Select from the drop-down MENU & READ the Blog in your PREFERRED Language

BLOG CONTENTS

Akbar & Harka Bai | Maharana Pratap | Mauryans | Razia Sultan | Miscellaneous | Jodha Akbar | FolkLore | Suggestions

5300+ comments registered on over 165 active posts, till now.
Plagiarism is a serious ethical offense amounting to copyright infringement. ZERO tolerance for Plagiarism.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Jodha Akbar Shah-i-Iran Track Historical Update - Old Rivalries...Ottomans, Safavids, Uzbeks and Mughals | Part-1



Hi all,

This post is related to the present track of Zee TV's show Jodha Akbar - which is about the ruler of Iran who has sent his messengers to the court of Akbar. It is shown that the Iranian ruler asks Akbar to strictly adhere to the tenets of Islam. He says - "Jodha is a Hindu Queen and hence her son can not be declared the heir to the throne of Mughal Sultanate. This won't be acceptable to the Islamic orthodoxy. The messagers suggest Akbar to get Jodha converted to Islam. In short, it looked as if the Shah of Iran was dictating terms to Akbar."

Credit for Pic : Bhavna



Now, in this backdrop, i am giving brief details about what this track SHOULD ultimately lead to..

The origin of this situation which Akbar faced with the Iranian ruler goes back to times of his ancestors.. This post is going to be hardcore history and please keep a world map open in another tab, because the beauty of these historical details can ONLY be understood when you have a complete grasp on the geography i am talking about. Before, i write about Akbar's era, i need to tell you about his ancestors' relations with Iran.

Let's start...
This is a at least 2 part post..This is part-1 of the same series..This post tells about the background of rivalry between the Mughals-Uzbeks-Safavids-Ottomans.


We know the Mughals of India were descendants of Timur. Hence, they were called Timurids. Mongol rulers had established a great empire in 13th century under the well known - Changez Khan. I have mentioned the timeline below. The empire flourished but IMPORTANT changes took place in Central and West Asia during the 15th century. Note that the names are succeeded by the word - "Khan". This does not means that they were Muslims. Mongols were not Muslims initially. They converted later to Islam. Khan was a military terminology.

Some Mongol Rulers...

 -      1206–1227     Genghis Khan
 -      1229–1241     Ogedei Khan
 -      1246–1248     Guyuk Khan
 -      1251–1259     Mongke Khan
 -      1260–1294     Kublai Khan
 -      1333–1370     Temur

After the disintegration of the Mongol empire in the 14th century, Timur united Iran and Turan(a part of Central Asia under 'Tur' tribe) under one rule once again. Timur's empire extended from the lower Volga* to the river Indus**; and included modern day Turkey, Iran, Central Asian region, Afghanistan and a part of present day Pakistani Punjab. Timur died in 1404, but his grandson, Shahrukh Mirza (died 1448), was able to keep intact a large part of his empire. He gave patronage to arts and letters, and in his time, Samarqand and Herat became the cultural centres of West Asia. The ruler of Samarqand had great prestige in the entire Islamic world.


*Volga - It is a river which drains into Caspian Sea. Had, Iran(later ruled by Safavids) to it's South, Uzbekistan(later ruled by Uzbeks) to it's East, Turkey(later ruled by Ottomans) to it's West..So, you see, initially all this region was under the control of Mongols, and later came under control of these dynasties.

**Indus - In present day Pakistan

But, soon the power of Timurids declined rapidly during the second half of the 15th century; largely due to the Timurid tradition of partitioning the empire. The various Timurid principalities which arose were always fighting and wrangling among themselves. There was no unity among them. This mutual disunity of Timurid princes provided an opportunity to 2 new elements to come to the forefront::

 
1. Uzbeks
From the north, a Mongol tribe, the Uzbeks; thrust into Central Asia. The Uzbeks had also converted to Islam, but were looked down upon by the Timurids who considered Uzbeks to be "uncultured barbarians". { Uzbeks were deadly enemies of Mughals. }


2. Safavids (Iran)
Further to the west, a new dynasty, the Safavid dynasty, began to dominate Iran. The Safavids descended from an order of saints who traced their ancestry to the Prophet. They supported the Shiite sect of Islam among the Muslims, and persecuted those who were not prepared to accept the Shiite tenets. In simple terms, they persecuted Sunnis. It was this religious intolerance, which Akbar disliked in Safavid rulers of Iran (we will see this later, in the post.)


