Review of the book father and daughter

Begum Jahan Ara Shahnawaz ( 1869-1879 ) , girl of celebrated Muslim League Leader, Sir Mohammad Shafi, is one of the most distinguished Muslim Women politicians in the history of sub-continent. She belonged to the “ Mian household ” and was born in Bhagbanpura, Lahore. She studied at Queen Mary College, Lahore and was married to Mian Shah Nawaz.

With the outgrowth of All India Muslim Women ‘s Conference, she devoted all her attempts towards its cause. She remained president of its provincial subdivision for seven old ages. In the interim, she was besides Vice President of its Central Committee. She was the lone Muslim adult female delegate to talk at the First Round Table Conference in 1930. Bing elective member of Punjab Legislative Assembly, she was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Medical Relief and Public.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

She played an of import function during the Civil Disobedient Movement in Punjab during 1947 and was arrested along with other Muslim Leaders. After the creative activity of Pakistan, she was an active member of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. She passed off on 27th Nov, 1979.

She besides contributed prolifically to adult females and literary magazines and published a Novel “ Husn Ara Begum ” which enjoyed broad popularity.


This volume of “ Father and Daughter ” , by Begum Jahan Ara Shahnawaz forms a portion of the series called “ The Subcontinent Divided: A New Beginning ” , edited by Dr. Ian Talbot, professor of South Asiatic Studies at Coventry University. The subject of this series is the human dimension of the 1947 divider and focuses on the experiences of the adult females and the junior-grade categories.

In the first chapter ( pg:1-36 ) , she begins with an history of her grandparents in the 18th century, narrates her household background, socio-political environment of her household and subsequently on, general conditions predominating in India at that clip. She besides narrates the delicious monsoon yearss of childhood and discusses the ambiance of household integrity, high earnestness and enlightenment in which kids of her household grew up. She besides describes the dedication of her male parent and her services for a figure of public assistance and nation-building organisations, narrating the political ambiance of that clip.

In the 2nd chapter ( pg 37-135 ) , the writer elaborates the attempts, battle and innovators of freedom for Muslim India, during 1912-1932. She focuses on the attempts done for the emancipation of adult females and societal, political and educational reforms during that epoch. She besides narrates the existent facts behind the major events of history of subcontinent, like Simla Agreement, Simon Commission, battle for separate electorate, Montague, -Chelmsford Reforms and Non-Cooperation Movement. She besides narrates her male parent ‘s attempts and battle sing presenting constitutional reforms in India. She besides focuses on emancipation of adult females through different forums, the most distinguished one of which is All-India Women ‘s Association. In the terminal of chapter, she narrates the incident of death of Sir Mohammad Shafi and the heartache that was felt nation-wide at the great loss.

Continuing farther, in the 3rd chapter of this autobiography, she relates the wake of Round Table Conferences. Besides, she besides describes the election scenario of 1936-37. In this chapter, writer chiefly focuses on the attempts and battle of Muslim towards accomplishing a separate fatherland during 1935-1948. She besides narrates the turbulence of divider comprehensively.

In the Forth chapter, the events related to framing of fundamental law and the formation of Select Committee and the House Committee are discussed. Continuing farther, the writer gave glances of Rawalpindi Conspiracy instance in which her girl and son-in-law were imprisoned.

In the last chapter, the writer describes her visit to China in item and besides narrates the events of first Martial Law in item.


In the undermentioned autobiography, the writer has discussed public and private experiences in her and her male parent ‘s life. The consequence is well-written book that covers all her private and public life. Upon reading this work, one truly understands that history is the survey of life.

The writer has adopted a consecutive form while narrating the class of history. These memories beckon to us from a twelvemonth long yesteryear, she begins with an history of her grand-parents in the 18th century and ends with the announcement of the first military regulation in Pakistan.

“ Father and Daughter ” can be regarded as the most productive relationship in South Asiatic history. Examples include Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. This autobiography gives us a deep penetration into assorted aspects of writer ‘s life and it discusses political relationship between two coevalss.

