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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Aurangzeb - Personality | Assessment

Hi friends,

I never thought, that you all will take so much interest in the last topic of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb which i posted randomly, after having a brief discussion with Radhika in the comments section.

Here is the last topic :
Aurangzeb - Succession to Mughal throne | An alternate Story

Here is the topic, the comments in which made this topic of Aurangzeb possible.!!
The Mughal Culture Connection

Anyways, as many of you have raised almost similar points about the personality of Aurangzeb. Here is another post dealing with the same topic. This may satiate those queries. This relates to Aurangzeb's personality, mainly.

Aurangzeb was the last of the notable names of the Khandan-i-Timuri. In spite of his religious intolerance, narrow-mindedness and lack of generosity and statesmanship, he had some good qualities. He would have made a successful general, minister, expert in theology or school-master, and an ideal departmental head. But the critical eminence of a throne on which he was placed by a freak stroke of Fortune, led to his failure and the blighting of his fame.

He was simple and abstemious like a hermit, he had a zeal to work and hated pleasure. European travelers observed with wonder this grey-headed Emperor holding open Court every day, reading every petition and writing orders across it with his own hand.


In matters of official discipline and Court etiquette he was a martinet and enforced the strictest obedience to rules and established usages: “If I suffer a single regulation to be violated, then all of them will be violated,” was his frequent remark. But this punctilious observance of the form must have led to neglect of the spirit of institutions and laws.

His passion for doing everything himself and dic­tating the minutest particulars to far off governors and generals, robbed them of all self-reliance and power of initiative, and left them hesitating and helpless in the face of any unexpected emergency. His suspicious policy crushed the latent ability of his sons, so that at his death they were no better than children though turned of fifty years of age. Alike in his passion for work, distrust of the men on the spot, preference for incompetent but servile agents, and religious bigotry, he makes one think of his contemporary in Europe, Louis - The XIV. Isn't it ?

His was a courageous fighter. He was known for this throughout India. He was never tired of fighting and fighting. He was a great scholar of Turki, Arabic and spoke fluent Hindustani. From the strict path of a Muslim king's duty as laid down in the Quranic Law nothing could make him deviate in the least. And he was also determined not to let others deviate too! No fear of material loss or influence of any favourite, no tears or supplication could induce him to act contrary to the Shariat (though, this man also has exceptions, for he too fell in LOVE with someone in his early life. Yes, this is true.!!).

His flatterers styled him “a living saint” (zinda pir). Indeed, from a very early period of his life he had chosen the strait gate and a narrow way ; but the defects of his heart made the gate straiter and the way narrower.

He lacked that kindness needed in the heart of a ruler, that sense of forgiveness and chivalry to his fallen foes, and that easy familiarity of address in private life, which made his ancestor - Mughal Emperor Akbar win the love and admiration of many. Aurangzeb drew his inspiration from the old law of relentless punishment and vengeance and forgot that mercy is an attribute of the Supreme Judge of the Universe.

His cold intellect, his suspicious nature, and his fame for profound statecraft, chilled the love of all who came near him. Sons, daughters, generals, and ministers, all feared him with a secret but deep-rooted fear, which neither respect nor flattery could disguise.

Art, music, dance, and even poetry (other than religious quotations) were his aversion, and he spent his leisure hours in hunting for legal precedents in Arabic works on Jurisprudence. {Note that there are exceptions here, as i mentioned, he too loved someone at a point of his life.! 

See this post:
Aurangzeb's Love Affair at First Sight - Valentine's Day Special

Scrupulously following the rules of the Quran in his own private life, he considered it his duty to enforce them on everybody else; the least deviation from the strict and narrow path of Islamic orthodoxy in any part of his dominions, would (he feared) endanger his own soul. His spirit was therefore the narrow and selfish spirit of the lonely recluse, who seeks his indivi­dual salvation, oblivious of the outside world. A man possessed with such ideas may have made a good fakir —though Aurangzeb lacked the fakir's noblest quality, that is charity - but he was the worst ruler imagin­able of an empire composed of many creeds and races, of diverse interests and ways of life and thought.

Aurangzeb utterly lacked sympathy, imagination, breadth of vision, elasticity in the choice of means, and that warmth of the heart which atones for a hundred faults of the head. These limitations of his character completely undermined the Mughal empire, { whose roots were so strongly nourished by Akbar } so that on his death it suddenly fell in a single downward plunge. Its inner life was gone, and the outward form could not deceive the world long. 

