People cannot forget their roots and become a large homogenous block, Kozhikode-based writer Khadija Mumtaz said here on Sunday.

Ms. Mumtaz was speaking after the Kannada translation of her Malayalam book Barsa was released by the Karavali Lekhakiyara Vachakiyara Sangha here, along with two other Kannada titles Ilijaru by Sara Abubaker and Ankura by Mumtaz Begum. Barsa was translated from the original Malayalam into Kannada as Mumbelaku by writer Sara Abubaker. The former Vice-Chancellor of Kannada University, Hampi, B.A. Viveka Rai released the books.

Ms. Mumtaz, a doctor and teacher, is teaching at the Kozhikode Medical College. She said her second book Barsa was an attempt “to ask questions”. She said the protagonist of the book Sabida embraced Islam because she loved a man named Rasheed. She had been asked several times why Sabida's character had to be a born Hindu who later embraced Islam. Ms. Mumtaz said the most important reason was to “conceal my identity in Sabida. ”. It gave her the space to critically evaluate practices and some anti-woman practices, she added. In the end, Sabida showed how one could practise Islam with “self-esteem”, Ms. Mumtaz said.

Ms. Mumtaz said that after she wrote the novel, there was some criticism, which increased after she won the Sahitya Akademi Award for the novel. However, she was overwhelmed with the response of many Muslim women towards her book, who wrote to her to tell her that she had said what they wanted to say.


  • Kannada translation of Malayalam book Barsa released

  • Ilijaru by Sara Abubaker and Ankura by Mumtaz Begum released


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