The ‘Greatness’ myths and episodes that led to the collapse of the Mughals!
The Mughals seized India in the 1500s and affirmed its invasion by its victory of the first battle of Panipat in 1526. The Mughals, which our historians have named the dynasty is the Persian word for the Mongols. They didn’t use this term anywhere in history. They designated themselves as “Gurkani” meaning son-in-law a reference to ‘Timur being the son-in-law of a scion of Chengiz Khan’.
🚩Zahiruddin Muhammad alias Babur, the descendant of Timur (patriarchal) and Chengiz Khan(matriarchal), was the founder ruler of the Mughal dynasty in India. He succeeded his father Umar Sheik Mirza as the ruler of Ferghana, Uzbekistan but was soon defeated by a distant relative. He wandered without a kingdom for some time until he confiscated Kabul from one of his uncles.
Babur couldn’t restrict himself to conquering the vast rich ‘Bharat’. And what made him so confident was the unstable political system seen across the country. He took three attempts to invade India from 1519 to 1523. But he couldn’t make it.
The right opportunity to enter India came to him in 1524 when he was sought help by his green-eyed rivals Daulat Khan Lodi and Alam Khan to defeat Ibrahim Lodi. He accepted the invitation and joined the incursion. But the situation didn’t turn the way as Daulat Khan supposed. The High spirited invader, first fought against him with the help of Alam Khan. Daulat Khan resigned and surrendered Lahore & Punjab and all his soldiers and officers. In 1526 Babur killed Ibrahim Lodi.
The Play begins here.
When strolled through the history of Mughals we could find the lust of power which had demolished this kingdom miserably. But what brought into the world was entirely another phase praising the acts of valour but not about how the empire collapsed!
A great series of plundering of a vast civilization by several groups who tried to ravage the culture, identity and nationality through their imperialistic persona which they tried to impose ‘becoming us' resulted in the demolition of the whole country taking away the identity it originally had. It was the last who bore the blame but not those who were on the journey of exploiting the huge sovereignty.
In Indian history, We always demonised the British Raj and forgot all other invaders who obliterated our resources.
It’s the power of history! History was rewritten! We can’t rely on sources which we actually believe it to be true.
Yes, of course, British were the demons who plundered and ransacked our land for decades but we shouldn’t forget bystanders in these acts.
In South India, there existed an ethnic community named as ‘Panan’ which had much of its prevalence during the Sangam age, who composed & sang hymns, folk songs and poems in their villages and royal halls. Their main obligation was to praise and entertain the Kings in the royal courts. It’s also said that they were to sing the valour of great kings and royal ruler moving place to place and even stories what the Kings demanded.
Panan can be completely compared to that of the court poets who were patronised to write and sing the heroic tales of the King’s and rulers. But they needn’t to be true always.
There exists a description of Babur. An Incredibly strong, physically fit ruler. He used to carry 2 men on each shoulder then runs around and even climb slopes. It’s also believed that Babur had swum across almost every major rivers in India that even against the current.
Really? Why did he took 4 attempts to invade India then? Who knows what’s the truth? Even we would like to question the author whoever had written it.
It’s believed after the first battle of Panipat, Babur gave sanctuary to the widow and mother of Ibrahim Lodi. To avenge the death of her son, she tried to kill Babur by smuggling poison in his meal of fried hare carrots and bread with the help of the food taster Chashnigir. But he survived.
Historians have documented that, In 1530, Humayun, the elder son of Babur fell sick and was bedridden. There was no possibility of his survival. Babur walked three times around the bed chanting prayers to transfer the illness from his son to him. Within no time Humayun began to recover and Babur turned ill and eventually breathed his last at his 47. According to the memoirs of Gulbadan Begam, daughter of Babur, he fell ill the very day and died soon after.
🚩Nasir-ud-din-Muhammed alias Humayun 'the fortunate’ was the eldest son of Babur. He succeeded Babur at his young age of 23 in 1530. He learnt Turki, Arabic and Persian but hasn’t been an expert in any, because of his careless habit. He didn’t earn the respect of the Mughal’s like that of his father hence many nobles deserted the dynasty after Humayun’s accession.
Following the Timurid tradition, Humayun decided to share his power with his brother. The Central India Delhi and Agra were under his control. Kabul and Kandahar were under the power of Kamran his brother, who meanwhile enlarged his territory by annexing Punjab and Multan. Humayun was relieved of the pressure of the Western frontier as it was under the custody of his brother. But with this, his brother deprived him of the main ground of his battalion.
