The Newsletter 68 Summer 2014

Encounters with Europe

Barnita Bagchi

Reviewed publication:
Mushirul Hasan & Nishat Zaidi (trans. & eds.) 2011. A Voyage to Modernism: Syed Ahmed Khan, New Delhi: Primus Books, ISBN:9789380607078 (hb)

Syed Ahmed Khan travelled from Benares in India to London in England in 1869, spent seventeen months in England, and returned to India in 1871. He wrote an Urdu travelogue, in letter-cum-journal form, about his voyage, and this appeared in different issues of the Aligarh Institute Gazette. Mushirul Hasan and Nishat Zaidi have now translated these fascinating pieces, with annotations and a lengthy introduction. The text, originally titled the Safarnama-i-Musafiran-i-Landan, is all the more fascinating since it was penned by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, founder of the Aligarh educational institutions and leader of the Aligarh movement among Indian Muslims.