सीधे मुख्य सामग्री पर जाएं

Mughals-2: How two beautiful flowers got crushed before they could bloom in beauty

By Bharat Dogra 
 
“For all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these... It might have been” – John Greenleaf Whittier
Emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal, had a dream about two of his grandchildren. Even though he had emerged as one of the most powerful emperors in the world, he had suffered more than his share of distress. He was involved in a failed revolt against his father and the humiliation which followed (1622-27). Then after this when he finally became emperor, his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal died just three years later (1631).
So Shah Jahan tried to find happiness in his small grandchildren. Two of them soon became his favorites. One was Suleiman Shikoh ( born eldest son of heir-designate Dara Shikoh). As he was the first grandchild, handsome and talented, Shah Jahan doted on him, calling him Potey Miyan. The other one was Zeb-un-Nissa, daughter of Shah Jahan’s other son, Aurangzeb. Beautiful and scholarly, curious to know many subjects, she easily endeared herself to the emperor.
As they grew up, the valor and courage of Suleiman was more on display, and so was the scholarship of his cousin Zeb, who started writing beautiful verse at a very young age, subsequently using the pen name Makhfi (hidden).
So the fond grandfather had this dream—when they grow up they would be married, and after Dara Shikoh has completed his tenure as King, this twosome would become the most talented and the grandest Mughal royals. Whether or not a formal betrothal was announced is not clear, but the emperor let his desire and plans be known well within the royal family.
However the implications of this proposed match went much beyond the affections of a fond grandfather. In fact if this marriage was realized, it could have a profound influence on the history of India. Suleiman had inherited from his father Dara a strong tendency to work for Hindu-Muslim unity and avoid any discriminative practices.
In the case of Zeb, her scholarship and extensive reading had led to the strong imprint of exceptionally liberal influences. Her closeness to Sufi philosophy is also reflected in her poetry. She could not live easily, despite getting his affection in the early days, in the puritan shadow of her father who was also discriminative and rigid in religious matters. While her father ( Aurangzeb) frowned against music as being contrary to his faith, Zeb gained quick recognition as a good singer.
So if Suleiman and Zeb were to actually become the Mughal king and queen one day, this would lead to a strengthening of the Mughal Empire based on growing unity of their Hindu and Muslim nobles and population. Dara Shikoh had also befriended the Seventh Sikh Guru, a path which his son Suleiman was likely to follow, preparing the ground for even wider unity.
Unfortunately a big hitch gradually emerged in this (at one time almost certain) marriage proposal in the form of the rapidly increasing gulf between the two fathers Dara Shikoh and Aurangzeb. The differences appeared to be soon taking the form of enmity. Once Shah Jahan fell ill, Aurangzeb with two other brothers Murad and Shuja revolted.
Shah Jahan and Dara now planned their defense against this revolt. Suleiman, just 22 at this time (1657), took command of a strong force which was sent to confront Shuja near Varanasi. Despite betrayal by an important general, Suleiman earned honors by inflicting a humiliating defeat on Shuja.
Dara led the second force against the combined army of Aurangzeb and Murad. Dara showed much valor at times, but to tell the truth, he was more at home with the pen than the sword and squandered many chances. This as well as betrayal by some led to his defeat. He was humiliated and executed, all in the absence of Suleiman, whose forces were not allowed the time to join his father’s forces, again due to the father’s poor understanding of military matters and the resulting poor planning.
As Aurangzeb became the new emperor, Suleiman found his soldiers deserting him at regular intervals even as Aurangzeb was in hot pursuit. With very few supporters left he sought refuge with the king of Garhwal Raja Prithvichand. The valiant Raja protected his guest till the last, but Aurangzeb managed to get Suleiman deported to him by using deceit. The brave prince was imprisoned, then executed in a jail in Gwalior.
The young prince was widely mourned at the time of his death at the age of only 22, as he was much loved by his people. His death certainly hurt Zeb deeply, and she never married. There was further distress in store for her.
Aurangzeb had started growing distant from his much loved daughter. Her poetry which his spies brought to Aurangzeb appeared to him to speak of some secret love and longing. The puritan father simmered with suspicion—Does she have a secret lover, or is she still longing for that rebel Suleiman?
Matters came to a head when it appeared that she appeared to be siding with her brother Muhammad Akbar who had revolted against his father. Like Zeb, Akbar too was once a much loved child of Aurangzeb. He grew up to be a good warrior and was sent to subdue Rajput kings who were growing restive under the new discriminative Mughal king. Akbar instead teamed up with them and condemning his father’s narrow discriminative policies, rose in revolt. It was not easy to challenge the Mughal empire, however, and Akbar had to next go to the Maratha king Sambhaji and when things did not work out there too he had to go into self-exile in Persia, his escape there helped by Sambhaji.
In the course of pursuing Akbar, forces of Aurangzeb discovered some correspondence between Akbar and his sister Zeb which appeared to indicate her support for him.
Aurangzeb flew into a rage and Zeb was sent to a prison in Delhi where she languished for 20 years before dying in 1702 at the age of 64. However she lives still in her poetry as collections of her over 500 verses still find admirers in South Asia, Iran and elsewhere.
This then is the tragic story of two very talented Mughals whose potential was not allowed to be realized by cruel circumstances and persons--two beautiful flowers that were crushed before they could bloom in all their beauty.
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The writer is Honorary Convener, Campaign to Save Earth Now. His recent books include ‘A Day in 2071’, ‘Navjeevan’ and ‘Man over Machine'