Keeping this in mind Humayun went to the east to fight against the Afghans who were under Sultan Mahmud Lodi. He defeated afghans and conquered Bihar, Jaunpur and chunar. Sher Khan, the Afghan showed his submission which Humayun foolishly believed and allowed Sher Khan to possess Chunar again. Humayun lacked time as he was worried about his sitting throne at Agra as he heard about the growing power of Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, who was hostile to him from the very beginning. Humayun defeated Bahadur Shah but was not able to annexe the region as he was soon called to the east for revolt against Sher Khan. Humayun marched to the east and was defeated twice by Sher Khan. He was forced to leave India. He wandered and finally reached Persia where he sought asylum. The Persian King Tahmasp agreed to help him to retain his kingdom but on one condition, that Humayun should adopt Shia Creed.
Agreeing to the offer extended Humayun with help of Persian forces first conquered his brother and captured the territories of Kabul and Kandahar. Marching to the east he defeated the Afghan forces and occupied Agra and Delhi.
But the ‘fortunate' Humayun was not so fortunate to enjoy the fruits of his victories as he died by an accidental fall from the top of his library, which fractured his head.
🚩Abu’l- Fath Jalal- ud- din- Muhammad alias Akbar, the third emperor of the dynasty succeeded his father Humayun.
Under a regent Bairam Khan, a confidant of Humayun, Akbar brought ⅔ of the Indian subcontinent into his empire which included Afghan, Kashmir, and all of present-day India and Pakistan. After some years Bairam Khan was sent to Mecca because he conspired against him. On his way to Mecca, Bairam Khan was killed by an Afghan.
Akbar’s natural successor was his eldest son Salim, a drug addict. He couldn’t wait to step into his father’s shoes. Akbar suspected his son of trying to kill him through poisoning and in 1600, Salim even attempted a armed rebellion but that wasn’t sufficient to defeat Akbar. In 1605, In his capital of Agra, two days after his 63rd Birthday, Dysentery defeated him and he breathed his last.
🚩Nur- ud- din- Muhammad Salim alias Jahangir ‘Conqueror of the world' succeeded his father Akbar in 1605. Jahangir was less interested in the further extending Mughal territory and instead gloried in extravagance and riches that the great domain provided. That led him to turn into an addict to both alcohol and opium.
He took over his father’s administrative systems and his tolerant policy towards Hinduism but that didn’t work much for him as that of his father. Jahangir regarded his third son, Prince Shah Jahan his favourite. Jahangir who visited places like Kabul and Kashmir with the thought of improving his health worsened his existing conditions due to severe cold. That marked the end of his reign.
🚩Shahab- ud- din Muhhamad Khurram alias Shah Jahan was the 5th ruler of the dynasty. History tells that he had led an armed rebellion against his father Jahangir for attaining the throne, but was defeated and pardoned.
After becoming the Great Mogul in 1627, he killed his brothers and relatives in order to be rid of pretenders to the throne.
His reign was considered to be the Golden period of Mughals art and architecture. He ruled the empire for a span of 30 years. The Taj Mahal, on the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Red Fort and the peacock throne which he made for himself were some of the contributions made by Shah Jahan to his empire.
Despite his growth in these areas, the empire collapsed under Shah Jahan, even though he was an apt ruler. Proof of the same was seen in the horrendous famine that hit the southern part of the Kingdom in 1630. Kandahar which seized by Iran couldn’t be retrieved by him despite his effort. Moreover, the spread of European traders started within his reign.
There even exist a story that Taj Mahal wasn’t built by Shah Jahan, it was Temple before which was captured and altered into a sepulchre. The reminiscent of those were sealed inside the Taj Mahal. The truth is still unrevealed.
🚩Muhi- ud- Din- Muhammad alias Aurangzeb, also known by his crown name Alamgir was the sixth Mughal Emperor. He was the last Imperial ruler before British Raj, who ruled the entire subcontinent over a span of 49 years.
A rumour about the death of Shah Jahan in 1658 led to internecine warfare among his sons. Hence Aurangzeb ascended the throne. But when Shah Jahan returned he was detained and imprisoned him in a citadel at Agra until death in 1666.
Aurangzeb was the most hated ruler in Indian history. It is believed that he was a pious Muslim who spent most of his reign rioting against Hindus. He first tried to convert all Hindus to Islam but not having that done he deliberately slaughtered millions of Hindus and tried to diminish the religion by demolishing Hindu cultural institutions. Historians even claim that north India lacks many of the tall, elaborate temples as the those seen in south India was shattered by Aurangzeb.
In 2015, a petition to rename the Aurangzeb Road in Delhi was filed portraying him as a detested ruler who was behind many intolerant Inhuman vicious crimes in India.
Other interpretations came forward pointing the fact that these were all faked-up by the British initiating a strategy of Divide and rule in India.
Who knows the truth?
Throughout the history of Mughals, it’s clear that it was the lust of power which led to the collapse of the whole empire. Their dereliction to their blood, the pursuit of religious expansions, their disregard to the institution of marriage, practised polygamy for improving political relations in urge for the power has leftover an impression which supersedes every historical record that highlighted their greatness.
What more does the History tell?