Ruler of Bhopal State, 1901-1926 CE
Hijri 1274-1348 (AH); Common Era 1858–1930 (CE)
Sarkar Amman, also known as Nawab Sultan Kaikhusrau Jahan Begum, was ruler of Bhopal (now in India) from 1901 to 1926 CE. She was a forceful ruler who worked to reform the administration of state and she also travelled extensively during her tenure. In 1911, she attended the coronation of British king George V, dressed in a burqa decorated with her awards. Along her journey, she visited Paris, Bad Nauenheim in Germany, Geneva, and Istanbul where she met the Ottoman sultan Mehmet Reshad. She also visited Hungary, Italy, and Egypt before returning to Bhopal. In 1926, she returned to London to settle the rules of succession for Bhopal in a British court. She abdicated her position and, after further legal proceedings, her granddaughter, Abida was declared her successor.1 Sarkar Amman had two daughters who both died. Abida was the daughter of Sarkar Amman’s favorite son and was born when she was 70 years old. Sarkar Amman raised her as her own and insisted that she receive the highest quality of education. Abida attributes her open-minded outlook to her grandmother who always strove to strike a balance between the West and the East, Islam and Western freedoms.2 After her abdication, she became an advocate of women’s rights and in 1928 she stopped wearing the purdah, a long garment meant to cover a woman’s body when she is in public.3  Women Muslim Leaders Throughout the Times.  Princess Abida Sultan.  Women Muslim Leaders Throughout the Times.