The Uzbeks, on the other hand, were Sunnis. Thus, political conflict between these two elements - Uzbeks and Safavids, was embittered by sectarian conflict. There was a 3rd power which was under development - The Great Ottoman Empire.

3. To the west of Iran, the power of the Ottoman Turks was rising. They wanted to dominate eastern Europe as well as Iraq and Iran. But, Iran was the bastion of Safavids, hence Ottomans were bound to come in conflict with Safavids for sure. Ottoman Empire was ruled by Sunnis. Hence, Safavids were sandwiched between Ottomans in the West and Uzbeks in the North-East. Also, both Uzbeks and Ottomans were Sunnis and both had territorial ambitions in Safavid Empire of Iran. 


The raw materials for a fierce struggle were being collected together and the scene was set for the conflict of three mighty empires in Asia during the sixteenth century , which was to be faced by Emperor Akbar of Hindustan. Now, keeping in mind the above background of Uzbeks-Safavids-Ottoman Turks, let us come back to Mongols(Mughals).

In 1494, at the young age, Akbar's grandfather, Babur succeeded to Farghana ( in present day eastern Uzbekistan). Oblivious of the Uzbek danger, the Timurid princes were busy fighting one another, as mentioned above. This disunity was going to cost them their native land. Babur, too, made a bid to conquer Samarqand from his uncle. He won the city twice(1494 & 1497) but lost it in no time on both the occasions. The second time the Uzbek chief, Shaibani Khan, was called in to help oust Babur from Samarqand. {Babur was a man who was said to have spent his life on a horseback. This man fought continuous wars throughout his life.}


Shaibani defeated Babur and conquered Samarqand. Soon, Shaibani Khan Uzbek also overran the rest of the Timurid kingdoms in the area. This forced Babur to move southwards towards Kabul which he conquered in 1504. For the next 14 years, Babur kept biding his time for the reconquest of his homeland from the Uzbeks. He tried to enlist the help of his uncle, the ruler of Herat, in the enterprise but to no avail. Ultimately, Herat, too, was overrun by the Uzbek ruler Shaibani Khan. Since, the Timurid territory between the Uzbeks and Safavids was captured by Uzbeks, this now led to a direct conflict between the Uzbeks and the Safavids since the latter also laid claim to Herat and the surrounding area which is called Khorasan.

In a famous battle in 1510, Shah Ismail, the Shah of Iran, defeated and killed Shaibani Khan Uzbek. With Uzbek danger of East, now put to rest for sometime, Babur now made another attempt to recover Samarqand, this time he took the help of the Iranian forces. Babur was duly installed at Samarqand, but chafed under the control of the Iranian generals who wanted to treat Babur as the governor of an Iranian province rather than as an "independent prince". This was a MAJOR issue for Mughal rulers because the Safavids of Iran, in return of the help given to Mughals, treated them as NOT independents but as vassals. Meanwhile, the Uzbeks recovered rapidly from their defeat of 1510. Once again Babur was ousted from Samarqand by the Uzbeks, and had to return southwards back to Kabul again. Finally, Shah Ismail of Iran himself was defeated in a famous battle by the Ottoman Sultan from the West, thus leaving the Uzbeks as masters of Central Asia. These developments
like the weakening of Safavid power at the hands of Ottomans and rise of Uzbeks, finally forced Babur to look towards India.

Conclusion:

So, did you notice....Uzbeks clashed with both Mughals of Hindustan and Safavids of Iran. Hence, Mughals and Safavids had a common enemy in Uzbek rulers. Safavids had helped Babur as we saw above, and also later helped Humayun in recovering his lost empire from Sher Shah Suri's successors. But, Safavids considered Mughals as NOT independent rulers but as vassals. Hence, despite having a common ground for friendship against Uzbeks, the high-handed treatment of Safavids was not liked by Mughals.

Political relations between the Mughals, Safavids and Uzbeks were complicated by several factors. From the mid of 15th century A.D. the Mughals, Uzbeks and Ottomans made occasional overtures to each other to unite against the Safavids, under the banner of Sunnism. Note that, though, there was a possibility of unification due the similarity of same sectarian sect, but the Mughals were not religious fanatics. They had Sufi leanings, in comparison to others.

However, this seemingly natural alliance was negated by several factors::

1. Mughals claimed to be the legitimate rulers of the Central Asian lands which was their homeland, which they considered the Uzbeks to have usurped. Each of the first six Mughal rulers had articulated plans to re-conquer the dynasty’s ancestral lands in Central Asia. We saw in the starting that Mongols had a big empire in the 13-14th centuries.