टिप्पणियाँ

JN Singh ने कहा…
Really wonderful to have glimpses of several unknown chapters of our history. Yes, there are so many 'what might have happened in history' and indeed the author has brought this out so well. Thanks for this valuable piece of research.

ट्रेंडिंग

हिंदी आलोचना जैसे पिछड़ चुके अनुशासन की जगह हिंदी वैचारिकी का विकास जरूरी

- प्रमोद रंजन*   भारतीय राजनीति में सांप्रदायिक व प्रतिक्रियावादी ताकतों को सत्ता तक पहुंचाने में हिंदी पट्टी का सबसे बड़ा योगदान है। इसका मुख्य कारण हिंदी-पट्टी में कार्यरत समाजवादी व जनपक्षधर हिरावल दस्ते का विचारहीन, अनैतिक और  प्रतिक्रियावादी होते जाना है। अगर हम उपरोक्त बातों को स्वीकार करते हैं, तो कुछ रोचक निष्कर्ष निकलते हैं। हिंदी-जनता और उसके हिरावल दस्ते को विचारहीन और प्रतिक्रियावादी बनने से रोकने की मुख्य ज़िम्मेदारी किसकी थी?

ગુજરાતના સ્થાપના દિવસે યાદ કરીએ ભારતના વિશ્વપ્રસિદ્ધ ગુજરાતી પુરાતત્વવિદ્ ને

- ગૌરાંગ જાની*  આજે કોઈ ગુજરાતી એ કલ્પના પણ ન કરી શકે કે વર્ષ ૧૮૩૯ માં જૂનાગઢમાં જન્મેલા એક ગુજરાતી વિશ્વ પ્રસિદ્ધ બની શકે! પણ આપણે એ ગુજરાતીને કદાચ વિસરી ગયા છીએ જેમણે ગિરનારના અશોક શિલાલેખને દોઢસો વર્ષ પૂર્વે ઉકેલી આપ્યો.આ વિદ્વાન એટલે ભગવાનલાલ ઈન્દ્રજી. ૭ નવેમ્બર, ૧૮૩૯ ના દિવસે જૂનાગઢના પ્રશ્નોરા નાગર બ્રાહ્મણ પરિવારમાં તેમનો જન્મ થયો હતો. જૂનાગઢના એ સમયે અંગ્રેજી શિક્ષણની સગવડ ન હોવાને કારણે તેમને અંગ્રેજી ભાષાનું જ્ઞાન ન હતું પણ પાછળથી તેમણે ખપ પૂરતું અંગ્રેજી જાણી લીધું હતું.

