Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah

شائستہ سہروردی اکرام اللہ

Shaista Ikramullah was born in Calcutta in an elite Muslim Bengali family, Shaista Ikramullah was educated in India and Britain, where she obtained a doctorate from University of London in 1940.  Shaista Ikramullah lived in England from 1937 to 1940 when her husband Muhammad Ikramullah, who was employed in Indian Civil Service, was posted to London in 1937. During these three years in England, Shaista Ikramullah visited Holland in 1939 and sent its account to the Urdu literary journal Ismat. In addition to her visit to Holland, she also wrote some articles on life and education in England reflecting in particular on international politics involving fear and tension in England prior to the beginning of Second World War.  After her return to India in 1940, Shaista Ikramullah continued to publish a few more short columns on her travels to different parts of the country including visits to Hyderabad and Calcutta, and her general experience of rail travel in India. After 1947, she became a member of parliament in Pakistan. Her autobiography, From Purdah to Parliament, is available in both Urdu and English.

Her other travel accounts published in ‘Ismat magazine include:
● “London men ta’lim jari rakhne ki zara’i” 65:5 (Nov. 1940): 409-10.
● “Jangal me.n chand roz” 66:4 (Apr. 1941): 260-3.
● “Hyderabad me.n chand roz” 68:4 (Apr. 1942).
● “Hawa’i hamlon ka dar” 70:3 (Mar. 1943): 103-4.
● “Rail ka safar” 70:4 (Apr. 1943): 148.
● “Safar-i hajj” 117:3 (Sept. 1966): 189-94.

Biography by Asiya Alam


Sea Travel during War

Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah
Mediterranean Sea (Original Language: Urdu)

We left for India on 6 January by Viceroy of India.  We were commanded to arrive at ship one day prior to departure, so that the ship can leave whenever appropriate. Due to war, there were lots of problems in getting out of England. We had to sign on thousands of forms. We had to …

A Tour of Holland

Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah
The Netherlands (Original Language: Urdu)

In the last weeks, my husband had to visit Holland for government related work. I also accompanied him. Holland is a small country in Northern Europe, and for the last two centuries it hasn’t played a prominent role in European politics. Even though the struggle for freedom against Spain in the sixteenth century had great …