In the book, the writer elaborates her meetings with assorted celebrated personalities of her times. The most memorable meeting that he accounts is her meeting with HM Queen Mary, the Duchess of York ( now the Queen Mother ) and the four-year-old Princess Elizabeth ( now HM Queen Elizabeth II ) . She besides narrates the Eve of independency, and event accompanied by the most beastly force. She relates how, after seeing hungering subsisters behind rows and rows of cadavers, Raana Liaqat Ail summoned and berated the full Punjab Cabinet.

The writer ‘s ain clang with Jinnah came in 1941 when she was expelled from the Muslim League for fall ining the Viceroy ‘s Defence Council. Her account is that she was prepared to vacate but Sir Sikandar Hayat ( who had himself resigned from Defence Council ) dissuaded her. It was during the Round Table Conference that she got to cognize Mr. Jinnah good and to appreciate his legal acumen. Mr. Jinnah had detected a defect in a bill of exchange which everyone else had overlooked.

She besides narrates her male parent ‘s clangs with Jinnah on the occasions of Lucknow Pact and Simon Commission. Issues apart, Mr. Shafi was personally perturbed at holding to differ with Jinnah. The last calamity described in the book is the decease of writer ‘s girl, Mumtaz Sahahnawaz in 1948, really shortly after composing a book called “ The Heart Divided ” .

Critical Analysis

The autobiography “ Father and Daughter ” is concerned with divider as a procedure instead than a individual event and this procedure has been elaborated with tiniest inside informations, at some point, about writer ‘s personal life.

One of the surprising facts about this autobiography is the narrative of close societal contacts which were maintained between the Baghbanpura Arian household and their political challengers. Equally dramatic is the heat with which Begum Jahan Ara Shahnawaz describes her relationship with “ Uncle ” Moti Lal Nehru ” .

Critically analysing the autobiography, the enormous alterations that took topographic point at the clip of independency and the insight short narrative has non been highlighted. Although the writer has discussed her success, contentions, letdown and errors, yet she does non throw much light upon the private life of Sir Mohammad Shafi.

Although this autobiography contains contents, Index, illustrations and historic images yet bibliography, footnotes/endnotes are losing. Besides, more images from historic events could be added. Furthermore, abbreviation tabular array is besides non available in the autobiography and a general reader feels trouble in understanding assorted abbreviations as KCSI, CEI etc. Besides nil has been mentioned sing the importance or quality of these rubrics.

Furthermore, there are a really few glances of some of the major events of history like the enormous alterations that took topographic point during independency epoch has non been elaborated much. She represented historic age, portrayed heroic characters and her male parent ‘s history expresses the feeling of an extraordinary personality.

Mr. Shafi was vindicated when the Congress presented Jinnah with the Nehru Report resiling from all the reciprocally agreed warrants for the minorities. It is slightly uneven that she omits to advert that the arch radical Maulana Hasrat Mohani had sided with Shafi instead than Jinnah.

Begum Shahnawaz was one of the privileged few to see the heat behind Fatima Jinnahs cold exterior, and is most blunt about her sister-in-law Ruttie Jinnah.Perhaps she was attracted to Ruttie because the age difference between her and Mr. Jinnah was about the same as between Begum Shahnawaz and her husband.With Jinnah himselfher equation was non really easy.This was because her male parent and Jinnah were frequently at odds.When Sir Shafi opposed the Lucknow Pact, Jinnah disaffiliated the Punjab Muslim League.


This book is alone in a sense that it offers deep penetration and re-evaluation of Indo-Pak history. It is a compelling and well-documented treatment that provides luxuriant treatment on assorted of import treatments of our political history, excepting a few. This could be the most comprehensive book for any pupil of history. In the terminal like any other great book of history, many lessons can be learnt from this book that will be relevant in this state.

In all, this book provides a really good and enlightening history of our political battle and events thenceforth and would be helpful to anyone who wishes to cognize more about one of the most well-thought-of and clear-sighted of the leaders of Indian Muslims.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *