HYDERABAD: With Telangana government exploring possibilities of transforming Women’s College in Koti as the first Women University of Telangana, the issue of whom it should be named after is being debated.
Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) ex-member and city historian T.Vivek and filmmaker Syed Rafi are proposing to name the Mahila varsity after Khairunnisa, wife of British Resident James Achilles Kirkpatrick who conceptualised Hyderabad Residency or British Residency, that now houses the women’s college.
According to Vivek, James was so mesmerised by the dignity, charm and beauty of Khairunnisa that he risked his position as the resident, defying restrictions of East India Company on mixing with local people.
“Khairunnisa was remarkably brave, had a mind of her own and was generous. She had hobbies in making jewellery and bangles and developed interest in precious stones. She could also design clothes and was adept at embroidery which was a traditional pursuit of women at that time,” he said.
“The romance between James and Khairunnisa leading to marriage was an instance of cultural confluence between East and West in those times when the axiom was the Twain shall never meet,” the historian said. Despite cultural fetters, she rose above circumstances and chose to follow her mind and heart.
“In short she was determined, a quality which was very rare among young women of that time,” Vivek said.
Stating that Khairunnisa means “the most excellent among women”, Vivek and Rafi felt that by naming the proposed varsity after her, one can hope to see many excellent women with best qualities of mind and heart like Khairunnisa coming out into the society, inspiring fellow women to rise above circumstances and establish themselves as strong individuals.
“Given the historical significance of the place and the person, whose name is so intricately intertwined with the place, any other name for the varsity will be unhistorical and a gross negation of her memory,” they said....