Sultana's Dream

Sultana's Dream

by Roquia Sakhawat Hussain

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Sultana's Dream is a classic work of Bengali science fiction and one of the first examples of feminist science fiction. This short story was written in 1905 by Rokeya Sakhawat Hussain, a Muslim feminist, writer and social reformer who lived in British India, in what is now Bangladesh. The word sultana here means a female sultan, a Muslim ruler.

Sultana's Dream was originally published in English in The Indian Ladies Magazine of Madras (1905), and is considered part of Bengali literature. It depicts a feminist utopia in which women run everything and men are secluded, in a mirror-image of the traditional practice of purdah. The women are aided by technology which enables laborless farming and flying cars; the female scientists have discovered how to use solar power and control the weather. Crime is eliminated, since men were responsible for all of it. The workday is only two hours long, since men used to waste six hours of each day in smoking. The religion is one of love and truth. Purity is held above all, such that the list of "sacred relations" (mahram) is widely extended.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940148619314
Publisher: Tower Publishing
Publication date: 10/03/2008
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 648 KB

About the Author

Roquia Sakhawat Hussain, (1880 – December 9, 1932) was a prolific writer and a social worker in undivided Bengal in the early 20th century. She is most famous for her efforts on behalf of gender equality and other social issues. She established the first school aimed primarily at Muslim girls, which still exists today. She was a notable Muslim feminist; modern feminist writers such as Taslima Nasrin cite her as an influence. Begum Rokeya also wrote short stories and novels. Her important books are Sultana's Dream and Paddorag. Sultana's Dream, a notable early work (1905) of feminist science fiction involving a utopian male/female role-reversal. She was born Roquia Khatun but achieved prominence as Begum Roquia Sakhawat Hussain, sometimes spelled Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain. Roquia married at the age of sixteen in 1896. Her Urdu-speaking husband, Khan Bahadur Sakhawat Hussain, was the Deputy Magistrate of Bhagalpur, which is now a district under the Indian state of Bihar. After his death, she established a high school for Muslim girls which is now run by the government. She also established the Islamic Women's Association, which held conferences on the status of women and education, and she wrote many literary works against restrictions on women in order to promote their emancipation, which, she believed, would come about by breaking the gender division of labor. She rejected discrimination against women in the public arena and believed that discrimination would cease only when women were able to undertake whatever profession they chose. In 1926, she strongly condemned men for withholding education from women in name of religion as she addressed the Bengal women's education conference. (Source: Wikipedia)

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