This article has been posted under the Miscellaneous topics of history_geek's Blog.

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  1. ohh my god! aurangzeb loved sm1 ? he fell in love!
    eagerly waiting 4 tat post abhay.
    grt writeup n balanced 2. 'tis iz wht d normal perception of aurangzeb is.
    i did not know he was a scholar. thnks 4 sharing.

  2. excellent assesment abhay .The posts and the comments on the earlier ones are wealth of information.Eagerly waiting for you next post in this series .Aurangazeeb loved some 1? This made me remember of Hitler.

  3. Thanks Abhay,Is this Link nes True.

  4. Iqra

    Aurangzeb had the best scholars and teachers to teach him from a young age. He was well-versed in the Quran, the science of Hadith and other Islamic sciences. He was a very enthusiastic reader. He could read and write in Arabic, Persian and Chagatai Turkic. He was also trained in calligraphy.

    See the image that shows an example of his Quranic calligraphy.

  5. Abhay

    Continuing the discussion from previous Aurangzeb thread,

    All the brothers may have loved Jahanara, but did she love all of them equally? It was mentioned at one place that she referred to Aurangzeb as "the white serpent" in her private correspondence.

    May be the brother and sister differed only in ideology, one being a liberal Sufi and the other a conservative muslim. Perhaps you are right - they were close. Why else would he write to her so openly of his feelings? Why would she intervene on his behalf?

    Preeti and you were also correct in saying that he accorded Jahanara great respect after she came out post her father's demise. He made her the First Lady of the Mughal empire again and increased her annual allowance, besides restoring all her titles. I also read that he got her a comfortable house in Delhi where he would have long conversations with her.

    It is always touching to see that at least some relationships remained sacrosanct and continued unhindered by murky politics.

  6. Radhika,
    Continuing from this link, on the previous part of Aurangzeb :

    I am answering here.>
    Aurangzeb was removed from Deccan in 1644. The prominent reason given that it was on advice of Dara that Shah Jahan removed Aurangzeb from Deccan. But it is given that Dara gave this advice in "good regard of the empire" . Dara's clause was that the forces are loyal to "Aurangzeb" but they should be loyal to the "empire".
    How much of this is true can not be proved by me, unless i read more from many sources. :)

  7. But because Dara was given the charge of the Deccan after removing Aurangzeb, the latter felt that Dara had played a game to oust him and take over the Deccan region for himself.

    Why didn't Shah Jahan ever try to remove misunderstandings between his sons?

    PS: Pls see my comment below. :)

  8. True.
    Jahanara may have loved Dara more, but she was loved by all the brothers, as she was a motherly figure to her brothers. She was against Aurangzeb's bigotry also. It's interesting that Aurangzeb who did not spare any person, even his own sons and daughters who went against him, spared Jahanara. :)

  9. Radhika,
    Shah Jahan was truly partial towards Dara. There is no doubt. :)
    He looked upon Aurangzeb with suspicion, and Dara's role was also suspicious in this, and many of his repeated pleas while he was battling financial losses in Deccan were not addressed completely by Shah Jahan.
    What Abul Fazl meant for Salim, same was Dara's meaning for Aurangzeb.

  10. Abhay

    So strange! It's sad but true that parents do have favorite children sometimes. :(

    Shah Jahan could have promoted Dara but should have taken care of Aurangzeb too. Similarly, Akbar may have given angst to Jahangir and Jahangir gave angst to Khusrau and Shah Jahan both. Mughals didn't seem to be good parents.

    Your comparison is ironic. Salim got Abul Fazl murdered and Aurangzeb got Dara killed.

  11. This portrait was recently identified as that of Princess Jahanara and attributed to the painter Lalchand (1631-33). One of 2 portraits of the same lady in an album presented by Dara Shikoh to his wife Nadira Banu Begum (1641-42).

  12. Abhay i saw, Epic channel, Salim is too much interested, to Sit on Throne, But Akbar point of veiw, He is unfit, because he is inresponsibile. So salim appointed, a secreat, person now secreat person will, Give salim, news of Rahim +Abul, Fazal is this is not BAGAVAT, from our Parents?

    .here Ruk is dominating, Salim wifes. My ques is is this true Acc to history.

    Why salim To ambitious, when i will sit on throne? because First Akbar is Alive, second, he is showing too much drinking. Koka , Murad, side with Salim, One thing, more Khusro is showing, some ill boy. Maybee mentely weak. if salim was real interested, hurry to sit on throne, i can understand Akbar Pain. Is that pain not bacame cause of Akbar death, Maybee he internally broken.cause of salim desires.

