Welcome to Begum Shahnawaz

The family to which Begum Jahan Ara Shahnawz belonged , Known as the main family , from a title probably conferred in the late fifteen century , belonged to one of the largest tribes of the Punjab , the Arians . Tradition has it that the tribe migrated from Arabia to Egypt and from there came o the Indian sub-continent sometime in the eleventh century. Ishaqpur, a small village about four and half miles from Lahore , used to be family seat until Emperor Shah jahan acquired the land as the site for the new Shalamar garden. In exchange for it he gave the family two revenue-free villages.

The two villages as well as the custody of the gardens, were retained by the family till the 1950s, as both the sikh and British governments officially recognized the Emperor’s gifts. A new village was built on the grand trunk Road , about one mile from Shalamar Gardens , are become known as Baghbanpura. IT was there , in her grandparents’s house, that Begum shahnawz was born on 7th April,1896.

Shafi founded the Punjab muslim league and was a Consistent advocate of the Muslim right to separate electorates. He use his powerful position as a member of the Imperial Council and later as education and law member of the viceroy's executive council to argue for both community and nationalist causes. Begum Shahnawaz emerged from a family background of purdah and of giving birth to her beloved daughter Tazi at the tender age of sixteen to be a major advocate of woman's causes both from the platform of the all India women's association and the Muslim league. Like many other elite Indian women, she moved into the mainstream of the freedom movement as British rule drew to a close and displayed an influence and autonomy which appears remarkable not only for her generation, but for contemporary south Asia women.

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