2. Another was the fact that both Babur and Humayun had at various points accepted the status of Safavid vassals in lieu of Safavid help. This also negated the possibility of an alliance because an alliance is done with another king NOT with a 'subordinate' vassal.

 Till now was a historical post. Now, i am trying to tell what the makers of Jodha Akbar are trying to show....

The present track of Jodha Akbar show, is related to the same point number-2. It is shown to us the Shah of Iran dictates terms to Akbar on a religious issue, which is NOT liked by Akbar. Now, Akbar will take a remarkable step to finally dispose off this tag of superiority of the Safavids.  

Now is the time, he will denounce the Safavids' authority....What step he will take and what challenges he would face, lets read that in Part-2, which has been posted...This post was a background....

Here is the Link of Part-2 post..:
Jodha Akbar Shah-i-Iran Track Historical Update - The "Infallible" Daring Diplomatic MasterStroke of Akbar & Sheikh Mubarak | Part-2


This article has been posted under the Mughals section of history_geek's blog.


Share this article :

38 comments:

  1. Abhay what a great post! :)
    The best part of this post was that it was easy to comprehend. I always had issue remembering which of they dynasties were SUnni and which Shia Muslims.

    I had read about this power-play in Raiders of The North by Alex Rutherford. Babur was indeed a great man. To travel all the way from Samarkand, after so many losses and then to establish his rule in Kabul and then Hindustan was remarkable. What you said was true- Babur must have been on horseback his whole lifetime, for I think he suffered a fate similar to Akbar and lost his father at a young age.

    Well I hope the CV's execute this track in a sensible and realistic manner. Please retweet this link to Manish too, maybe he can get some 'authentic' information for here. :P

    ReplyDelete
  2. Abhay agreat post which prepared even us mentally with the back ground. Even if we search and sruggle to read number of books for months together we would never get such a great information like already cooked and put in our hand recipe. I am so happy and i immediately inform all my friends to go to your blog and enjoy the info. thanq Abhay and Hats off to your passion in collecting the info and sharing it with us and making us feel happy. Now with this info i am really excited how he will face the storm and how he stands for jodha is worth watching. I think it is infact not the matter or religion as mentioned in forum but mostly religion is taken as a base to let down Akbar and new promo is just to create some tension and attract viewers.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't have any words to appreciate the interest you are invoking in all viewers by your posts. Great work u are doing. I feel very few are aware of these facts. Thank u for the wonderful efforts you are taking in opening the history to us and wish to see many more like this from you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Abhay ,
    Tfs for this post :) Great work indeed , as i had no idea regarding the dynasties except for the Mongols and Afghans !!!
    It is indeed remarkable to know such powerful dynasties fighting for the other's land , which i have heard in southern parts of India too ...Well , those days power meant everything tdy too !!! Well its good to see the CVs are handling this track in sensible way till now , that itself gives me immense pleasure ;P
    Hope they will maintain it throughout this track And Make Akbar-The Great , whom he was REALLY both as a person n Emperor of that ERA :):)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Kembang TanjoengApril 1, 2015 at 4:42 PM

    Much appreciated Abhay. I apologize if I
    bothered you with this. It is just I am dumb founded by the latest track.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Kembang


    Nothing specific is mentioned about the Shah pressurising Akbar for the conversion of MUZ. It was an overall issue - the Shah projected himself as superior to Akbar and expected him to fall in line with his directions, even in religious issues.


    Let's see how Akbar showed his independence as a sovereign to the Shah in this track. In reality, it was very exciting.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kembang TanjoengApril 1, 2015 at 5:14 PM

    yup definitely exciting and both nerve wrecking. Hoping the screen writers will deliver a solid delivery. Since almost 80% of people in my Indonesia are Muslim this subject matter is high sensitive. I always keep reminding people whom read my JA recap to be take a "chill pill" and read it with an open mind. This after all just a tv drama.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks Abhay. I believe Babar/mughals were more art conscious less barbaric then Uzbeks and Ottomans

    ReplyDelete
  9. Abhay


    A splendid introduction to the key players who influenced Akbar's policies and decisions!


    Looking forward to the next part. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Excellent description of the historical background of the situation leading to tension between the Shah of Iran and the Mughals. I am eagerly looking forward to reading the second part now.