  13. Ayushi,

    That show is following the FICTIONAL novel of Indu Sundaresan - The Twentieth Wife, and according to that book only Ruqayya is the begum of Akbar. We do not see even Salima or Mariam Uz Zamani there.

    And even Abul Fazl is portrayed a bit negatively. Khusrau's character has been taken for a ride. Poor prince must be turning in his grave and cursing the makers for destroying his persona. :(

    That show has turned history on it's head. Almost not at all related to history. See this image below from the first page of that novel. :(

  14. Unbelievable!, history-geek, had it not been frm horse's mouth, I wouldn't hv believed, Aurangzeb had such simple traits.Actually it's due to our disinterestedness in this fanatic that we never tried to analyse his charecter. n to know that he was also in love! ha--ha. Abhay, I know u hv purposely kept this topic blank to raise our curiosity level. Eagerly waiting to know abt his affair:) Btw how many women did this fakir marry?
    Religious tolerance got brickbats, immediately after Akbar's death, i think.

  15. Geeta, I am transferring this discussion from the old post from this link, >
    to the present post...

    Your comment was:

    What a post, history -geek, i never thought, a post on Aurangzeb would be so interesting!. Right frm school days we hv heard abt his attrocities, I hv also heard he cut off Dara's head n presented it to his father in silver plate! What I came to know only later was that even Shahjahan was equally cruel n's debatable who was more cruel!.

    I like Jahan aara fr being an ideal daughter.a noble woman considering she sided the right person. But history-geek, both these girls r frm same mother?I hv read even Jahan ara was in love with some commoner.
    I totally agree with Radhika. It's a pity that daughters of Mughal dynasty ultimately a loner. Though they cud get whatever they wanted, they had neither sukoon nor sukh.

    They were reduced to caretakers of their brother's children. In exchange they got the title of Padshah begum ! Abhay, what were the rights of Padshah begum? They cud issue farmaans? Even if they had, did anyone exercise their right? I am looking forward to a dedicated post fr these daughters.
    History-geek, u said they remained unmarried as there was no other alliance of their level. What happened to Mirza Hakim? How many children did he hv? Were they also eliminated by Shsh jahan? As they themselves were treacherous, they did not hv trust in son in laws I think.

    My reply

    Interesting post Geeta. Do read the comments on last post also. :)

    Mother of both these sisters was the same. That is Mumtaz Begum.

    I replied about this affair incident of Roshanara Begum, to Radhika also, in the last post. The thing is that, i can not say with complete authority how much of that is correct, but a part in me wants to believe that there was some truth to it.
    Hopefully, soon we may have a post on Jahanara Begum. :)

    There was no connection between a Padshah Begum and the ability of a woman to issue a farman. You can see the post of Padshah Begums here.>

    Mirza Hakim had 2 sons and 1 daughter. The sons died in 1591 and 1597. It is said - They were executed on orders of Akbar. I can not confirm this.
    His daughter lived long. :)

  16. Thanks Abhay clearing this point.Very Bad, they are showing wrong history.if you can't show, real you have no right to show fictional name wrong. this is injustice to, True lovers of history.

    My friend who is history teacher, saying me children writing these days, History acc to Serial.

  17. Was Dara ambitious, Abhay? Did Shahjahan declare him as Walihad?
    There is also this story, a folklore of Ranadil commoner wife of Dara Shikoh whom Aurangzeb fell head over heels, n wanted to marry her.waiting fr ur next post:)

  18. Geeta,
    Aurangzeb had around 9 wives in totality.!!!

  19. radhika-it z always gud 2 knw d personal side of a person 4 a fresh perspective. i never knew all 'tis abt aurangzeb. tfs dear.

  20. Iqra,

    I believe no one is born bad. Aurangzeb too had a good childhood. But as he was growing up, there were 2 things that were happening.
    1. He believed in the conservative Islam, as opposed to the policies of Akbar, which went against Islam many times.
    2. He was sidelined by his father and brother, which increased his bitterness and cynicism.

    I don't believe he was sidelined only because he was a conservative Muslim. His father wasn't a tolerant person in the mould of Akbar either. There was politics involved here.

    In any case, it seems to me as if his father was responsible for pushing him to the point where he became even more of a hardliner and ultimately rebelled and captured the throne. Such incidents underline how important it is to handle children better, esp those who seem to be swinging to extremes - it is vital for parents to bring them back to moderate views before it is too late.

