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Published in the 16-31 May 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Book Review

Historical Indian cities

The Milli Gazette Online


Title: Bilaad-e Hind ki Dastan (Tareekh ke darichon se)
Author: Waseem Ahmad Sayeed 
Publisher: Maulana Azad Academy, New Delhi
Pages: 292
Price: Rs 300
Available from: Waseem Ahmad Sayeed, 168-B Sector-14, 
NOIDA - 201301

Waseem Ahmad Sayeed is no stranger to the world of literature. Even before the publication of this book, his two other books Major Events of Medieval India (English) and Guldasta-e Zaraafat (Urdu) have also been published which were very popular among the readers. 

Though many books have been written on history in Urdu, the book under review is rather different from the point of view of statistics. There are interesting and valuable information about 64 important and historical Indian cities, as their brief history, who founded them and when, their area and population and historical buildings in and around these cities have been provided in the book. All these show his deep interest and understanding of history. The information are genuine because they have been collected from census reports, gazetteers and other official publications. Among the cities mentioned by him include Agra, Ajmer, Ahmadabad, Azamgarh, Allahabad, Bijapur, Bhopal, Panipat, Patna, Patiala, Junagarh, Jaunpur, Hyderabad, Gulbarga and Lucknow.

The information collected by the author for the book shows that he took great pains to compile the book. The importance of the book lies in the fact that today efforts are being made at national and international level to erase and distort history, and belittle the contributions of Islam and Muslims. If we do not try to preserve our history, culture and civilisation, they may soon be changed beyond recognition and we may lose our identity.

The book is useful not only for tourists but also for the students of history. Such books are in fact rare in Urdu. 

Waseem Ahmad Sayeed appears to be very sensitive to his community, forefathers and he is worried about the declining assets, values, culture and civilisation of the community. He tries to preserve and promote them as far as possible. He had recently filed an appeal in the Supreme Court regarding the deteriorating condition of buildings at Fatehpur Sikri. The court ordered the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for taking corrective steps and prevent them from further deterioration. About Taj Mahal’s present condition he has written that Taj Mahal enjoys international fame but this world famous monument is gradually on the decline. According to a report of ASI the foundation of the monument has subsided seven inches below its original position.

The book’s title is attractive and is nicely published. Many photos of historical buildings have been included in the book. It is worth reading.  «

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