A TURK REBEL IN LAHORE
MUSLIM WOMEN ON THE MOVE
Where is the Halide of Lahore?
It is remembered by all. The breaking of the Ottoman Empire made the Muslims of Hindustan cry in full depth. Dr Allama Iqbal consoled their souls, and the fervour of Pakistan went into full swing. Modern Turkey sprung from Mustafa Kamal Pasha, the reformer. Religious fanatics think very bad of him, others never get tired of singing his songs The fact is that Modern Turkey came back into power after getting rid of religious priesthood which was undermining its advance in the future. Perhaps even that went too far. I have myself seen both sides of Turkey. One on the European side, and the other across the Bay of Bhosphorous. A world of difference between two sections of same society.
Our ancestor Ustad Yusuf Burkhurdar also came from Turkey, being a student of Ustad Sinan and settled in Lahore. He had accompanied Emperor Babur, along with Ustad Isa, who also came from the same place. They were called Turkish Chaghatais, although they were originally from Herat. The proper name was HURRO CHAGHATAS. We are very close to Turkey in letter and spirit.
Halide Edib made a name for herself by jumping into the main stream of Women emancipation. She came to India for that cause and visited Lahore too. Here she narrates her experience of Lahore. For instance she says:
“The Muslim girls of Lahore wear tight trousers and long silk chemises buttoned at the side, more like the Chinese woman’s costume. Over their hair they have a thin floating veil, embroidered all round or at the borders. This seemed to me more practical, but I admit that the women who adopt it must have the figures of Lahore women, which are not common in any nation. These girls were all daughters of the rich, and their interests seemed to be confined to their own class. “
She gives an opinion of Lahore as:
“To me Lahore stands between the Frontier and the rest of India, not only geographically but in mentality as well. It contains both, as well as its own peculiarities of thought.”
“Lahore, more than all other cities, seemed difficult to size up with regard to trends of thought, and community divisions”.
And then something touching happened. She was staying with Begum Shahnawaz in Lahore in 1937. A famous Doctor of Lahore brought her young daughter of 7 days only to Halide Edib of Turkey and named her after the Turkish icon. Halide Edib was moved to tears and left another Halide behind. Where is this Halide? Does anyone knows!