  21. Thanks Abhay. Clearing this point.If True facts are available,no need to show, fictional history. & down the image of Real history characters.My friend who is history teacher, says, these days students writing acc to serial His, paper ques. Surprise is this, sometime teacher not knows, What is actual ?

    Education department advices mostely, Students learn easily, through TV, or Audio, threphay. But these mediums also giving wrong knowledge, sad point.

  22. True Ayushi.
    Agree with you.
    In order to see the dates with time of the comments on blog, you need to move your cursor on the "Timestamp" of the comment, i mean that part which shows how much time back a comment was posted. Just see for all the comments on the right side of the name, this Timestamp is present. :)
    The link of the comment is also obtained from this timestamp. :)

  23. Radhika, what a post ! n the discussion that followed! really enjoyed it.
    Talking of traits, humans hv all good, bad n evil traits in them. It's upto u what trait u embrace. Circumstances n people around u also inflence ur decision to follow the path, right or wrong!
    As Shahjahan was brought up by Ruqs, we can understand what kind of bringing up he must hv had. Similarly if we come to know whom Aurangzeb was accosted to bringing up (mumtaz must be ever busy with her love life or her pregnancy;) ) we can gauge the situation. Not only that, Aurangzeb must hv witnessed the killings of his relatives, uncles by his father.When father himself teaches violence by action, what one can do?
    For once I am very happy, that history repeated itself!;)

  24. Abhay

    I discovered by accident how to get the link LOL

  25. I one is born evil....but some are meant to be evil and change the course of history....were they designed to be that way? I dont know.....but I want to know.
    I am not a liberal like is great that a non human like him was sidelined......agree that our upbringing has a lot to do with who we are...but as an adult ( living or dead).....we hv to take responsibility for their actions. Whether it is politics or religion in the name of politics....the people who suffer, dont really care. His bitterness n cynicism...what was the etiology? Who cares...he was no less than Hitler when it came to tolerance towards other ethnicities/ religions...was he any better? If it was his belief in " conservative Islam"...then either, his interpretation of Islam was wrong or this version of "conservative Islam" needs is not meant for sane human beings.

  26. Cleo

    Good to hear from you. :)

    I don't know if I am a "liberal". But I believe in the power of upbringing and outside influence on a person esp in their growing up years.

    Aurangzeb was and is notorious and no one can justify his deeds or would want to. But history is a good teacher, provided we are willing to learn her lessons. And to learn these lessons, we have to look beyond condemning someone as evil. We have to understand why they became so - whether Aurangzeb or Hitler. That is the only way we can prevent more such people in the present / future.

    I have very very limited knowledge about Aurangzeb. But I do believe that the emphasis on Quranic teachings may have made his outlook limited to that teaching. His mother apparently kept having one baby every year and must have hardly paid him any attention. And she died while he was still in his teens. His father had killed his way to the throne and was not averse to destroying temples and churches himself. Agree Aurangzeb may have been born with some defective genes that made him who he was but his environment and the people around him didn't help to change him either. They only reinforced what he may have been naturally.

    Dara and through him Jahanara were lucky to come in contact with Sufis and be influenced by them. So though they remained shrewd political players, their thinking was tempered to an extent by the Sufi ideals of tolerance and inclusion.

    I don't have the answer but I would like to know why Aurangzeb was the way he was.

  27. I came across an interesting snippet about Aurangzeb. I don't know if it's true. Abhay can confirm.

    Apparently, when Khurram rebelled against Jahangir and was defeated, Aurangzeb and his brother (name unknown) were taken as "court hostages" by Jahangir around 1626 (?) and were reunited with their parents only in 1628, after Khurram became king.

  28. They were taken hostages, and the main actor was mainly Nur Jahan behind the veil. After the death of Jahangir(1627) also they were with Nur Jahan and according to Badshahnama they were not safe with her. She had custody of 3 princes - Dara Shikoh, Shuja and Aurangzeb. It is mentioned she wanted to retain the power after the death of Jahangir.

  29. Abhay

    What a woman! I guessed she might have been behind the act because Jahangir could not have acted like this against his own grandchildren, esp when they were so young.

    Shah Jahan must have taken a great risk in proclaiming himself the emperor while his kids were in Nur Jahan's custody.

