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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Curious Case of Multiple JahangirNamas Part-2

This article is in continuation of the series of articles, which throws light on the Mutiple Versions of memoirs of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. This was preceded by the part - 1. Click HERE to read it.
Following is the Version -2 of memoirs of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. They are known as Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri. The author of this work is ' mentioned ' as Emperor Jahangir. This work was translated into English around, late first decade of 20th century.

The English translator of this work, has made note of a serious anomaly in the memoirs of Mughal Emperor Jahangir, which we shall see below, in the pictures



1. Main Page of this "Version"


2. Next Page


The much awaited - Preface.
This is the first page. Read the part highlighted in yellow color.

Note the points below: (The following is something which the translator is saying HIMSELF)


The translator calls the previous "Version -1" of JahangirNama (the 1820's Version) as "garbled", i.e., distorted / obscure / twisted.

Moreover, no one knows, who wrote the first Version and where are it's origins.


Further, in the very starting, read the underlined & highlighted part. Even, this version of Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, was "MADE" from a defective Manuscript, as per the TRANSLATOR himself. 

The orientalist has "tried" to 'CORRECT' those mistakes. The very origins of this account , too, are far from being genuine, leave the translation.

Read further.


4. Following is the preface - page-2. In continuation of page-1.

The Preface of this work questions its genuineness, as can be seen below.




The preface says that, previous Version(1820's translation) of memoirs is a fabrication, if NOT fully then at least in parts. (as per the preface above.)


It further states that certain statements which have been written in that Version is something which Jahangir could NEVER have written. [ As they contradict MANY other known historical accounts. ]


Moreover, the previous Version is called spurious (fake/false/counterfeit) and garbled here in the preface.


Finally, the translator regrets that such a spurious and fabricated account has been given to the world, as "genuine" account of Jahangir's reign.

The story is NOT over. 

See the snaps BELOW. Even this version of Jahangir's memoirs is problematic.



Following is a snap about Khannum Sultan. 
(Verify the info with that of the previous Version-1 )

Note the following : 

In the Version-1 of Jahangir's memoirs, the mother of Khannum Sultan was mentioned as one "Bibi Salima Begum", and here the mother changes  to concubine. 

It is clear that version 1 is not genuine. There are some problems. This version mentions NO NAME of the mother of Khannam Sultan. It says the mother was a concubine. However, the first version does not say anything about the status of mother. It gives us a name.


The question which comes to mind is how come 1 person write 2 accounts ? 

Before we think about point b, we need to first think about this -> Why would " 1" person even write " 2 " DIFFERENT autobiographies.?. 
It is unusual.

Also, in Version -1 , the name of mother(though incorrect) is mentioned. And in this Version, the account ONLY says the mother was a concubine...



6. This is about Death of Salima Sultan Begum.


Here, Salima Begum is mentioned in such a respectable manner.

If she was the mother of Khannam Sultan, then how is that possible tha Jahangir could say that the mother of Khannam was a concubine.?.. ( I am asking this question after an assumption, that if she was ACTUALLY the mother of Khannum Sultan as per Version-1 ?., B'Coz here the mother of Khannum Sultan is said to be a concubine..!!!.) 

Who was mother of Khannum Sultan.?.

A concubine or Salima Sultan Begum OR NONE of these ?

Even the age of Salima Begum has been wrongly mentioned in this account. Because this account says Salima Begum died at the age of 60 in 1613.

But, Salima Begum was married to Bairam Khan in 1557. And, if we consider this account as correct then it means that she was 4 years old when she married Bairam Khan..!.

Well the translator has corrected this mistake of Jahangir . (? or was it someone else's mistake.?.) 
There are MORE mistakes and contradictions in this account.
Though, i am not mentioning all here, as here i am writing the information wrt Children of Akbar, and to point out the inconsistencies/contradictions in these accounts.!.


Food For Thought:

If both these versions of 'so-called' memoirs of Emperor Jahangir are correct, then how come Jahangir, write the following - "3 different remarks" pertaining to one-person, i.e., Salima Begum.?

Version -1 says mother of Khannum Sultan was one Bibi Salima Begum.


But, version - 2 says mother of Khannum Sultan was a Concubine. 


Was Salima Sultan Begum, the mother of Khannum? If yes, can Jahangir refer Salima Sultan Begum as a concubine? Bibi Salima Begum is different from the Salima Sultan Begum. Salima Sultan Begum was childless. The claim of Salima Sultan Begum assigned as mother of Khannam is not correct.

As far as historical texts are considered, Salima Begum was highly respected women, and Akbar married her for giving assigning her a status in light of the dangerous scheming of Maham Anga. So, she can not be equated with this term concubine.

MOST striking thing :  

1. Why we have more than 1 Versions of autobiography of 1 person,
2. Why do these versions contradict each other.?. 
3. Not only they contradict each other, but they contradict other contemporary accounts as well. 

4. Was Emperor Jahangir experimenting with his autobiography ? Or, someone else experimented with it, later ?

5. Why, the so-called memoirs of Emperor Jahangir contradict in giving the name of the mother of the children of Akbar ?
6. In one version, we get the mention of mother of kids as a concubine, but in other version we get an explicit name of the mother, like the case of Murad and Daniyal.

If same person has written these accounts, then why such inconsistency in reporting.?. And, most important question, what was the need to write more than 1 autobiography? Or why DID so many different Manuscripts with different narration came into existence?

Do we need Sherlock to un-earth the problem here.?.


Click here to read the Third and Concluding Part..


Article Category : Mughals (Akbar)

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  1. I can't imagine funnier preface than this :)) if somebody has written such a preface, regarding such a huge kingdome, then it has some weightage.The point is who is interested in creating all this garbled, spurious account?:-?This only gos to prove that all naamaas especially Jahangirnaama cannot be relied upon.:-o

    1. Geeta,
      Your last line sums up my entire Post. :)

  2. Abhay, something else that I noticed reading about Salim, (my opinion) .Sali had a large "complex" called Akbar, and then came the Salim's son, who was, everything that Salim is not, well educated, et cetera.I think that it is Salim, because of this world and blinded

  3. Tanja,
    Salim was also well educated. He was more of a "Nature" lover and a keen observer of many natural things. Yes, his son Khusrau was very intelligent and quite talented, and infact more talented than Salim at an young age. I also made a post about that. You can check here :