Syed Naseer Ahmad
Anis Begum Kidwai, who participated in the Indian National Movement with commitment, was born in 1906 in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh. Her father was Shaik Wilayat Ali. Anis Begum was married to Shafi Ahmed Kidwai. Her father Wilayat Ali and her husband both were freedom fighters. Her brother-in-law Rafi Ahamed Kidwai was also a leader of Indian National Movement.
They were all very actively participating in the Khilafat Movement. As a result, Anis Kidwai family had to face the ire of the British police.
Since the earning members of the family quit their jobs to participate in the Indian National Movement, her family had to face financial woes also. But, neither police, nor financial troubles could do anything to diminish her commitment.
Anis Begum Kidwai participated in the Indian National Movement till the end. Though India achieved independence in 1947, she was hurt by the partition of the country. By that time, her husband Shafi Ahmed Kidwai, who worked for harmony among the Hindus and Muslims and opposing the division of the nation, was killed by the communal forces. The loss of her husband hurt her very badly.
After this bad incident, she met Mahatma Gandhi in Delhi after the demise of her husband. She started working along with women leaders like Subhadra Joshi, Mridula Sarabhai and such others under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi to support and help the women who were suffering like her due to division of the country.
She started rescue camps for the victims and supported them in all respects. They affectionately called her ‘Anis Aapa’ (Sister Anis).
After Independence, she became the Member of Rajyasabha in 1957 and continued till 1968. She penned her experiences during the division of the Nation in her book ‘Azadi Ki Chaon Mein’.
Anis Begum Kidwai also wrote books ‘Zulum’ and ‘Ab Jinke Dekhne’, in which she described and decried the cruelty of the communal forces. She also published an anthology of essays ‘Nazre Khush Guzre’ in 1976. Her literary skills were recognized by the Government of India . She was honoured by Sahitya Kala Parishad. Anis Begum Kidwai, who was successful simultaneously in politics, literature and public service, passed away on 16 July, 1982.