  30. radhika dear - replying here 2 ur above comment.

    d problem iz interpretation of shariat. hardliners interpret it in der way vich often crosses liberally accepted limits of tolerance. aurangzeb was under d influence of hardliners.

    abhay said in last post - war of dara and aurangzeb was a holy war. he was ryt. dara
    was supported by sufis. aurangzeb by hardliners.

    aurangzeb did not only destroy temples. he also killed sufis who r also muslims. but he killed dem. becoz dey were liberal in interpretation of shariat. aurangzebs fault was he cud not accept liberalism of sufis also.

  31. radhika dear - c my reply below.

  32. Iqra

    V true. It's always a matter of interpreting. Whether we go by the letter or the spirit. Aurangzeb went by the letter.

    I feel the war for succession among the brothers was purely for the throne and it was only given brush strokes of religion to give sanctity to what the brothers were doing to gain power. There was no clear cut line of succession and right from Khurram's time, each generation knew they would have to fight with their siblings and kill their way to power.

    Aurangzeb could not tolerate Sufis also because they were going beyond what he felt were the true tenets of their religion. They included people of other faiths that he could not accept. This is why Dara and Aurangzeb were against each other - because of the way they interpreted religion but also because of a clash in their ambitions.

    Interestingly Iqra, in Sufis also, in Akbar's reign only, I think, one sect emerged that was more conservative than the other sufi sects. They didn't believe in the "loving God like a beloved" kind of Sufism. I will tell you more about this later.

  33. I completely agree with u, Cleo, that some people r destined to behave in a particular way, no matter how much u try to dissuade them.We cannot point out a single reason why a person became the way he is. There cannot be any excuse fr the behavior of either Hitler or Aurangzeb, it's only an analisys.Have we not seen the rapists, n criminals showing their traits frm their childhood. 2 children brought up by the same parents also r not similar.
    Btw, inhuman behavior of Hitler cannot be compared to any living or dead human being.He n his teams invented unparalleled unimaginable innovative techiques to torture human beings.

  34. thnks radhika. looking fwd 2 mor details.

  35. Also. Cleo, I agree with last part of ur post:)

  36. Thank u Radhika fr that analisys n info.:)

  37. I feel pity for him...ek baat samajh nahi ayi..if he was such s orthodox Muslim, then how could he be cruel? Islam is all about peace and forgiving..a good saint must have mercy in his seems he only took the punishment things seriously and deliberately ignored the softer aspects.

    excited to know about his "love" :P

  38. Tamy,
    You are right in this assessment. :)
    Iqra also said the same thing. He went for a "different interpretation" . :(
    Please see her comment.
    I will post on his "LOVE" soon. :-P

  39. yeah read her comment..I agree with her completely..:)) Aurangzeb definitely had some mental problems -_- Islam ke naam pe violence!! this is crazy!

  40. Abhay,

    It's good to be notorious if one can't be famous. Aurangzeb is as much debated as Akbar. The others who were neither on this extreme nor on that, are considered also-rans in history and by the public. :)

    This post is a terrific continuation of the previous one on Aurangzeb. Most curious to know about Aurangzeb's love - may be in the 3rd part of this series? :)

    I will quote one little story here that shows how particular Aurangzeb was about following set etiquette and didn't make exceptions for anyone, not even his sons.

    "Aurangzeb treated his son's mahaldars with great respect. When A'zam Shah didn't take his mahaldars with him on a journey to Ahmedabad, he reproached him in a letter and fined him Rs 50,000 for his foolish behavior, to be paid into the state treasury."

  41. Everyone,
    Thank you for this post Abhay. It gave a better perspective on probably the most-hated Mughal rulers. Aurangzeb is known as one of the most oppressive rulers of all time, and even his policies spoke of the same. Could these policies be the major reason why Shivaji Maharaj always defeated him?

  42. Hi Samanika,
    Saw your comment after long. :)
    About Aurangzeb , i too feel that it was his policies which made him unpopular among the masses. It was one the biggest reasons of his fall and also the reason why Shivaji was opposed to him. You are right.
    Also, Shivaji's fighting method was very novel one - Guerilla Warfare. :D

  43. The following was a comment made on the blog by a member. :)
    On this link. >

    I am ONLY transferring the comment of the member here.

