow will reveal all facts to you.

Begum Hazrat Mahal had only one son Birjis Qadr, who was crowned king in 1857. This is evident, beside Kaiserut Tawarikh Vol-2 and other books on history of Oudh the auto-biographical Masnavis of Wajid Ali Shah himself such as Huzn-e Akhtar or Tarikh-e Pari Khana to he found in the Aminuddoula Public Library in Lucknow itself. In these, the Late King has given the minutest details of all his sons and daughters from his different wives. In that Wajid Ali Shah has named only one son Birjis Qadr (and no daughter) that Begum Hazrat Mahal bore him.

Birjis Qadr had only one wife Nawab Mahatab Ara Begum. grand daughter of emperor Bahadur Shah, whom he married in Kathmandu Nepal where both the Oudh and Mughul family members had taken asylum after the holocaust of 1857. Birjis Qadr had two sons Khurshid Qadr and Meher Quder, and two daughter Jamal Ara and Husn Ara. These facts will be evident, beside the poems and Diwan of Birjis Qadr, also from the records of the Sibtainabad Trust Matiaburj Calcutta which houses the Mausoleums of Wajid Ali Shah and Birjis Qadr. These facts are also in the records of the Political Pension Office of the District Collector of 24 Parganas, West Bengal, from where all heirs of Birjis Qadr get political pension since he was assassinated on 14.8.1893 in Calcutta . Along with his son prince Khurshid Qadr and daughter princess Jamal Ara, aged about 15 and 21 respectively and both unmarried, were also murdered the same day.

Princes Husn Ara was married to Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan of I, Civil Lines, Gwaltoli Kanpur. They died childless in 1949, which will be evident from the records of the Collector of 24-Parganas as aforesaid.

Prince Meher Quder (d-1961) left only one daughter Kamini Begum (d-1973 childless) and three sons namely the undersigned, and Dr. Kaukub Quder M.A,LLB,Ph.D Lecturer Muslim University Aligarh, and Mr. Nayyer Quder M.A,LLB, Barrister-at-Law, who is unmarried and lives in London.

Dr. Kaukab married M. Badrunnisa, the eldest daughter of Fazal Naqvi Editor Nazzara Lucknow. They have two sons and four daughters Talat Fatema, Nuzhat Fatema and others, all students and all unmarried.

I married in Calcutta and have two sons who are studying in Calcutta. All the above facts are recorded, inter alia in the office of the said Collector of 24 - Parganas.

The aforesaid is the entire progeny of Begum Hazrat Mahal, and any other claimant (except the one under reference no one else has ever claimed any such relationship) is bogus and is a fraud.

Fraud of the present claimant is obvious from her very name "Begum Vilayat Mahal", because Mahal is not really an inheritable work. Mahal is a title which used to be awarded by a Muslim King or Emperor in India to his wife after she bore him a son. When Hazrat Mahal was married to Wajid Ali Shah her name was Iftikharun-nisa. Only when Birjis Qadr was born, King Amjad Ali Shah awarded the revered title of Hazrat Mahal to the wife of his crown Prince. Zeenat Mahal was awarded this title by Emperor Bahadur Shah after Prince Jawan Bukht was born. Mumtaz Mahal alias Taj Mahal is another such example. No daughter of a Mahal can be named a Mahal much less a great granddaughter. This title comes from a husband king. Since the last 100 years therefore no woman is named Mahal in India anymore. The real female descendants of Hazrat Mahal are not named Mahal as above. Evidently the name Begum Vilayat Mahal has been coined by a not so clever designing person or persons just to rhyme with Begum Hazrat Mahal, in order to gain cheap publicity and earn a fast buck.

Yours faithfully,      
Sd/-                 
Anjum Quder        


P.S.- It is also false, that the late Prime Minister Nehru ever gave the claimant lady a house in Kashmir or a pension of Rs.300/- per month as alleged, for then she would not have been living in the Railway Waiting Room. Govt. of India's Political Pensions and other benefits to the Oudh family members living any where in the world is given through its Political Pension Office at the Alipore Collectorate. That office is not aware of any lady named B. Vilayat Mahal. Further more, when I met the late Pandit Nehru on 16.8.1957 in New Delhi and discussed Begum Hazrat Mahal as her great grandson for over an hour, he did not mention the claimant lady at all. My said talks later found echo even in the Lok Sabha Again I met the Late Prime Minister in 1961 on the same subject and again as such no mention was made. On 9.5.1958 the Govt. of India announced in the Lok Sabha financial benefits on account of Begum Hazrat Mahal only to Prince Meher Quder.



Copies to :-

1. The Speaker, Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha.
2. Shri R.M. Pandey, Law Minister U.P.
3. Shri Charan Singh, Chairman B.L.D.
4. The Press.

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Reproduced from the letter Dtd 18.7.1985 written by
Prince Anjum Quder to The Prime Minister of India

King of Oudh's Imambara & Mausoleum
P-34, GARDEN REACH ROAD, CALCUTTA - 700 024.


Phone : 246 -6433

Dated : 18th,July,1985

To
The Prime Minister of India,
New Delhi.