    Thank you Abhay.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Kembang TanjoengApril 1, 2015 at 6:10 PM

    Hi Abhay. Your post will help a great deal explaining, the back ground of latest JA track (epi. 472 & 473), to my friends back home in Indonesia. I am asking for your permission to write a recap of this, in my native language, and share it to my friends on a local Jodha Akbar fan page. Thank you so much Abhay.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The Prized Possession - Kandahar

    Kandahar was the epicenter of the power struggle between the Mughals and the
    Persians for many generations. It was like a status symbol for both sides, as
    it lay on the main trade route between India and Persia and was important both
    commercially and militarily.

    Babur managed to wrest control of Kandahar in 1522 after ousting the Arghuns
    from there. (The Arghun dynasty ruled from late 15th century till early 16th
    century in the area between southern Afghanistan and Sindh province of
    Pakistan.) In the decade between 1535 and 1545, Babur's son, Kamran, and Shah Tahmasp of Persia kept winning and losing control of Kandahar.

    Humayun got its control from Kamran with Persian help. But he gave it to Murad
    Mirza, the infant prince of Tahmasp. After the prince's untimely death, Humayun
    took it back in a surprising and seemingly ungrateful manner and gave it to
    Bairam Khan. This strained the Mughal-Persian relations.

    In 1558, Tahmasp got back Kandahar and gave it to his nephew, Sultan Husain
    Mirza. At that time, Akbar was still in a weak spot and could not resist this
    move. But the growing power of Abdullah Uzbek in Transoxiana made Tahmasp seek an alliance with Akbar against a common enemy - the Uzbeks. Tahmasp sent his cousin Syed Beg Safavi to Akbar's court in this regard in 1562 but Akbar, who was already in an empire expansion mood, was not too keen on forging an
    alliance with the Persians.

    The next ruler, Shah Abbas, in his initial years, felt hemmed in by the advancing Uzbeks and Ottomans and sought Akbar's help in recovering Khorasan from Abdullah Uzbek and hoped to get back Kandahar too. Akbar had already made it clear "that the Persian royal family and his own had always been on friendly terms, and he did not consider differences of law and religion as sufficient ground for a war of conquest."

    Akbar however had an understanding with Abdullah (around 1587-88). He did not get involved in Shah Abbas's favor even after the latter approached him for getting rid of the Uzbeks. The Uzbek pressure helped Akbar recover Kandahar.

    The Persian governor of Kandahar, Muzzafar Hussain Mirza, felt insecure about the Uzbek threat and, in 1593/1595, he decided to surrender himself to Akbar and accept service under the Mughals. Akbar immediately deputed Shah Beg to take charge of Kandahar. Thus, Kandahar passed peacefully into the hands of Akbar. In a smart move, Akbar then sent a diplomatic letter through Zain ul Mulk to Shah Abbas, whom he called his son, seeking friendly ties between the two.

    And friendly relations did continue between the two empires, despite the Kandahar incident stated earlier.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Kembang


    There is a Google Translate option at the top of the page that can be used to convert the contents here into Indonesian language.


    If you still wish to recap the contents here on your fan page, please do give the complete link to this post in your recap and provide credit to Abhay for original content. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Kembang TanjoengApril 1, 2015 at 6:42 PM

    Yup but the Google translate option always gets it wrong. They translation results are confusing.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Well, Kembang, then you can choose Option 2 stated above. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yes, Kembang, true. This is a most interesting story in itself. :)


    If Abhay doesn't cover it in this series, then I will share it. Just wait a bit :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. yes..i ve seen abhay includes link 2 radhikas fb id on d top of his fb post whnevr he shares ny post written by radhika on fb. i enables mor ppl frm fb 2 reach d original writer if fb id of original writer is included. he deserves d credit of info vich he painfully digs n shares humbly wid us.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Babur held Samarkand only a year; Shaibani Khan re-took it in July 1501. Babur describes this siege in his Baburnama in the following words:

    The siege drew on to great length; no provisions and supplies came in from any quarter, no succour and reinforcement from any side. The soldiers and peasantry lost hope and, by ones and twos, began to let themselves down outside the walls and flee. When Shaibaq Khan heard of the distress in the town, he came and dismounted near the Lovers'-cave. In turn, I took a stand opposite him in Malik-muhammad Mirza's dwellings in the Lower Lane. On one of those days, Khwaja Husain's brother, Uzun Hasan came into the town with 10 or 15 of his men--he who, as has been told, had been the cause of Jahingir Mirza's rebellion, of my exodus from Samarkand (in March 1498 CE) and, again! of what an amount of sedition and disloyalty! That entry of his was a very bold act.