    I would not look back at Mughal period ever.
    Whole period was Dark
    Age for subcontinent.Aurangzeb was the most cruel person that Indian
    land ever produced.He killed lakhs of innocent people for sake of Islam
    and more than that were converted to Islam(Just like ISIS).Sikhism was
    born only due to cruel Mughals.
    All Mughals were 'illiterate',drunkards and lustful.They only built monuments nothing else.
    period was crucial for building nation in every part of world.You would
    not believe before 16th century Britain and all European states;China
    were zero to India.Well USA was infant that time.But all developed
    rapidly in that period where India was ruled by foreign Mughals.
    All Muslims rulers even Mughals were against education so they destroyed all Universities.
    Jahangir was in hangover 24×7 hours.His Empire was ruled by his Empress.
    Akbar had brain but he never used in field of education,science like what in other Emperors done.
    During Vedic Times Veds were composed.
    In Buddha period too all Kings were graduated from universities like Takshashila.
    Chandragupt himself Takshashila scholar; in Maurya period many writings on Politics,Economics were done by Chankya.
    Charak(Ayurved medicine doctor) was in cabinet of Kushan Emperor--Kanishka.
    Gupt period show immense growth in field of Science and Mathematics apart from Literature.This all know.
    HarshVardhan was himself highly educated Emperor.He took part in conferences on literature.Had written dramas in Sanskrit.
    Later Rajputs also made instruments like water clock.
    all know Takshashila & Nalanda Universities;but there were about 20
    more such universities many made by South indian Kingdoms like Chola
    Now comes Britishers many scientists born in that period...
    But there is no such thing in Muslim empires.They destroyed all temples of educations.
    Thus..Period of Mughals and Muslims is said to Dark Age for India.

  44. Hi Vinay,

    I share different opinion on this issue. I am not of the view that the age of Mughals was a DARK Age.

    Answering point wise.

    1. Sikhs owe their origin to Guru Nanak Dev Ji, who was present in 15th Century, well before the arrival of Mughals. I can agree that they took a military turn due to the oppression of some Mughals esp. Aurangzeb..

    2. No, All Mughals were NOT illiterate. Babur knew Turki. He wrote beautiful poetry. Akbar was a wonderful listener and learner, though not educated, it is said. Jahangir spoke fluent Turkish language, he conversed with Hawkins in that language only. Shah Jahan knew Persian and Turkish both. And, Aurangzeb was a VERY WELL learned man in many languages. See this post itself.. for Aurangzeb.. >

    3. Every king had many wives. If the word used is LUST then why to leave the other kings go scot free. I am yet to find strictly monogamous kings in medieval India.

    4. Yes, i am aware that Hindustan was very advances that time. There was NO concept of India in 16th and 17th Centuries. But, US was not even born. It was born around late 18th Century in 1776.

    5. Mughals came from outside but they settled here.

    6. I don't know the basis of saying that All Muslim rulers were against education. If they demolished, then they had their own reasons to demolish a university. That was not related to religion "ALWAYS" .

    7. Progress during Akbar's reign was remarkable. Again, i do not know what is the basis of saying there was no development. In his reign we had promotion of mathematics and emphasis on subjects like geometry, astronomy, logic, history, etc.... Dara Shikoh translated the Vedic Upanishad into Persian under the name of Sirr-i-Akbar. Akbar's court is famous for NavRatans.

    8. I agree during Vedic times, Vedas were composed by scholars. And many more developments took place, but it is not right to say that nothing happened in medieval age. The age was different the challenges were different. The thing is that, in medieval age a lot of emphasis was on struggle between the various clans which were striving to establish supremacy in Hindustan.

    Infact, i would say that the British rule pushed India back, and broke the self sufficiency by impoverishing the peasantry. Finally, as Radhika said in her comment {Link:} it is all a matter of perception. Even we have positives and negatives of British rule. :)

  45. Abhay,

    I agree with your views which are clearly put.

    Even Humayun was educated. Only Akbar was not educated among the Mughal rulers of note. But the irony is that he is regarded as the greatest Mughal ruler and one of the greatest kings in medieval India. He introduced many administrative and economic reforms as also social reforms like trying to abolish forcible sati, child marriage, forced marriage etc. He was one of the few kings who tried to understand the various faiths abounding in India then.

    Then there was an illustrious line of powerful women too among the Mughals including Hamida Banu, MUZ, Salima Begum, Nur Jahan, Jahanara Begum etc.

    The medieval period was considered the dark ages incidentally in Europe.

  46. Thanks for sharing your interesting views. Summarized well, from all fronts. :)
    Mughal records were translated because they fell in British hands, as their dynasty virtually finished, but the accounts of other dynasties was not translated because, the ruling houses still had the exclusive access to them. :)

  47. Thanks, Abhay! Many records are in the hands of the ruling families and many ruling families didn't maintain records or they got lost with time.

  48. Good Morning, friends!

    Here's a report in today's Times of India about an 18th century shamshir made in India that was analysed by scientists in Italy and the UK for its craftsmanship. Their conclusion was that Indians of that period were master craftsmen of weapons.

    Here's the report and its link:

    LONDON: For the first time scientists have used technology to analyse an Indian sword made in the 18th century and concluded that Indians were master craftsmen of weapons. Scientists and conservationists from Italy and the UK collaborated to study a curved single-edged sword called a `Shamshir'.

    The study, led by Eliza Barzagli of the Institute for Complex Systems and the University of Florence in Italy , looked at the 75-centimeter-long sword from the Wallace Collection in London. It was made in India in the late 18th or early 19th century . The sword's design has a Persian origin, from where it spread across Asia and eventually gave rise to a family of similar weapons called scimitars, forged in various southeast Asian countries.

    The carbon content of at least 1% shows it is made of wootz steel. This type of crucible steel was historically used in India and central Asia to make high-quality swords. Its band-like pattern is formed when a mixture of iron and carbon crystallizes into cementite.This forms when cast pieces of metal (called ingots) are allowed to cool down very slowly , before being forged at low temperatures.

    Barzagli's team reckons that the craftsmen of this particular sword allowed the blade to cool in the air, instead of plunging it into a liquid. Results explaining the item's composition have also led the researchers to presume that the sword was probably used in battle.

    "Ancient objects are scarce, and the most interesting ones are usually in excellent state.Neutron diffraction techniques provide an ideal solution to characterize archaeological specimens made of metal when we cannot or don't want to sample the object," said Barzagli.

  49. But you didn't answered about Universities?
    Agree or not agree previous empires were superior to Mughal/other Muslim rulers.
    Conversions from Sanskrit okay but few new creations?
    In history books Akbar is always mentioned to be lustful around 30 wives.Others have not such numbers
    Forced Conversions, killings of Hindus/Buddhists/Jain and destruction of their holy temples were remained as question mark on governance of Mughals.Babur knew Turkish as he was Turko-Mongol(mothertongue)..Babur is root of today's Ayodha conflict.He only destroyed Ram Mandir.
    Now see Second Battle of Panipat.After battle Mughals(headed by-Bairam Khan) captured head of Samrat Hemu and took to Kabul.Wild and cruel Mughals tied head to Delhi Darwaza(at Kabul).Left soldiers were found and killed brutally.A wall was built by their heads.Killings of Hindus were done after failure in conversion to Islam.[this act is very barbaric and pathetic]
    But we Indians were ghulams to foreign Mughals by our own acts.Rajputs didnot show their Royal warrior power.Except Maharana Pratap all the Rajputs were like 'pet-dogs' of Mughals(especially Jodha's father and brother)..They always talk of self respect and inherited Royalty but how could they gave their daughter to Mughals?Shame to them.
    Thanks to Jats,Marathas,Sikhs(all started from common men group) who rebelled during Aurangzeb period otherwise today there would be no difference of community from Arab to Malaysia.Buddhism is completely extinct from India,Pakistan where it was predominant in Afghanistan,Pakistan,Kashmir before their arrival.
    I always support secularism but i am against Forced conversions and killing for sake of Religion..I would never forgot the cruelty of Muslims.
    I am sure your history points(In support of Mughals) would be true.but in this post my points are also true.You know their goodness and I know their criticism.I can even expose Mohammad nature and character..But I don't wish to be victim of demons like that 'Charlie Hebdo'
    I was and will never be interested in knowing their history due to many(not all) barbaric and cruel violent rulers....
    I am peace loving person[Believe only Nature as God] Follower of Buddha..
    I will not comment on Mughals further more due to lack of full it is wrong saying them Full Culprits.
    Admin please post blogs of other topics of history..
    If anyone interested I can prove Mahabharat as just fiction poem(only show morals to some extent),Krishna's criticism on war.,Ramayan also fiction(but morally good)..Also existence of God is matter of talk..why it is not fully support all people?
    Why Jesus and Krishna are said to born to virgin mothers?(scientifically impossible)
    How Jesus,Mohammad are messenger of God(whose existence is controversial)Please try to write on these matters.

  50. Vinay, obviously you are not a fan of Mughal history and presence in India and that is your prerogative. And your opposing views are welcome. I will not bother to debate the merits of your arguments as each of us has a different view of history.