Sub: The claims of ''Begum Vilayat Mahal"


Hon'ble Sir,

I believe you have given the lady an old palace, and are also contemplating financial assistance. While no one can object to a chivalrous act to a lady in distress, if you are doing so believing her to be a descendant of both our ancestors Wajid Ali Shah and Begum Hazrat Mahal then I am constrained to say that she is no such descendant, and is rather an impostor and an absolute stranger not known to any member of the very large family of Oudh spread over Calcutta, Lucknow and Pakistan. An official inquiry and report ought to have been called from the Govt. departments concerned, and the States of U.P. & West Bengal.

Wajid Ali Shah & Begum Hazrat Mahal are no ancient figures, not even 100 years having passed them. All their descendants to this day, we being their great grandchildren, get Political Pensions from the Govt. of India through West Bengal or Wasiqa through the U.P. governments. 'Begum Vilayat Mahal' is not recorded any where and gets no such hereditary pensions. In fact she has no past history of more that about 15 years, since she last invented a claim.

That is why the late Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi, after calling for reports from the States and Departments concerned, and after perusing my Report also, did not take any cognizance of the baseless claims of the "Begum Vilayat Mahal ". In fact the falsity of the claims is inherent in her name itself. The word "Mahal" is no name but only a title suffixed to the name of the wife of an Indian Muslim king after she bore him a son and an heir to the throne. Hence Zeenat Mahal of Bahadur Shah, or other Mahals of Wajid Ali Shah. That system is obsolete now. But the lady even calls her daughter (unmarried) and son as Marsia Mahal and Raza Mahal, just to rhyme with Hazrat Mahal for effect. Since she seems to be a convent educated Kashmiri lady (her antecedents should be inquired into), she has not yet perfected the traditions and culture of ancient Indian Muslim royal households, in spite of efforts.

When the late lamented Mrs. Indira Gandhi was alive, Ms. "Vilayat Mahal" used to tell stories of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru having given her this and that, as Panditji was not alive to contradict. Now she claims of Indiraji's promises.

Please therefore ask the claimant "Begum" to at least cite her precise genealogy, with full details of names and particulars of each of her forebears. And then please ask for inquiry and report from the Govt, deptts. and State concerned ( i.e. West Bengal & U.P.). I will also, as the present head of the ex-royal family of Oudh, submit to your Hon'ble self a well documented report if asked. My contradictions to "Vilayat Mahal's claim" have been made to the Govt's of India & U.P. in the past, and have been published in newspapers, and the Govt's had taken note of it and had declined to entertain the claims.

Raja Vishwanath Pratap Singh, your Hon'ble Finance Minster, knows me well.

Yours faithfully,      
       Sd/-                 

( Prince Anjum Quder )    
Chairman            
SIBTAINABAD TRUST  




Copies to :-

1. Hon'ble Shri V.P.Singh
2. Hon'ble Home Minster
3. The Press.

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The Indian Express, New Delhi 26.7.1985
Vilayat Mahal's claims challenged
Express News Service
NEW DELHI, July 25.

The royal ancestry of Begum Vilayat Mahal, who claimed to be a descendent of the family of Oudh and was recently allotted the Malcha Mahal by the Government, has been questioned by Mr. Anjum Quder of Calcutta, claiming to be the present head of the family of Oudh.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr. Anjum Quder said the Begum was an imposter and an absolute stranger to the very large family of Oudh, spread over Calcutta, Lucknow and Pakistan. He suggested that the Begum should be asked to cite her precise genealogy, with full details of names and particulars of each of her forebears. "Seems like she has not yet perfected the traditions and culture of ancient Indian Muslim royal households, in spite of her efforts" he observed.

He said the world "Mahal" was not a name, but only a title suffixed to the name of the wife of an Indian Muslim king, after she bore him a son and a heir to the throne. "Hence Zeenat Mahal of Bahadur Shah, or other mahals of Wajid Ali Shah. That system is obsolete now. But the lady even calls her unmarried daughter and son as Mahal".

He said Indira Gandhi had not taken cognizance of the claims of the Begum, following reports about her from the states of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, and the concerned government departments, plus his own reports on the matter. "An official inquiry and report ought to have been called


from the government departments concerned" he said, and added that all the descendants of Wajid Ali Shah and Begum Hazrat Mahal were getting political pensions from the Government of India. However, Begum Vilayat Mahal has not been recorded anywhere and gets no hereditary pensions, he added. "In fact, she has no past history of more than about 14 years, since she invented the claims", he alleged.

According to Mr Quder, Ms Vilayat Mahal was known to tell stories about the gifts given by Jawaharlal Nehru, to Indira Gandhi, when Nehru was not alive. Similarly, she now talked about the promises made by Indira Gandhi, he alleged. He said if necessary, he was prepared to submit the Government a well-documented report about the royal family of Oudh.

Referring to the Government allotting an old palace to the Begum, who had made the VIP enclosure at the New Delhi railway station her home for the past 10 years, Mr Quder said "while no one can object to a chivalrous act to a lady in distress, if you are doing so believing her to be a descendant of both our ancestors Wajid Ali Shah and Begum Hazrat Mahal, then I am constrained to say that she is not such a descendant".

The Begum had only recently moved to the Malcha Mahal, situated in Chanakyapuri, with her son, daughter, her pet animals, her loyal servants, plus some of her "royal possessions" which included beautiful carpets.

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