    The soldiery and townspeople became more and more distressed. Trusted men of my close circle began to let themselves down from the ramparts and get away; begs of known name and old family servants were amongst them, such as Pir Wais, Shaikh Wais and Wais Laghari. We utterly despaired of help from any side; no hope was left in any quarter; our supplies and provisions were wretched, what there was was running out; no more came in. Meantime Shaibaq Khan proposed to talk peace. Little attention would have been given to his overtures if there had been hope or food from any side. But there was no choice--a sort of peace was made and we took our departure from the town, by the Shaikh-zada's Gate, some-where about midnight.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Babur describes leaving Samarkand in 1501 in Baburnama, in the following words:

    I took my mother Khanim out with me; two other women-folk went too, one was Bishka-i-Khalila, the other, Minglik Kukuldash. At this exodus, my elder sister, Khan-zada Begim fell into Shaibaq Khan's hands. In the darkness of that night we lost our way and wandered about amongst the main irrigation channels of Soghd. At daybreak, after a hundred difficulties, we got past Khwaja Didar. At the Sunnat Prayer we scrambled up the rising-ground of Qara-bugh. From the north slope of Qara-bugh we hurried on past the foot of Juduk village and dropped down into Yilan-auti. On the road I raced with Qasim Beg and Qanibar-'ali (the Skinner); my horse was leading when I, thinking to look back at theirs, twisted myself round; the girth may have slackened, for my saddle turned and I was thrown on my head to the ground. Although I at once got up and remounted, my brain did not steady till the evening; until that point, this world and what went on appeared to me like things felt and seen in a dream or fancy. Towards afternoon we dismounted in Yilan-auti, there killed a horse, spitted and roasted its flesh, rested our horses awhile and rode on. Very weary, we reached Khalila-village before the dawn and dismounted. From there the route went to Dizak.

    In Dizak just then was Hafiz Muhammad Duldai's son, Tahir. There, in Dizak, were fat meats, loaves of fine flour, plenty of sweet melons and an abundance of excellent grapes. From what privation we came to such plenty! From what stress to what repose! ...

    Never in all our lives had we felt such relief! Never in the whole course of them have we appreciated security and plenty so highly. Joy is best and more delightful when it follows sorrow, ease after toil. I have been transported four or five times from toil to rest and from hardship to ease. This was the first. We were set free from the affliction of such a foe and from the pangs of hunger and had reached the repose of security and the relief of abundance.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is an automatic message from DISQUS.

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a narrative! Abhay, Thank u fr explaining things in such a simple way.:) Though I did not hv a map in front of me, I cud easily comprehend what happened n where.. No words to thank u.
    Abhay I always used to wonder, why people in different parts of the world heed to Shah of Iran, n his Fatwas.( it happens in this century also.) Now it's clear to me.:)

    I was anyways going to ask u abt this new track, ki u hv posted in time.But Abhay, the present track of instructions regarding Jodha begum must be Natakiya rupantar.
    Eagerly waiting fr ur post on 2nd part, also fr Akbar's solution to this situation.!
    Thanking u again,

    ReplyDelete
  22. grt post abhay. i no less abt 'tis topic. so i ll wait 4 nxt post lyk radhika. thnks 4 sharing. very informative. u've arranged 'tis info 4 us n put in easy 2 read manner. m sure it must hv taken u lots of effort.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Kembang TanjoengApril 1, 2015 at 7:33 PM

    I read it somewhere that in 1622-23 Mughals (Jahangir's reign) lost Kandahar fort to Iran.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Aadhya

    Indeed, Babur's life was extremely tough. If ever there was a nomad-padshah, it was him.

    Babur himself writes about his miserable situation at one point in Baburnama:--

    "During my stay in Tashkent, I endured much poverty and humiliation. I had no country or hope of one! Most of my retainers dispersed; those who remained were unable to move about with me because of their destitution. If I went to my uncle The Khan's gate, I went sometimes with one man, sometimes with two. It was well he was no stranger but one of my own blood. After showing myself in his presence, I used to go to Shah Begim's, entering her house bareheaded and barefoot just as if it were my own.

    This uncertainty and want of house and home drove me at last to despair. I thought, 'It would be better to go off by myself than live in such misery; better to go as far as my feet can carry me than for others to see me in such poverty and humiliation."