Under Modi, democracy is regressing and economy is also growing slowly

By Avyaan Sharma*   India is "the largest democracy in the world", but now its democracy is regressing and its economy is also growing slowly. What has PM Modi's ten years in power brought us? Unemployment remains high. Joblessness is particularly high among India's youth - with those aged 15 to 29 making up a staggering 83% of all unemployed people in India, according to the "India Employment Report 2024", published last month by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Institute of Human Development (IHD). The BJP-led government did not provide jobs to two crore youth in a year as was promised by Modi in the run up to the 2014 general elections.

नफरती बातें: मुसलमानों में असुरक्षा का भाव बढ़ रहा है, वे अपने मोहल्लों में सिमट रहे हैं

- राम पुनियानी*  भारत पर पिछले 10 सालों से हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादी भारतीय जनता पार्टी (भाजपा) राज कर रही है. भाजपा आरएसएस परिवार की सदस्य है और आरएसएस का लक्ष्य है हिन्दू राष्ट्र का निर्माण. आरएसएस से जुड़ी सैंकड़ों संस्थाएँ हैं. उसके लाखों, बल्कि शायद, करोड़ों स्वयंसेवक हैं. इसके अलावा कई हजार वरिष्ठ कार्यकर्ता हैं जिन्हें प्रचारक कहा जाता है. भाजपा के सत्ता में आने के बाद से आरएसएस दुगनी गति से हिन्दू राष्ट्र के निर्माण के अपने एजेण्डे को पूरा करने में जुट गया है. यदि भाजपा को चुनावों में लगातार सफलता हासिल हो रही है तो उसका कारण है देश में साम्प्रदायिकता और साम्प्रदायिक मुद्दों का बढ़ता बोलबाला. इनमें से कुछ हैं राम मंदिर, गौमांस और गोवध एवं लव जिहाद. 

Laxmanpur Bathe massacre: Perfect example of proto-fascist Brahmanical social order

By Harsh Thakor  The massacre at Laxmanpur-Bathe of Jehanabad in Bihar on the night of 1 December in 1997 was a landmark event with distinguishing features .The genocide rightly shook the conscience of the nation in the 50th year of Indian independence. The scale of the carnage was unparalleled in any caste massacre. It was a perfect manifestation of how in essence the so called neo-liberal state was in essence most autocratic. 

रैंकिंग: अधिकांश भारतीय विश्वविद्यालयों का स्तर बहुत गिरा, इस साल भी यह गिरवाट जारी

- प्रमोद रंजन*  अप्रैल, 2024 में भारतीय विश्वविद्यालयों की अंतर्राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर उच्च रैंकिंग की चर्चा रही। मीडिया ने इसका उत्सव मनाया। लेकिन स्थिति इसके विपरीत है। वैश्विक विश्वविद्यालय रैंकिग में अच्छा स्थान मिलने की खबरें, कुछ संस्थानों को इक्का-दुक्का विषयों में मिले रैंक के आधार पर चुनिंदा ढंग से प्रकाशित की गईं थीं। वास्तविकता यह है कि हाल के वर्षों में हमारे अधिकांश विश्वविद्यालयों का स्तर बहुत गिर गया है। इस साल भी यह गिरवाट जारी रही है।

प्राचीन भारत के लोकायत संप्रदाय ने कुछ परजीवियों की खूब खबर ली: प्रमुख प्रस्थापनायें

- राणा सिंह   भारत में परजीवियों का एक विशाल समूह है जो बोलता है कि “सब कुछ माया है”,  लेकिन व्यवहार में यह समूह सारी जिंदगी इसी “माया” के पीछे पागल रहता है।  प्राचीन भारत के लोकायत संप्रदाय ने इन परजीवियों की खूब खबर ली थी।