    HOWEVER: As a hindu I find a few of your points very offensive. This is Abhay's blog so maybe I have no right to say this but please do not introduce poison and bad taste by making disparaging remarks about religious prophets. This is a history blog not a religious one, which is frequented by people of ALL faiths where the only thing we have in common is our love for history. I am sure the internet is full of places where you can discuss your views on other religions freely.

  51. Preeti,

    I agree with you.

    This is a niche history blog where posts are related to Mughals, Rajputs and recently Mauryas. Its readership is spread across nations and communities.

    Vinay, like Preeti said, you are welcome to air different views but ONLY related to the post in question / the subjects covered by the blog. Please do not talk disparagingly against any community/religion/belief system and Prophets/Gods.This can be hurtful to people from those sects/groups.

  52. Preeti---first of all in my last comment,I himself withdrawn from this content and decided not to comment further.
    I was just asking you people to discuss politely on other matters(only if you want).I have not posted offensive matter against any religion.I was just asking to expose..if you are not agree than its okay.Those things are being exposed by all people like Buddha,Dayanand Saraswati(Wrote Satyarth Prakash)and many rationalists since ages and also can be exposed when one uses his scientific brain(thinks from his own inner consciousness)
    A criticizer is can't be said bad if he exposes such things with way of truth and facts.
    I know we all are afraid of like what happened in Paris.But no one can stop using his/her brain to distinguish between truth and superstition.
    Good bye...

  53. Vinay,
    As mentioned earlier by fellow readers, the blog is a place for discussion of history amiably which we all do. You are most welcome to participate in it. :)

    But, having said that, it is not a place for debate the authenticity of existence of Gods/Prophets, etc.
    It may be right in your opinion to say there is doubt on the existence of Prophets, but in my opinion there is no merit in the argument.

    Like you are mentioning some sources to prove one point, there are other sources as well to prove the contrary. What you mentioned is a "philosophy" of those enlightened people, which they believed, which i respect BUT it can not be used conclusively to prove the non-existence of many Prohpets/Gods, etc.

    Having said that, i see mythology and religious beliefs differently from the historical debates for which i made the blog. Hence, i won't be carrying forward the debate on religions and existence of Prophets,etc.

  54. Okay okay...You all are making me Villian here.TAKE IT EASY friends.I thought you post blog on each matter(i swear my Guru Buddha).Thats why i was asking to debate on that matter.But now i came to know only history matters are discussed here.
    Whether you believe or not this was very interesting topic which can expose all false ____against each re___/G__.I would discuss anywhere on youtube or other site.
    It is bad to believe blindly on any such things.I am not culprit. Every re___ion has few or more demerits what i can do and it is not bad rather it is excellent to expose them.If i wish to do this i would do 1000times.(Like what Arvind Kejriwal done in his field)...But now i wonder why i am telling all this.No one can force anyone to think in his own way.
    ÀLSO--- it will hurt people's sentiments so leave it.Continue your work..

  55. Vinay,
    It is not about making you a villain, my friend. We all are her for discussions only.
    The issue "is" with your repeated claim of proving some religions or their messengers as a "made up work" and exposing them.
    While i admire Buddha and all the other rationalists and social reformers of medieval India, i certainly do NOT believe that any religion has some bad elements.
    Jesus came and he did not say that my followers will be Christians. Mohammed Sahab did not say my followers will be Muslims. Buddha did not say that my followers will be Buddhist. No messenger said any thing like that, it's the people who made "religions" and then the de-merits came in it. I want to put a full stop at this discussion now. :)

  56. Vinay

    There is no ill will here at all. It's just that the discussions you would like are beyond the scope of this blog. It is only for discussing history and that too, only about 3 communities.

    Do feel free to discuss the history of the Mauryas, the Mughals and the Rajputs. :)

  57. Actually i stopped this discussion at once when you people called this offensive..decided not to comment further
    But you only extended this in this post as mentioning their ''merits'' of few of them.You only forced me to write now...
    But I would not post here,only will say read the those persons' criticism(on their life style and principles) who were called as pro___ts from google wikipedia{At least Muh____ad} then you would understand why i was telling to discuss on them(but unknown about blog rules at that time)... [Don't ever say it is wrongly given in them--you can check your history books on their lives also dee references below]
    I would not say anything more...

  58. Radhika,
    This information deserves to posted as a separate post. Please make one for sure when you feel well. :)

  59. Abhay

    Thanks for your lovely words. :)

  60. Radhika,
    You should really make a separate post. It's that good. :)