    ReplyDelete
  25. Kembang TanjoengApril 1, 2015 at 7:59 PM

    Love to know more about it.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wow, this piece was beautiful. Give us an insight on the amount of courage Babur would have had to muster up to do all that he did. A true visionary he was. To come from the cold mountainous Ferghana to Humid Hindustan and set up an empire, a truly marvelous feat.

    And Akbar kept up his name, by taking the empire to a whole new level of prosperity. A very intriguing dynasty for sure. :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. WOW! superb narrative Abhay. I learned a lot from this post. Fascinating information. I cant wait for part 2 which will deal more with Akbar and possibly Jehangir's equation with the Safavid Dynasty? Thanks so much for your efforts

    ReplyDelete
  28. So much interesting info Radhika. I think I am going to rename you "History Geek the II" Anyways thanks for all this fascinating info. Are you reading the Baburnama now?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Abhay, Thank you so much for this very informative post. This is amazing..I have learned a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wow! Radhika dear, what a delightful reading! i felt as if I journied with Babar n his team. In every dynasty, the founder has to go thru a lot of hardships as it is clear frm Babarnama. Where does Dizak lie? Anyway, thank u so much fr sharing this story. And while I too am searching fr a new suitable name fr u, like preeti, i hope u will continue to share more interesting stories :)

    When did he really thought of invading India?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Great post Abhay :)

    I literally read the whole post with a Map open in another tab :) :)
    Well as far as religious side is concerned I had read about Sultan of Turkey who was called Khalifa. But Shah-i-Iran having such authority is news to me...So thanks for explaining all with every minute detail.

    Well as from the show POV: Shah of Iran has said that they will not allow Akbar's subjects to cross their lands to go to Haj. Then I guess as a work around makers may show that henceforth the subjects will go to Haj through sea route via Gujarat???

    Thanks again for this awesome piece of information :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Geeta,
    I believe Dizak is an Armenian principality. Babur thought of coming to Hindustan somewhere around 1517.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks Preeti,
    Part-2 post is ready. You will get the answers there. :D

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks Rasika,
    The query about Gujarat post has been answered in part-2 post. Do read there. It is interesting. :) Link:
    http://mariam-uz-zamani.blogspot.com/2015/04/jodha-akbar-shah-iran-track-pt2-infallibility-decree.html

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thank you everyone here. Read all the comments. For me sharing and writing is an interesting prospect, where i also learn in the process. Do check part-2 post of this series. :)
    Link : http://mariam-uz-zamani.blogspot.com/2015/04/jodha-akbar-shah-iran-track-pt2-infallibility-decree.html

    ReplyDelete
  36. Not really, Preeti :) Just shared a few excerpts I read. Want to read the book as soon as I can lay hands on a good, reliable copy.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Kembang,


    Answering your query about how Jahangir lost Kandahar. :)


    Shah Abbas professed "friendship" with Jahangir, calling him "brother" and sending him presents and despatching envoys to J's court.


    Jahangir was lulled into a false sense of security thus. Then in June, 1622, Shah Abbas attacked and captured Kandahar in a surprise raid hid under the pretext of hunting.


    Btw Akbar used to use hunting as a pretext for hiding many of his military campaigns too!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Continuing...


    Shah Abbas wrote apologetically that Kandahar belonged to Persia and that he expected Jahangir to surrender it voluntarily. In a condescending note, SA added that his "brother dear as life" {Jahangir} may, in return, consider the whole of Persia as his own.


    Jahangir admonished SA in a dignified manner for his pretence of "shooting and spectacle" - "sair o shikar". Addressing SA as "pahalwan Mirza" {for his arm twisting tactics, perhaps?} Jahangir threatened to attack Persia with a force of 2 lakhs. He added that even the Roman Kaiser {Caesar} could not shelter SA nor could SA hope to be spared even if he flew into the sky like a bird. :)


    SA in his "polite" reply chided "Shah Salim Khan" {Jahangir} for writing such an unbecoming letter. Quoting the examples of Timur and Shah Rukh {Jahangir's ancestors}, SA boasted that even a 30,000 strong force would be enough to annihilate Jahangir. He further taunted that even if J took refuge at the court of the Khaqan {ruler} of China, he would have to be deported as a prisoner to Persia and that J could not escape SA even if he entered the bowels of earth as an ant.


    After losing Kandahar, J gave up the Mughal-Persian alliance. He was not able to get back Kandahar despite his best efforts.

    ReplyDelete