Interesting fact from the history pages!

Bahadur Shah Zafar II in 1858, captured by the British.  Bahadur Shah Zafar’s descendants want to lay claim to the Red Fort The dir...


Bahadur Shah Zafar II in 1858, captured by the British. 
Bahadur Shah Zafar’s descendants want to lay claim to the Red Fort
The direct descendants of the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, who have long been bitter with the Indian government for not giving them their due, have now said that they will be suing to claim the Red Fort, which was the emperor's last main residence in India before he was exiled to then Burma.
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"My mother Sultana Begum only gets a pension of Rs 400 a month from the Indian government for being associated with the Mughal dynasty. We surely deserve better," said the great-great-granddaughter of Bahadur Shah Zafar, Raunaque Zamani Begum, 34, who lives in a small, one-room apartment in Nerul's Sector 11 with her family.
Sultana Begum was married to the great-grandson of Bahadur Shah Zafar, Mirza Bedar Bakht, who died in Kolkata in 1980. The family also wants the pension paid to Sultana, who continues to live in Kolkata, to be increased. Raunaque said, "We, the children of Bedar Bakht, are now planning to legally fight to claim the Red Fort in Delhi, because that was the main residence of our ancestor Bahadur Shah Zafar."
Her 27-year-old sister, Zeenat Mahal Shaikh, who lives with her family at Mira Road, said, "The Mughals ruled India since the time of Babar. The Indian government should appreciate this fact, as it also concerns us. Even Zeenat's seven-year-old son Aman Abdul Shaikh knows who Bahadur Shah Zafar was. "He was my 'bade nana' (big granddaddy)," he answered coyly.
Raunaque's husband, Iqbal Nawab, is supporting the sisters. "We are identifying a lawyer to fight the case for the Red Fort and will file a court petition within this year. Many Indian kings who bowed down before the British are now very rich, but Bahadur Shah Zafar paid a huge price for standing up to the British in 1857," said Nawab, who is in the construction business but has run into losses.
Nawab pointed out that in 1857, during India's first war for independence, British forces arrested Bahadur Shah Zafar in Delhi and executed two of his sons. The 84-year-old Bahadur Shah was then exiled to Burma, where he died five years later. At the time, he had several wives, one of whom was Zeenat Mahal, who is the direct ancestor of Raunaque and her sister. Bahadur Shah's grave is in Yangon.
When asked if it would be an uphill task to claim the Red Fort, Raunaque reasoned, "If the government cannot give us our Red Fort, then at least compensate us properly.
In fact, we are only asking for one of the many properties of the Mughals." Nawab cited the recent example of the Raja of Mahmudabad, Mohammed Amir Mohammed Khan, who won back his royal properties after a long legal battle in Lucknow.
In 1980, when Bedar Bakht died, a question was put in parliament to the then minister of state for home affairs about whether the Indian government was aware who he was and if anything would be done for his family. The reply was that the government was aware and would continue the Rs 400 pension, which could be increased on sympathetic grounds if a request was made.
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The last emperor's surviving son was Jawan Bakht and the latter's son was Jamshed Bakht. Eventually, Jamshed Bakht had two sons, Mirza Sikandar and Bedar Bakht. The latter married Sultana Begum.
"It was mainly due to the efforts of freedom fighters Maulana Azad and Subhash Chandra Bose that the British were forced to allow Bedar Bakht to return to India, but only on condition that he not publicise his Mughal roots. He settled in Kolkata, earning a monthly pension of Rs 10 in the 1920s. Later, his pension was increased to Rs 16. Now, only Rs 400 is being awarded to Sultana," said Nawab.
Raunaque recalled, "I remember my mother telling us the story of how my father Bedar Bakht was secretly brought back to India in 1925, hidden in a basket of flowers." Bedar and Sultana had six children, including one son who is now settled in Saudi Arabia.

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