BHOPAL. An unusual letter from the Political Agent to Bhopal to the Begum1902


A letter to H. H. Nawab Sultan Jehan Begum of Bhopal dated 6th Jan 1902, shortly after her succession and the sudden death of her husband. Written on two pages of black edged mourning writing paper  with the embossed blue seal Political Agency, Sehore the letter is written in his own hand and signed John Lang, Political Agent in Bhopal. The contents of the letter pose a mystery. Lang states that The water placed under lock and seal has just been chemically tested by Dr. Dane and Doctor Joshi and has been found to be pure, and free from foreign substance. Later he adds I feel so sorry for you in your terrible affliction, that I cannot express my sympathy in words, and I am anxious for your health in he midst of this trouble. The urgency of this unspecified affliction is such that he even offers to telegraph the Agent to the Governor General, who is on tour, if the Begum feels she needs to see him urgently. Whether the Begum is concerned about water being polluted, or even poisoned, is uncertain. Light may be thrown on this by the untranslated Persian writing on the reverse of the paper, which may be a translation of Lang’s letter or a response to it. We do not know. apr14/1

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