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Priyanka Bhadani
Priyanka Bhadani


Mahmood Farooqui, a scholar turned rape convict

Mahmood-Farooqui-rape Mahmood Farooqui
  • Farooqui, who studied History in India and at University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, has been involved in reviving Dastangoi—the lost art of storytelling in Urdu.

Earlier on Saturday, Bollywood director Mahmood Farooqui was convicted of raping an American student while she was in Delhi last year.

Farooqui is the co-director of critically-acclaimed film Peepli Live, which has won quite a few awards in 2010. The author-researcher is married to Anusha Rizvi, the director of Peepli Live.

Farooqui, who studied History in India and at University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, has been involved in reviving Dastangoi—the lost art of storytelling in Urdu. The official website of Dastangoi mentions that Farooqui has been helped and guided by his uncle and a scholar, S.R. Faruqi (Urdu's pre-eminent critic and writer) in reviving the lost art form.

In an attempt to revive the art form since 2004, Farooqui, in collaboration with various Dastangoi artistes, has organised more than 130 shows in several Indian cities, including Delhi, and across the world as well.

While Farooqui organised the shows, Rizvi produced them. Over the years, the team has collaborated with many well-known institutions and events, including the Kala Ghoda festival, the Bandra Festival, the Jaipur Literary Festival, the Virasat Festival at Dehradun, performances at Colleges in Delhi under the aegis of the SPIC-MACAY society, the Khuda Bakhsh Library at Patna, the Aligarh Muslim University, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, the NCPA experimental auditorium at Bombay, the Habitat Centre at Delhi, at Prithvi Theatre Bombay on the invitation of Naseeruddin Shah and his group Motley, shows at Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore on the invitation of the Citizens Foundation of Pakistan, and at New York City at Muslim Voices Festival at the behest of Asia Society and Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Besides the revival work on the lost art form, Farooqui whose initial work includes research on William Dalrymple’s White Mughals (first published in 2002), has also authored the 2010 book, Besieged: Voices From Delhi 1857, a collection of documents about the lives caught up in the 1857 Soldier's Revolt against the British in Delhi. His other published works include Dastangoi, a book comprising stories that his team performs; and a translation of theatre stalwart Habib Tanvir's memoir.

He also starred in a small role in Mahesh Dattani's 2002 film, Mango Souffle, as Maqsood. For the 2010 film, Harud (directed by Aamir Bashir) based on the life of Kashmiri youngsters turning militants, Farooqui co-wrote the screenplay along with Bashir and Shanker Raman.

According to recent reports, Farooqui allegedly raped a 35-year-old woman, a student at Columbia University in New York. Reportedly, the alleged victim told the police that she was raped by him at his Sukhdev Vihar house in southern Delhi on March 28 last year when she had gone to meet him to get help for her research work.

While Farooqui denied the allegations, the court has ruled in favour of the victim and he has been convicted under Section 376 (punishment for rape) of the IPC. The sentence will be decided on August 2.

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Topics : #rape | #Bollywood

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