While the historical Razia has yet to find her place, the mythical Razia, her polar opposite in every sense, has found an audience of many lakhs of people. (India’s Immortal Comic Books: Gods, Kings, and Other Heroes: Karline McLain)

Raziyya-al-din or Razia Sultana was a 13th century ruler of Delhi who ruled for four years before being killed, possibly by her military generals.  The Mamluk dynasty had Turkic origins and it is very likely that her attire of the Sultana would have been influenced by this. There are of course no pictorial records of the Sultana but it appears that her dress was adapted to her role as ruler.  Almost all later depictions play on this: 1) The Amar Chitra Katha (ACK) illustration 2) a later painting 3) Hema Malini playing Razia

Today’s book extract refers to the emphasis placed on Razia’s love affairs in the film as opposed to her as a ruler and the emphasis on masculine attributes as well as her doomed romance in the ACK comic. 

Razia around tumblr (more than a few posts on the soft homoeroticism of the film). 

Notes

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