Today, this madrassa is locked in time. Young men in topis and ankle-length pyjamas sit on the ground and, with shaking heads, rote-learn Urdu lessons and religious instruction. Like several such madrassas across South Asia, this is a quaint world unaffected by the rapidly changing world. The Fatehpuri Madrassa carries a practice that is increasingly looked upon with fear by non-Muslims who perceive it as a new lexicon of terror and terrorism, and consider it a threat.
The madrassas of Delhi were evolving in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Delhi College was an innovative
example of the re-emphasis of education among Muslims, led by visionaries such as Sayyed Ahmed Khan.
From this discreet moment in the lives of my imagined distant family, began a generational devotion, like that of countless other families, to khanqahs and shrines. Over the centuries, the temporal powers of sultans and emperors were seen to be getting blurred by the lasting legacy of Sufi saints who came to India…….. Thus, my childhood visions of Delhi were that of mysterious environs with sultans and their lashkars moving about, shrines and tombs warming up to devotees and a grand cultural mingling.
Delhi By Heart: Page 24.