film and documentary making


Abdul Kareem: Love and Monarchy

Abdul Kareem, Munshi, secretary and “loving son” to Queen Victoria is the subject of the film”Victoria and Albert”, little is known about the Queen’s final companion before her death, except perhaps the royal household’s discomfort at their closeness. Abdul Kareem was born near Jhansi in British India, the son of a hospital assistant. In 1887, Victoria’s Golden Jubilee year, he was one of two Indians selected to become servants to the Queen Victoria, who came to like him a great deal and gave him the title of “Munshi”, an Urdu word often translated as “clerk” or “teacher”. According to Abdul Kareem’s biographer Sushila Anand, Queen Victoria’s own letters testify that “her discussions with the Munshi were wide-ranging—philosophical, political and practical. Both head and heart were engaged. There is no doubt that Queen Victoria found in Abdul Kareem a connection with the world that was fascinatingly alien, and a confidant who…