Razia Sultan was the first and the last
woman ruler that ascended the throne of Delhi
during the Sultanate era. With her capabilities and
self-confidence she not only defended the Delhi
Sultanate but also provided it stability.
She was a wise, mature, farsighted and
competent ruler who was always concerned for
the well being of her subjects. She challenged the
age old customs and busted the false myths of
inherent male superiority besides breaking the
stereotype of a weak woman.
Narrated by a renowned children’s writer
Rashmi Swarup Johri in a very simple and lucid
style, the inspiring story of Razia Sultan will
definitely enthrall our young readers.
Razia was the first and the only woman Sultan who ascended the
throne of Delhi Sultanate. She was of Turkish origin and belonged to the
slave or the Mamluk Dynasty. She ruled for a very brief period, i.e. from
1236 A.D. to 1240 A.D. But even in such a short span of time, she carved
a niche for herself in Indian history.
Her accession to the throne was neither smooth, nor easy, but it
was her capability and her popularity among masses that people accepted
her as their Sultan. Being a woman, Razia had to face great difficulties. In
a male dominated society of that time, few would accept a woman as their
Sultan. But Razia ruled as a successful empress quelling rebellions against
She did not care for age old traditions and revolted against the
social norms and customs that put barriers in the way of women. Nearly
750 years ago, she had raised her voice in favour of equal nghts for women,
and ruled as any other male Sultan of the time. Razia opposed purdah and
started attending the durbar as well as meeting the people of Delhi city
without covering her face in veil, which was certainly a daring act in the
conservative society of that time. Like her male counterparts, Razia Sultan
also took part in battles and also commanded army.
Razia was a wise and an able ruler. She was a warrior, a far-sighted
woman and well-wisher of her people. She fulfilled the wishes of her
father by safeguarding ‘Delhi Sultanate’ and also by providing it stability.
Hope our young readers will find this book inspiring and interesting
as it is based on the life of an important empress whose thoughts and
ideas were far ahead of her times. I am grateful to all of those who helped
me in writing this book.
All through the process of writing this book, the inspirations and
blessings of my Amma-Babu (Late Ramesh Swarup and Late Radha Rani)
was with me.
Iam especially grateful to the officials of the Rampur Raza Library,
Ministry of Culture, Government of India, who not only made available
the painting of Razia Sultan, but also allowed me to use it in the book. I
got continuous help and support in writing, editing and publishing this
book from my family members and friends along with the Archeological
Survey of India, New Delhi and the Publications Division. I am grateful
to all of them.
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