नोएडा में मैन्युअल स्कैवेंजर्स की मौत: परिवारों को मुआवजा नहीं, प्राधिकरण ने एफआईआर नहीं की

- अरुण खोटे, संजीव कुमार*  गत एक सप्ताह में, उत्तर प्रदेश में सीवर/सेप्टि क टैंक सफाई कर्मियों की सफाई के दौरान सेप्टिक टैंक में मौत। 2 मई, 2024 को, लखनऊ के वज़ीरगजं क्षेत्र में एक सेवर लाइन की सफाई करते समय शोब्रान यादव, 56, और उनके पत्रु सशुील यादव, 28, घटुन से हुई मौत। एक और घटना 3 मई 2024 को नोएडा, सेक्टर 26 में एक घर में सेप्टि क टैंक को सफाई करते समय दो सफाई कर्मचर्मारी नूनी मडंल, 36 और कोकन मडंल जिसे तपन मडंल के नाम से जानते हैं, की मौत हो गई। ये सफाई कर्मचर्मारी बंगाल के मालदा जिले के निवासी थे और नोएडा सेक्टर 9 में रहते थे। कोकन मडंल अपनी पत्नी अनीता मडंल के साथ रहते थे। इनके तीन स्कूल जाने वाले बच्चे हैं जो बंगाल में रहते हैं। नूनी मडंल अपनी पत्नी लिलिका मडंल और अपने पत्रु सजुान के साथ किराए पर झग्गी में रहते थे। वे दैनिक मजदरूी और सफाई कर्मचर्मारी के रूप में काम करते थे।

दाँव उल्टा पड़ा: राहुल गांधी के रूप में हम एक साधारण इंसान को नायक होते देख रहे हैं

-  अमिता नीरव  संघ औऱ बीजेपी ने राहुल गाँधी पर जो सोचकर ‘इन्वेस्ट’ किया था, उसके परिणाम गंभीर रूप से नुकसानदेह आ रहे हैं। ये थोड़ी अटपटी बात लग सकती है, लेकिन सोचिएगा कि संघ और बीजेपी ने राहुल गाँधी को जितना गंभीरता से लिया, उनकी संभावनाओं को लेकर वे जितना श्योर थे, उतना तो खुद राहुल और कांग्रेस भी नहीं थी।

बिहार के ऐतिहासिक विक्रमशिला विश्वविद्यालय के खंडहरों की परिक्रमा का रोमांचक अवसर

- सुमन्त शरण  कुछ दिन पहले एक सुदूर ग्रामीण अंचल (पीरपैंती)  से तकरीबन डेढ़-दो घंटे की दूरी पर अवस्थित ऐतिहासिक बौद्ध विक्रमशिला विश्वविद्यालय (के अवशेषों) की परिक्रमा का अवसर मिला। विक्रमशीला विश्वविद्यालय की स्थापना पाल वंश के राजा धर्मपाल ने की थी। 8वीं शताब्दी से 12वीं शताब्दी के अंत तक यह विश्वविद्यालय भारत के प्रमुख शिक्षा केंद्रों में से एक हुआ करता था। कहा जाता है कि यह अपने कुछेक अत्यंत अनूठे नवाचार के चलते उस समय नालंदा विश्वविद्यालय का सबसे बड़ा प्रतिस्पर्धी था। हालांकि, मान्यता यह भी है कि अल्प अवधि के लिए दोनों विश्वविद्यालय के बीच शिक्षण एवं प्रबंधन के क्षेत्रों में घनिष्ठ पारस्परिक संबंध एवं शिक्षकों के आदान-प्रदान का सिलसिला भी रहा था। यह विश्वविद्यालय तंत्रशास्त्र की पढ़ाई के लिए सबसे ज्यादा विख्यात था। इस विषय का एक सबसे विख्यात छात्र अतीसा दीपनकरा था, जो बाद में तिब्बत जाकर बौद्ध हो गया। इसके प्रथम कुलपति ज्ञान अतिस थे।