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The Lowliest Creature in India

1926 — President’s Address, First Bengal Women’s Education Conference, Calcutta, India


I have been crying for the lowliest creature in India for the last twenty years. Do you know who that lowliest creature in India is? It is the Indian women . . . There are people also who feel for animals, so we see animals’ rights groups everywhere. If a dog is hit by a car, we hear an outcry in the Anglo-Indian media. But there is not a single soul in the whole of the subcontinent to mourn for incarcerated women like us.

The opponents of female education say that women will be unruly . . . fie! They call themselves Muslims and yet go against the basic tenet of Islam which gives equal rights to education. If men are not led astray once educated, why should women?



Source: “Begum Rokeya: Tale of a Visionary, Bengal’s Earliest Muslim Feminist,” New Age Islam. 12 Dec. 2012.