सीधे मुख्य सामग्री पर जाएं

Mughals-4: Dara Shikoh and his times reveal utter absurdity of communal propaganda

By Bharat Dogra
 
Communal propagandists who want to disrupt inter-faith harmony often distort and misrepresent history to peddle their lies. While this can be shown in the context of many instances, the times of Dara Shikoh are particularly relevant in this context.
As is well known, Dara Shikoh (1615-59) was the favorite son of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, the buider of the Taj Mahal, who was formally announced to be his successor, but could not actually become the king as he was defeated and executed by his younger brother Aurangzeb.
The most significant aspect of the many-sided personality of Dara Shikoh was that, inheriting a trait of his great grandfather Akbar, he yearned to find the meeting grounds of various religions, particularly Hinduism and Islam, and to use this as a source of strengthening his country and people. In this he had a very able companion in his elder sister, Princess Jehanara, who encouraged, helped and inspired him. His wife Nadira Begum was also very helpful in this, as was his exceptionally brave son Suleiman Shikoh when he grew up. Dara Shikoh was a disciple of the great Sufi saints Mian Mir and more particularly of Mullah Shah Badakshi who advocated a religion based on compassion and toleration as well as coming together of cultures, while he also held consultations with the Hindu Yogi Baba Lal and with many Hindu scholars from Benaras and elsewhere, some of whom were invited to help in his great project of translating Hindu scriptures, again in the tradition of his great grandfather Akbar.
As Dara Shikoh was an avid reader and accomplished author, he used his princely privileges to contribute an enormous amount of literature that could forward this cause within a short span of about two decades. To prepare the base for this, he created one of the most well-endowed libraries of the world of the 17th century and assembled some of the best Hindu and Muslim scholars for this work. He was well versed in Persian, Arabic and the Hindustani spoken by people, and now learnt Sanskrit as well.
He personally wrote a treatise on the meeting points of Sufism and Vedantism. The original work in Persian Majma-ul-Bahrain (Confluence of Two Seas) later became available in Urdu (in 1872) as Nur-i-Ain and in Hindi as Sagar Samudra Granth. In fact his treatises and books on related issues appeared at regular travels. He made a special effort to write on philosophical and mystical issues in simpler ways that could be understood by most people. He devoted a lot of time and effort for his project of translating the Upanishdas, fortunately completing the work just in time before the war of succession broke out and the pen in Dara’s hand had to be replaced by a sword.
What is interesting is that Dara continued with these ways for nearly 25 years, working in close understanding with his sister Jehanara, and all this time they together remained the most powerful persons in the vast empire after the emperor himself, and were accepted very widely as such. Dara was widely accepted as the heir apparent, as desired by his father, while Jehanara became the first lady of the Empire after the tragic death of Mumtaz Mahal just three years after Shahjehan was crowned as the king. Shahjehan’s love for both of them continued to grow all the time.
Thus contrary to the worldview spread by communalist propagandists of constantly warring followers of two religions, what do we see in reality? We see that those who stand the most for the coming together of two religions and cultures get the most support of people and gain wider acceptance. In fact later when Dara was badly mistreated by Aurangzeb before his execution in Delhi, there was almost a revolt by common people and the commander whose treachery had led to the arrest of Dara was actually attacked by the angry and distressed people. His soldiers were also attacked and would have been lynched by angry people if the Kotwal of Delhi had not rushed in with his force to rescue them.
Secondly, all the time inter-actions regarding better understanding and coming together of various religions were taking place and saints who supported this had vast numbers of followers. Mian Mir was invited by the Sikhs to lay the foundation stone of the Golden Temple. Dara Shikoh became a very good friend of the Seventh Sikh Guru Har Rai. In difficult times Sikhs and Garhwalis in particular helped Dara Shikoh.
Of course wars and battles were continuing all the time, as was the norm then. However when Shah Jehan sent an army to conquer Khost and to explore the further advance, this was led led by a Rajput Raja Jagat Singh (1645). So if a Muslim Emperor sends a Hindu King to conquer a Muslim territory, how can these medieval wars be called Hindu-Muslim wars. The Rajputs set up themselves up in the base at Kabul and did not just fulfill the assigned task, but rather stayed on for some time to protect the empire from the threatening attacks of the Uzbegs, recalling the days when Hindus and Muslims had got together to repulse some attacks of Mongols.
Shahjehan was upset that the Mewar kingdom had not followed the terms of the agreement reached at the time of Amar Singh, and so an invasion was launched but Dara Shikoh tried successfully to prevent a full-fledged war by pleading with his father and so an agreement, although an uneasy one, could again be reached. In the case of Garhwal, Dara’s peace efforts were even more successful in preventing war and bloodshed.
In fact at a later stage with Aurangzeb in hot pursuit of Suleiman Shikoh ( son of Dara) it was this king Prithvichand of Garhwal who gave shelter to the young prince and even when threatened , he refused to hand over his guest to him. Later it was only by intrigues and treachery that Aurangzeb could get Suleiman to Delhi ( he then imprisoned and finally executed the brave prince in Gwalior).
Finally, although it was well known that Dara had openly declared his closeness with Hindus and in particular with Rajputs and Aurangzeb was equally well-known for his narrow and sectarian views, in the war on succession several Hindu nobles and kings supported Aurangzeb and opposed Dara! This war of succession was fought out while Shajehan was still alive and so Dara, the chosen successor, and Shahjehan were on the same side. It was at this critical stage that some Hindu kings and nobles who had always pledged loyalty to Shahjehan and had been amply rewarded by him chose to side with Aurangzeb, to a lesser or greater extent! Even when Aurangzeb imprisoned Shahjehan and executed Dara after insulting him badly, these kings and nobles continued to side with Aurangzeb. This proves beyond doubt that alignments were being decided not on the basis of religion but on the basis of self-interest and power equations.
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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

राजन ने कहा…
An attempt to show an exception as a rule.

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. 

ભારતમાં જિસસ ક્રાઈસ્ટના દર્શન, ખ્રિસ્તી ધર્મના આગમનને કારણે સમાજ વ્યવસ્થામાં પરિવર્તન

- ઉત્તમ પરમાર  મારી કિશોર અવસ્થામાં કેટલાક ચિત્રો અને મૂર્તિઓએ હૃદયમાં એવું સ્થાન જમાવ્યું છે કે આજદિન પર્યંત  ઉત્તરોઉત્તર વિકસતું જ રહ્યું છે. પ્રેમ કરુણાના મૂર્તિમંત અવતાર  જિસસ ક્રાઈસ્ટને વધુસ્તંભે ચઢાવેલી મૂર્તિ  મારી કોઈપણ ધર્મ વિશેની સમજ નહોતી ત્યારથી મારા હૃદયમાં સ્થાપિત થયેલી છે. મારા ઘરની દિવાલ પર વધસ્તંભે ચઢેલા જીસસની પ્રતિમા જોઈને કોઈ મને પૂછી બેસતું કે તું ક્રિશ્ચન છે?

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।

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।

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।

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।